2013 GRC Value Award: Legal GRC

GRC 20/20 Research awarded Datacert Passport its 2013 GRC Value award in the Legal GRC category. Datacert’s Passport® technology platform provides an integrated legal and GRC ecosystem that allows organizations to respond to the cost of compliance and non-compliance.

Datacert’s Passport application breaks down information and process silos between a variety of legal and GRC stakeholders, and allows organizations to better understand their internal and external legal/compliance-related expenditure by activity type, business unit, geography, regulatory topic, etc. Additionally, at MMC, Passport identifies key data points and associated expenditures required to address incidents and data protection policies. This visibility brings unique value by providing the information organizations need to effectively budget for and demonstrate ROI on GRC-related expenditure.

Risk management that’s strategic, not just responsive

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) is one of the world's largest professional services, risk management and insurance brokerage firms and is headquartered in the United States with offices all over the world. Datacert’s Passport solution was implemented by MMC in April 2012 for Legal and Risk Management to manage key litigation and global insurance risks.  In 2013, MMC increased the use of the application to manage data incidents and data privacy related matters, thus leading to a combined Legal and GRC solution for the organization.  

Prior to Passport’s tracking data privacy incidents and their associated spend, MMC had to pull data manually across its Marsh and Mercer operating companies and manually determine key severity codes, root causes and remediation through steering committee meetings to ensure organizational consistency. During Q3 2013, MMC was able to generate these compliance incident spend and risk metrics in less than 20 minutes with Passport.

In addition to the above, MMC has gained significant quantitative value from utilizing Passport to optimize its outside counsel operations. Examples include:

  • From 2008 through 2012, partly via Datacert’s technology, the MMC’s legal department reduced outside counsel fees by 56 percent, its lowest spend since 2007.
  • MMC estimates it saved an additional $10 million since July 2011, aligned to mandatory discounts, 2010 rates, fixed-fee pricing and competitive bidding.
  • MMC notified all law firms that it would not be moving to 2013 billing rates, which MMC anticipates will result in savings of approximately $6 million.
  • MMC kept its global lawyer count to 140 across 26 countries and 209 total resources.
  • MMC has determined that maintaining a global legal department is key when evaluating total legal expense as a percentage of revenue. Its goal is to maintain its total legal spend at less than 1 percent of revenue, which it is able to do using Datacert’s Passport technology.
  • Improved reporting and dashboard capabilities provide a more detailed global view of spend by line of business, region, law firm and matter. With Passport, MMC is able to generate better and richer reports than it could previously, reducing time spent running these reports by 25 percent
  • By utilizing preferred providers tracked and managed in Passport, MMC lawyers can select the firm best positioned for a particular matter while building long term relationships, allowing MMC to reduce its preferred provider list from 150 to 50.

MMC's Legal and Risk & Compliance teams are still identifying opportunities to expand the use of the Passport application to manage data and analytics around GRC. In the longer term, MMC is planning to extend the reach of its Passport implementation into a broader spectrum of proactive GRC-related activities, providing additional spend intelligence in areas like operational risk assessment, internal audit, policy management, and 3rd-party risk management.

A legacy system that was costly and often ineffective

Prior to its implementation of Passport, MMC’s visibility into spend was limited to legal matters (it did not include compliance-related incidents), and legal spend data was difficult to consolidate across multiple business units and global regions within the legal function. With Passport, MMC can integrate spend management across its legal department, providing the visibility required to increase its influence over its outside service providers.

Another benefit of Passport for MMC is the improved management of outside legal service providers. Prior to the implementation of Passport, MMC was managing hundreds of law firm relationships, which it has since culled with the help of Passport to a streamlined population of high-value relationships, reducing operational overhead and allowing it to focus its efforts on increasing the value of its remaining outside counsel relationships.

Passport’s effectiveness is most notable in the area of reduced human capital cost. Greater visibility into its risk and compliance spend allows MMC to address hotspots and better project its risk and compliance-related expenditure into the future, allocating budget and resources to areas where they are most likely to be needed.

To learn more about the GRC 20/20 2013 GRC Value Awards and other recipients, please visit this post: GRC 20/20 Announces 2013 GRC Value Award Recipients

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