the international trade organization for legal procurement

best practice for buying legal services and legal technology



Learn from the pioneers of legal procurement and read about how pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) uses an innovative new approach to procuring outside legal counsel. This Harvard Business School case study details how GSK replaces relationship-based selection and law firms’ traditional time-based billing with data-driven decision making and an online reverse auction. 

In the (fictional but realistic) case, GSK is hit with a potentially devastating suit and must hire a firm in time to respond. The recently hired (fictional) managing attorney, Sophia Keating, grapples with GSK’s approach. The GSK veterans assure her that the approach drives down costs and improves the quality of work by systematically increasing the rigor in the procurement process. Still skeptical, Keating runs the process of systematically analyzing and comparing the competing firms’ bids. This case also describes the process by which these tools were created and adopted. 

The case study can be purchased directly from Harvard Business School.

To access GSK’s RFP material and case assumptions, also get the supplementary material.