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LVN Spotlight

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Featuring LVNx 2022 Innovative Pricing Panelists Kofi Mundy-Castle, Management Lead at Fulcrum Global Technologies; Lauren Spangler, Senior Manager, Head of Strategic Pricing and Legal Project Management at Norton Rose Fulbright; and Alexandra Guajardo, Pricing & Analytics Officer at Shell.

Hi everyone. I'm Greg Lambert and this is our August spotlight for the LVN newsletter. Joining me today are Kofi, Alexandra and Lauren. They'll be featured on the Innovating Panel Pricing during the first LVNx Conference Experience in Chicago this September. Here's a sneak peek of what that session will look like. Let's start with introductions:

My name is Kofi Mundy-Castle. And I work for Fulcrum Global Technologies as the Lead Pricing and Legal Project Management Solution Specialist.

I'm Lauren Spangler. I am the Senior Manager of Legal Project Management and Strategic Pricing at Norton Rose Fulbright in the United States.

I'm Alex Guajardo. I am the pricing analytics Officer here at Shell USA Inc. in Houston, Texas.

Greg - The panel is on Innovating Panel Pricing. Kofi, would you giving us a more about the idea behind this panel and explaining to us what panel pricing is?

Kofi - Panel pricing, from my perspective, and I'll let Lauren and Alex jump in if they want to clarify a bit because they're the experts. But for me, it is the pricing between a law firm and a client that defines the medium to long term relationship between them. It really underpins all of the kind of arrangements and agreements that happen at a project or matter level. The reason why I wanted to bring this group together to speak about it is that I feel like amongst our legal pricing community, we focus a lot on kind of matter pricing and AFAs, and kind of instances of a single pricing point. But panel pricing underpins all of that. I thought it would be great if this group could really kind of discuss it and think about what we could do to maybe upgrade the process. Because I think right now, it involves a lot. And in my opinion, it could lead to less innovation downstream on a matter by matter basis. So I think this really strong group of Alex and Lauren, maybe can help us come up with some good ideas on what we could do to make it better.

Greg - Lauren, what're some of the things that you want to cover in the panel?

Lauren - I think the most interesting topic that we're going to cover is seeing it from both sides. You'll get to see the client experience from Alex, you'll get to see the law firm side from me, and figuring out the pain points, how can we work better together? How can we innovate panel pricing?

Greg - Alex, on the client side, what were you wanting to express on the panel?

Alexandra - I think a lot of times, there's a misconception that clients are just trying to take advantage of the firm that works for them. So it's good to understand the drivers and why we do the things we do, and the way that we do them. Unfortunately, we have a lot of internal processes that our law firms are not aware of. Our vendors are not either. When we have these discussions, and we start to understand those internal processes, it allows us to align. When Lauren and I have these discussions, she has her own drivers. Law firms have their own motivations and ways of doing things and we do as well. We need to find a way to work together, because we're both trying to get to the same place. Obviously we need representation. They want to represent us, but we all want to be on the same page about what that means and what we're trying to get delivered and what they are trying to deliver to us.

Greg - As a member of the audience, what is it that I should take away after listening to this panel?

Alexandra - We’re always talking amongst ourselves. Clients talk to clients. We have colleagues in the business. Law firms talk to law firms, but we're sometimes talking at each other from the opposite sides instead of with each other. Building on the relationship and being able to have those candid conversations say look, your RFP process is a little too cumbersome. These are the pain points like Lauren mentioned earlier. Or, as a client, me saying "when you submit this and you're sending me a 60-page proposal, no one is going to read that." It's really talking about the things that we think are working on our side, but maybe I need to hear from the law firm, that it's not, and vice versa. That's the reason we're all here, we want to have a conversation amongst the three of us and say, "just because I think something is great, is it really?" And if it's not, it's good for us to be told, "Well, you know, there's a different way."

Greg - And Lauren, if I were a member of a firm, what should I take away from this panel?

Lauren - What are the clients ultimately after? What are their end goals versus ours? How can we work better together? Exactly what Alex said. At the end of the day, we're all working towards the same goal so being able to work better and more efficiently together to accomplish that goal. I think that's a wonderful thing to work towards.

Greg - This is the first LVN conference. Kofi, what's some of the other things that you're looking forward to, in attending LVN in Chicago?

Kofi - There's a lot! I think it's going to meet a lot of people with a lot of different perspectives. I'm looking forward to meeting the new professionals in the area and new members of the community. I think nowadays, legal pricing and project management have really blown up. There are so many different firms doing it and clients are asking for more. I would like to hear all the ideas of what's happening and understand if there's something new. If we're still thinking the same, or if people have different ideas which can really be put into practice to help us improve the whole community.

Lauren - I want to see everyone that I haven't seen in a while, especially because we're coming right out of the pandemic. It'll be nice to get together and just catch up with old friends and connections and network again. And frankly, I'm excited to get to go to Chicago. I haven't been in a very long time and the food scene is fantastic.

Greg - I'm looking forward to the hot dogs and cooler weather!

Alexandra - I'm very excited that the Legal Value Network has grown. It came together during the pandemic so it's amazing to see so many people excited and wanting to exchange ideas. Legal Operations continues to evolve. It's a never ending change and I'm really truly excited to be part of it. I think when you meet other people that have the same dreams, goals, and ambitions to drive change, to be change agents. There's nothing better than that. When you feel all those other ideas in the room and how people really just want to do better and bigger things.

Greg - Kofi Mundy-Castle, Alex Guajardo, and Lauren Spangler, thank you very much for taking the time to let us put the spotlight on you this month. And we will see you in Chicago.

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