Law firm clients now doing their own legal work

General Electric’s aircraft sales force negotiates deals around the world. They submit purchase contracts to their prospective customers. When terms or the words of the contract need to be changed to meet customer requests, the sales force has to send the proposal back to GE lawyers for review and change. This process often takes weeks and sometimes results in lost sales.

Until now. GE has created a “tool kit” of clauses available on the internet for use by its sales force to address situations just like this.

Allowing the sales force to make contract changes has apparently saved GE $12 million in legal fees as well as increased the speed of the negotiation process and their “closing” rates.

Years ago, my CEO (in the food industry) used to draft the first draft of acquisition agreements and then send them on to outside counsel for completion. This saved thousands of dollars and did speed the process.

When the cost of legal services or the speed of delivery is outside the needs of clients, they will find alternative ways to achieve their goals. It is our responsibility to meet their needs before they find they can exist without us.


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