DataCert, the leading provider of electronic invoicing and legal spend management solutions, today announced that it has contracted with Barclays Bank to provide a new legal technology initiative that will enhance Barclays' ability to manage its legal spend.
At this stage, the initiative will be implemented within Barclays' central legal team.
"Barclays selected DataCert's Advanced Invoice Management System (AIMS) after undertaking a detailed proof of concept with DataCert which involved some of our largest legal suppliers in the UK," said Mark Harding, Group General Counsel. "This is a strategic investment by the legal function, and will provide better control over the processes for originating legal spend, ensuring our law firm panel guidelines are complied with. Above all, it will supply greatly enhanced management information on the nature of our spend in this important area of our cost base."
AIMS, the most advanced and widely implemented product of its kind among the Fortune Global 500, will process electronic invoices from law firms and deliver them to the Barclays legal department for automated workflow handling, spend analysis and reporting. Barclays adopted DataCert's AIMS technology to provide additional customization and line-item detail in parallel with its existing electronic sourcing and invoicing applications.
"Unlike other e-billing platforms currently deployed within the European legal market, AIMS allows law firms and other legal providers to transmit detailed, standardized invoice data for every time and expense entry rather than delivering the static, simple image of the invoice or header-level information," said Richard Daniel, chief operating officer, Barclays Legal & Compliance. "This additional information will give Barclays access to richer information at both a matter-specific and an overall portfolio level. This will allow us to better manage and leverage our legal spend."
Using AIMS, Barclays will accumulate a detailed history of its legal spend allowing lawyers and the Operations team to easily report on spend in relation to budgets, identify spending trends and evaluate providers. In addition to accelerating the approval process and payment of law firm invoices, the legal function will also be able to identify and explore alternative billing arrangements based on the detailed data provided by DataCert.
The adoption of this initiative marks a steady progression of thought leadership from the Barclays legal function, which took the Legal Week Corporate Legal Department of the year award in 2005, won awards at last year's Global Legal IT Forum, and has a long and distinguished history of leadership in global financial services.
"DataCert is pleased to welcome such a forward-thinking corporation as Barclays to our list of prestigious clientele. While AIMS is a widely accepted legal spend technology solution in the United States, the market in Europe is still developing. Implementations by thought-leaders such as Barclays will encourage other corporate law departments to step forward and take control of their legal spend," commented Jeff Hodge, senior director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Andrew Dey, Head of Operations at Barclays Legal, emphasized the importance of DataCert's ability to work with established standardized billing formats. "We realized early on that in order to use this technology successfully, the legal IT community needed standards for electronic invoicing. By working with fellow legal innovators, including DataCert and the Legal IT Innovators Group (LITIG), we helped drive a single legal invoice file format and a task-based billing standard for international use. We believe Barclays is the first legal department in the world to work closely with law firms to move an invoice in the international, VAT-compliant format of the Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES)."