For over 100 years, Venable has provided its clients with sound legal advice and pragmatic business solutions in an efficient and cost-sensitive manner. We staff each matter with just the right people and right skill sets, and leverage technology to reduce costs and increase operating efficiencies. We align ourselves with our clients’ legal and business objectives to deliver high quality lawyering and outstanding client service.
Cost-Effective Service Delivery
Venable employs a number of processes and procedures to ensure the delivery of high quality, cost-effective service to our clients. These include:
- Investments in technology, including advanced document management software, advanced docketing systems, and litigation management software.
- Collaborative planning, specifically, working closely with members of our clients’ in-house legal teams to understand the clients’ objectives, matter by matter, and to devise the cost-effective means to achieve those objectives. In close consultation with our clients, we develop plans for early case assessments, information gathering, templates, staffing, discovery, case budgets, expert witness development and, if necessary, trial.
- Internet database development that allows us to create and produce documents inexpensively.
- Staffing controls, including aggressive monitors and review of each matter to ensure that the client’s legal objectives are met with just the right level and amount of staffing.
Venable is committed to ensuring that our attorneys and other professionals are extremely responsive. We strive to respond to all questions within 24 hours, if not sooner. If an answer is not readily at hand, we very quickly provide them with an estimate as to when we will have the information or answer they’re seeking.
All Venable attorneys are provided with a mobile device, giving them 24-hour access to their email accounts. In addition, we provide our mobile phone numbers to our clients so that our attorneys can be reached at any time, day or night. In addition, our Legal Administrative Assistants (LAA) can always be called upon to locate an attorney and assist in information gathering. Our attorneys also provide complete itineraries when they are traveling -- whether for business or personal reasons. We always ensure that other members of the core team are aware of travel plans and are completely up to speed on all client matters.
Client Feedback and Satisfaction
Venable administers an objective and independent Client Satisfaction Program every 12-18 months. This program provides us with valuable feedback and helps us ensure that Venable is meeting or exceeding its clients' expectations with regard to both its legal counsel and its client service.
Our third-party consultant meets in person or by telephone with each of the primary client contacts with whom we work at a variety of client organizations. These interviews of approximately 45 to 60 minutes provide our clients with an opportunity to evaluate our work and to make constructive suggestions about how we can achieve continuous improvement in our relationship with the client.
The results of these interviews are shared with the primary Client Team Leaders and Responsible Attorneys, who share relevant aspects of the feedback (both positive and constructive) with members of the client team. The results of these interviews also provide the basis for discussion between our client representatives and Venable attorneys about mutual expectations, goals and objectives, as well as client service and communication protocols. An overall summary of the final results is also shared with our Executive Committee, with the goal of identifying common trends and areas for improvement across our firm.
Representative examples of ways in which we’ve delivered value to our clients:
- Utilizing the work product of a client’s handling of medical device, pharmaceutical and toxic tort litigation, Venable created an electronic database of scientific and medical publications obtained for the numerous and diverse types of cases that have been handled. The database contains more than 4,500 articles and publications, all of which are indexed by author, title and/or date of publication. This dramatically reduced time and costs associated with research.
- Venable developed an expert witness repository for one of our clients. We used this repository effectively in a case where plaintiff’s counsel identified an expert who had been deposed by a Venable attorney on numerous occasions in unrelated litigation.
- For one Fortune 50 company, Venable created a disciplined, systematic and automated process for reviewing vendor contracts that offered the company the opportunity to significantly reduce vendor costs. The core of this review process was the development of contract "best provisions" based on the company’s objectives, culture and vendor relationships. The contract review process utilized an automated RFP platform, matching contract provisions and vendor responses. The automated RFP platform provided a streamlined procedure for creating a favorable contract, facilitating efficient negotiations focused on significant issues. The automated process also facilitated vendor to vendor comparisons, increasing the company’s leverage to negotiate satisfactory provisions or to replace uncooperative vendors.
- Venable partners initiated a structure for an annual cycle of environmental policy and compliance review for several large land development companies. After facing certain non-compliance circumstances, the client needed assistance with environmental management systems for routine activities. We worked with the client to establish regular consideration of long term permitting needs, pending regulatory changes (and opportunities for participation in those changes) and strategic participation in national lawsuits on key environmental issues. The work unified the client’s management resources, internal legal team and external environmental and legal resources, thus reducing time and costs associated with lawsuits.
- We are often asked to work with clients to evaluate technology solutions; in one such situation, co-counsel was maintaining databases containing over 2 terabytes of data, much more data than anyone had anticipated, and the system used by co-counsel wasn’t able to handle such large volumes. We evaluated several hosted solutions in conjunction with the client, and oversaw the transfer of data to the new system, resulting in a more stable platform for the various law firms involved in the cases.
- On a construction matter, the client’s e-mail mailboxes needed to be processed, searched, and reviewed. As the documents needing review required engineering expertise, and many of the client’s engineers were idle at the time due to the economy, we gave the engineers access to the data being hosted on our network and trained them on our review software. They completed the initial review, with our attorneys evaluating the results and handling the privilege review, saving the client significant money on review costs.
- Venable’s real estate group has developed and maintains a very comprehensive "e-room" that tracks all aspects of every network acquisition and leasing matter that Venable handles for a major telecommunications client. Within the "e-room," Venable keeps a tracking report for each matter (that is updated at least twice a week), a copy of all due diligence and attorney analyses of the due diligence, and copies of all transaction documents, as well as the company’s form agreement, master agreements and corporate policies. This system permits every member of the client team to be able to determine, in real time, the status of any project and obtain any data requested by the client or required to complete a task. Venable’s real estate group has also used this "e-room" concept, and provided clients with access thereto, for larger transactions that involve multiple properties, significant due diligence and/or substantial documentation. For the Venable lawyers and clients to have the simultaneous ability to electronically access drafts and due diligence substantially increases efficiencies and minimizes transaction time, ultimately reducing costs.