Our Working Groups

To advance the field of legal procurement, we organize Working Groups on different topics. Each Working Group has chosen a specific goal that you will be working on alongside your peers from other companies. Each Working Group meets every six to eight weeks via conference call/webinar.

  • RFP Evaluation
  • Maturity Level
  • Diversity
  • Legal Technology

Scroll down to read each Working Group's description and get to know the Group leaders.

Interested Members sign up here to participate.

Click here to see the Working Group schedule.
 

RFP Evaluation Working Group

As procurement professionals we need the knowledge to effectively lead the evaluation process of legal services proposals, including those submitted by law firms as well as by legal technology and support/ancillary services suppliers.

Our goal is to drive the most possible objective evaluation to ensure a fair and impartial assessment of the supplier's or firm's capabilities.

The objective of this group is to share and document best practice solutions and innovation in order to optimize and improve the RFP evaluation. This working group will produce a guideline providing the results of our best practices investigation. The guideline will complement the Legal RFP Framework template that was developed by a Buying Legal Council Working Group in 2016.

Group Leaders
Jo Ellen Hatfield

Senior Strategic Sourcing Manager - Professional Services
Bunge


Jo Ellen is a leader in sourcing and contracting process for professional services categories in global Fortune 500 companies. She is a change agent with business process re-engineering success, improving efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Jo Ellen develops policies, processes and procedures to execute procurement strategies delivering value and managing risk. She has optimized value of global category spends up to $1 billion, delivering quality services at significant cost savings.
Previous positions held at: BP, Hillshire Brands, Monsanto, Anheuser-Busch

Education:
Webster University | Master's degree, Business Management
Fontbonne University | Bachelor of Science, History/Education 

Anja Büttgenbach

‪Global Sourcing Manager Procurement Business Partnering Legal
Bayer AG


A paralegal by training, prior to sourcing legal services, Anja has spent several years working at Bayer's HR organization.
Previous position held in law firms.

Education:
Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin

 

Maturity Level Working Group

One of the best ways to improve our understanding of Legal Procurement is to benchmark ourselves on industry best practices. As legal procurement is an emerging category, creating this benchmark will show us where we are, and more importantly, where we need to go.

Our goal is to create a list of metrics to determine the maturity of our capabilities and opportunities for constant improvement. The objective of this group is to share knowledge of what a "best-in-class" legal procurement organization could be through different stages of maturity.

This working group will produce a multi-faceted questionnaire that can be used to determine where a company stands in their journey to achieve legal procurement excellence.

Group Leaders
Suraj Prashad

Director, Global Procurement‬‬‬
MetLife‬


Suraj is responsible for managing all of MetLife’s non-IT professional services, including the legal function. He and his team manage over $1.2 billion global procurable spend. Suraj is a frequent speaker on legal procurement strategy and operations.

Previous positions held at: Ameren Utilities

Education:
University of Illinois Springfield | MBA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Bachelor of Science, Computer Science Engineering
 

Susan O'Brien

‪Senior Vice President, Category Manager‬‬
Bank of America‬


Susan is a thought-leader in professional services procurement with extensive sourcing and project management experience in financial and manufacturing industries. She is a change agent and advocate for procurement as a value-added function.
Susan is a frequent guest speaker on the nuances of legal sourcing and author of the articles “Achieving value through sensible collaboration” and “A primer on reducing outside counsel spend” in the Legal Procurement Handbook.

Previous positions held at: Royal Bank of Scotland, Citizens Financial Group, Pitney Bowes, Lockheed Martin, Texas Instruments

Education:
Carnegie Mellon University | Bachelor of Science, Physics, Administration Management Science
 

Diversity

As procurement professionals we need to evaluate our supply base and create opportunity for innovation. Diversity is a key objective for many organizations, and along with it, brings the opportunity to learn and implement new ways of working, technologies, and innovative thinking.

The legal departments of many organizations are committed to increasing diversity by building strategic partnerships with firms and service providers that may not have been previously considered.

Our goal is to share best practice on Why diversity is important for your organization, Where this is applicable, and How we can go about increasing diversity in our organizations.

The objective of this working group is to share and document best practice solutions and innovation to increase and optimize the use of diverse firms. This working group will produce a guideline providing the results of our best practices investigation.


Group Leaders
Felicia Suggs

‪Legal Sourcing Manager
Johnson & Johnson


A lawyer by training, and former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, she now spearheads Johnson & Johnson’s legal procurement initiatives. Former Vice Chair Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section with the American Bar Association (ABA).

Previous positions held at: Chubb Insurance; Department of Social Services in Boston; State of Connecticut 

Education:
Rutgers University | Bachelor of the Arts, Economics and Labor Studies 
Howard University School of Law | Juris Doctor

 

Vaishali Gadhok

‪Global Category Manager - Legal Services
GlaxoSmithKline


Vaishali has international experiences across logistics, supply chain, and procurement. As Global Category Manager for Legal Services, she is responsible for leading sourcing projects across the Outside Counsel and Ancillary Services areas and managing the development and deployment of the Performance and Relationship Management program.

Education:
Aston University | Bachelor of Science, Logistics 
Stanford University School of Law | Advanced Project Management Certificate

 

Legal Technology

Legal technology is increasingly purchased and used by legal procurement professionals. The list of legal technology tools is long and ranges from matter management systems to analytics and e-discovery. It is therefore important for legal procurement professionals to have a good overview of what is available, to understand how different tools can help the legal function become more efficient and effective as well as how different tools can help procurement get better insights. 

The goal of this Working Group is to identify industry trends in legal technology and outline how technology can improve legal procurement. It is our intention to share and document best practice approaches and produce a primer highlighting our findings.


Group Leaders
Andy Krebs

Global Legal and Professional Services Strategic Sourcing Manager for Corporate Strategic Procurement‪
Intel Corporation


Andy Krebs has been with for Intel 16 years and in that time held various positions in the Global Sourcing and Procurement Organization: he has managed sales and marketing categories, risk & controls, and served as a direct materials planning analyst. He now works closely with his internal partners in an effort to shape the future direction of both the legal and professional services as they transition into a new era of sourcing. 

Education:
Defiance College | Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Criminal Justice 
University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business | MBA in International Business and MIS

 

Mike Hakes

‪Vice President & Lead Sourcing Specialist - Legal & Professional Services
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.


As a 25-year financial services and procurement veteran, Mike is currently a sourcing leader responsible for all legal and associated professional services at PNC Bank. This includes managing the annual Legal Convergence Initiative aimed at reducing total annual legal spend, as well as streamlining the use of outside counsel. Given that Procurement has gained inroads into the PNC Legal space only within the past few years, numerous opportunities exist, and Mike is actively pursuing many of them. This includes a greater use of RFx sourcing events and reverse auctions, coupled with the establishment of rate cards and other best practices.

Education:
John Carroll University | Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing 
Kent State University | MBA in Economics and Finance