At Legal Tech a few weeks ago, I moderated a session on clients paying for KM (and posted about it here). Now, with the permission of panelists Christian Liipfert and Jeff Rovner, I am posting pre- and post- panel materials. 

Christian Liipfert of BP America and Jeff Rovner of Clifford Chance are speaking in their individual capacities and not for the institutions for which they work. Furthermore, both offer these as ideas for discussion only and do not intend to be bound by them.

Christian wrote an article for the panel that was available on the conference CD; because it has wider interest, I wanted to make it available here: Christian Liipfert’s KM Article (PDF will open in new window).

In advance of the panel, Jeff prepared a list of 20 KM activities. The idea here – and a good one indeed – is that in talking about “clients paying for KM,” it’s useful to examine specific KM activities. Below is a table with Jeff’s list of KM activities on the left and Christian’s response as to whether he’d pay for it on the right. (Don’t stop with the table; there’s more below it.)

KM Activities and One View as to Whether a Client Might Pay

Jeff Rovner KM Activity Christian Liipfert Response
Classifying a matter by its legal topics and industries No real value for me
Adding metadata to a document to describe any important knowledge included in it I might pay for something here, but am not sure without more information
Classifying a document by its legal topics Maybe 25%, maybe 50%; show me an example
Adding a document from a client’s matter to an area of the firm intranet devoted to that client’s preferences and forms This looks like 30 seconds. Am I missing something?
Providing news about the client To me?
Providing updates on important legal developments May be worth something; the more general, the less value. If specific to my industry, possible value. People pay firms for tracking specific issues. Baker Botts’ Texas Industry Project is one example. And look what you can do through a Trade Association.
Repurposing client work product as a form for use with all clients No
Repurposing client work product as a form specifically for use with that client Yes
Repurposing client work product as a document assembly tool for use with all clients. No; and let’s talk about works made for hire and the obligation not to disclose or use my confidences
Repurposing client work product as a document assembly tool specifically for use with that client Yes
Producing a physical or CD bound volume at the conclusion of a deal/case For me, yes; I prefer electronic; I don’t have the storage space for the books
Producing an online bound volume at the conclusion of a deal/case See item above
At the conclusion of a deal, producing a summary document that explains how to administer the deal documents May have large value for me; let’s discuss first
Memorializing the business and legal lessons learned from the deal Maybe; more likely if we do it together; not sure you have the skills to do it. You may. I fear a major elephant wash, and I want focus.
Conducting a post-mortem review with the client to learn whether the client was satisfied by the firm’s work on the matter No
Creating a checklist or other analytical tool to improve the firm’s work on a particular type of matter No
Distilling the firm’s legal knowledge in a given area for use by clients Maybe, depending on how focused; subscription basis; see the LRN model
Distilling the firm’s business knowledge in a given area for use by clients Less likely, but maybe

In follow-up to the panel presentation, Christian further refined his thoughts, providing the following lists:

Christian Liipfert Will Pay For

  • AAR’s [after action reviews] at the end of appropriate stages
  • Doing an outline before doing the memo
  • Memos re phone calls (one)
  • Memos re meetings (one)
  • Lessons learned re the other party, maybe
  • Deal book for me (preferably in electronic form)
  • Consolidated briefing (1) of entire team on appropriate topics
  • Digests of agreements I’ve requested (the digests)
  • Working manuals I’ve agreed to have prepared
  • Attending the legal training of your associates
  • Review of prior lessons learned you have about the judge, the opponent, the opposing lawyer
  • Customizing your standard form for me
  • The Learning Before that we discuss in advance
  • A full blown retrospect if I commission it
  • Some instruction by the expert to the non-experts (but only some; and do it efficiently; better yet, let me sit in)
  • Things I’ve agreed to in advance (hint: let’s chat before you do it)
  • Usage of materials from your form files

Christian Liipfert Finds Questionable

  • Multiple memos on the same phone call or meeting
  • Briefing new additions to the team who could have been anticipated at the time of the initial briefing
  • Access to your form files

Christian Liipfert Will Not Pay For

  • CRM entries about me or my client
  • Lessons learned re the judge
  • Lessons learned re opposing counsel (most of these, anyway)
  • Collecting deal books for you
  • Turnover of an associate who’s been trained on my clock (whose risk is that?)
  • Training associates in basic legal skills for this transaction/matter
  • Your DMS (it’s overhead)
  • Your computer
  • Your library
  • Converting what you did for me to a standard form
  • Right to use your ‘prior art’
  • Overstaffing to collect KM for you
  • Fundamental legal research on basic points
  • Memos not for me (if I didn’t ask for it and I don’t get as copy, why should I pay for it?)
  • Conflicts checks
  • Papering the file?