CASE STUDY | NUVASIVE, INC.
NuVasive Achieves Operational Efficiency and 40% Cost Savings in Law Firm Spending with LexisNexis CounselLink
Location: San Diego, California
Industry: Medical Device Technology
NuVasive, Inc. is a world leader in minimally invasive, procedurally integrated spine solutions. From complex spinal deformity to degenerative spinal conditions, NuVasive is transforming spine surgery with innovative technologies designed to deliver reproducible and clinically proven surgical outcomes.
The NuVasive legal department historically relied on highly manual internal workflows, especially for two labor-intensive processes: legal holds and invoice management. The in-house team set out to acquire a technology solution that would improve their operational efficiency and find cost savings in their annual outside counsel spend. They scrutinized a number of software tools on the legal market to find the best fit for their needs.
After meeting with representatives from several leading legal technology companies and conducting tests of multiple software products, the NuVasive team selected LexisNexis® CounselLink® as their centralized system for legal hold, e-billing and financial management, matter management, vendor management, and analytics. The company exceeded its initial objectives and is continuing to explore the multiple capabilities within CounselLink by expanding its use of the software for advanced reporting, budgeting, and forecasting functionalities. NuVasive’s use of the software continues to evolve—in collaboration with the LexisNexis team—to adapt to the legal department’s changing needs.
- Achieved dramatic time savings as a result of nearly 100% increase in efficiency for managing the notifications and tracking of legal holds
- Realized cost savings of several million dollars due to significant reduction in law firm spend by automating invoice review, adjustments, and billing guideline enforcement
- Obtained deeper and faster management insights from production of customized reports that help legal department managers slice and dice data for improved tracking and analysis
- Received superior customer service and tech support from a team of LexisNexis professionals dedicated to NuVasive’s needs
NUVASIVE, INC. is the leader in spine technology innovation, with a mission to transform surgery,advance care, and change lives. The company’s less-invasive and procedurally integrated surgical solutions are designed to deliver reproducible and clinically proven outcomes.
The NuVasive portfolio includes:
With more than $1 billion in net sales, NuVasive has approximately 2,700 employees and operates in more than 50 countries, serving surgeons, hospitals, and patients.
“Our company has grown rapidly and the members of the legal department realized several years ago that we needed to better leverage technology in order to work more efficiently,” said Joni Stern, legal database analyst at NuVasive, which employs approximately 35 people in the legal department.
Stern noted there were two primary motivating factors that fueled the company’s initial quest for a technology solution to support its legal operations:
- More efficient execution and management of legal holds
- Software to assist with law firm invoice management and compliance
“Our previous approach was almost entirely manual, which is not only very labor-intensive, but also difficult to scale in an environment that was becoming increasingly complex,” said Stern.
NuVasive’s litigation department assembled an internal team to identify legal technology solutions developed for
in-house counsel. The team conducted a very deliberate process in which they evaluated a number of products and subjected each one to vigorous testing under real-world conditions.
“There were a number of fine products on the market, but the one that clearly rose to the top above all others was LexisNexis CounselLink,” said Stern. “Our reviewers found it to be outstanding in every use case we could imagine. It was clear to us that CounselLink was the best tool available for our needs.”
The NuVasive team was drawn to CounselLink for its potential to serve as their centralized system for legal hold, e-billing and financial management, matter management, vendor management and analytics.
The first area of functionality they pursued was the Legal Hold software, creating an automated system for issuing notices and managing the execution of the holds. Next, they focused on Financial Management, leveraging CounselLink to manage outside counsel spend and timekeeper rates by loading NuVasive’s billing guidelines and customized business rules into the system in preparation for processing invoices.
Once the system was in place, they on-boarded most of their law firms worldwide to the software. “As a company that does business around the world, we use law firms in multiple countries,” said Stern. “Having a solution that can support international invoicing was important to us, and CounselLink provides that capability.”
Once NuVasive exceeded its initial objectives with CounselLink, they went on to explore additional features in the software. For example, in addition to the standard reports provided within CounselLink, they created more specialized and customized reports to support analytic needs around legal spend and matter information. They also ramped up their use of other capabilities in the software to help them perform more advanced internal budgeting and forecasting.
“The LexisNexis support team was amazing throughout the implementation of the CounselLink solution,” recalled Stern. “They were incredibly responsive to our questions and requests as we adopted and implemented the system, and here we are six years later and they continue to be there for us through every step of our journey.”
The NuVasive legal team has far surpassed its original goals for leveraging a legal technology solution to help them achieve greater efficiencies in day-to-day operations.
“CounselLink has allowed our department to take so much administrative work off of the plates of our in-house attorneys, which frees them up to focus on higher-value activities that help propel the company forward,” said Stern. “It has also helped us build more collaborative relationships with our outside law firms by smoothing out the invoice and matter management workflow. Every touch point we’ve had with CounselLink has been outstanding.”
Stern points to four primary benefits that NuVasive has realized from CounselLink:
- Time Savings
“The best way I can explain the time savings we have achieved is to point to the success in the management of legal holds, invoice processing, matter tracking and the generation of reports,” said Stern. “Quite frankly, particularly in regard to the legal hold process, it has been the difference between night and day. One of our paralegals described it as essentially a 100% increase in efficiency for managing the notifications and tracking of legal holds.”
- Cost Savings & Compliance
CounselLink is one of the key components to several measures implemented by the NuVasive legal department in recent years to better manage and control the overall spend. Over the course of the time using CounselLink, NuVasive has saved millions and reduced its law firm spend by as much as 40%. One way this happens is via the AI-powered engine that automatically categorizes charges and identifies patterns to better control costs. The system flags any discrepancies between the rate a firm charges and the contracted rate. Moreover, CounselLink automatically applies invoice business rules that govern usual and customary billing for specific outside counsel work. This enables the system to consistently enforce billing guideline compliance, either by automatically adjusting the charges or flagging items for approver review.
“We were able to flag several items on one large matter that resulted in more than $1 million in cost savings to the company,” said Stern. “CounselLink has enabled us to realize several million dollars in cost savings over the years, simply by automating law firm invoice management and compliance.”
- Management Insights
CounselLink’s analytics capabilities gave NuVasive the ability to evaluate and measure their department’s productivity, legal spend and of course law firm performance. “We create and produce a variety of insightful reports that break down our legal spend in various ways and deliver important data trends for further analysis,” said Stern. “Our department leaders are able to use these reports to guide their strategic decision-making, such as whether to handle a matter in-house or assign to outside counsel, whether to litigate a case or not, and other key considerations.”
- Product Support
The NuVasive team was very pleased with the outstanding customer service and technical support they received from the LexisNexis team throughout the implementation and configuration of the solution, as well as the ongoing product support they have continued to receive.
“They’ve assembled a team of professionals who are dedicated to our needs, are extremely responsive every time we request support, and are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure we get what we need from CounselLink,” said Stern. For example, in addition to CounselLink’s customer support and service teams, NuVasive, like all clients, can reach out to the CounselLink Reporting Support team for help with creating, revising, and innovating management reports.
“The breadth of capabilities in CounselLink is truly amazing,” concluded Stern. “The software is highly sophisticated and yet it’s so intuitive to use. The power of CounselLink is so phenomenal that it is difficult to imagine our department operating efficiently without this product.”
LexisNexis® CounselLink® is a leading cloud-based software solution for ELM, including work management, financial management, vendor management, and legal hold solutions designed to help corporate legal departments manage operations while providing analytics and benchmarking tools for better decision-making. Expert professional services and product support teams are available to help users maximize the benefits of their investment. CounselLink also offers tiered package options to address the unique requirements of both large and small legal departments.