With Tim Hewitt, Associate General Counsel at Marelli

How Legal Tracker has transformed Marelli’s global management of external legal spend and delivered 100% return on investment


Centralised e-billing and automated reporting

The challenge

Gaining oversight of global expenditure on external counsel

Global automative supplier Marelli was recently formed through the amalgamation of Japanese and Italian automative suppliers. It operates in more than 170 locations worldwide and has approximately 60,000 employees.

When the Covid-19 pandemic created downward pressure on organisational revenues, the legal department needed to reduce unnecessary expenditure and centralise more work internally. One of the main challenges facing Associate General Counsel Tim Hewitt was a lack of global visibility over the types and value of work being assigned to external counsel by his international legal team.

“We didn’t have any global view of our external legal spend,” he recalls. “That was the main driver for why we needed a global matter management system.”

Compounding the problem were the myriad decentralised local processes and finance systems being used across the organisation’s offices. “A secondary goal was to have a bit of discipline around our engagement of external counsel.”

Legal Tracker is an integral part of our ways of working and of managing our external legal spend. I can’t see how we could do it without it

100% return on investment

The range of value-added tools bundled with the centralised matter management system

Ongoing legal budget savings  

Legal Tracker enabled the legal team to deliver more value-added services to the business



The solution

A centralised global matter management platform with innovative tools

Hewitt reviewed different products in the market that could help Marelli achieve greater oversight of its engagements with law firms around the world. Early on, he determined that Legal Tracker was the best solution for his multinational organisation.

“Everyone uses Legal Tracker. There is no other solution that is so encompassing for all the law firms we use globally,” he says. “Given that all the law firms use it, everyone is familiar with it, and the investment that goes into it, it was a no-brainer for us to choose Legal Tracker.”

Marelli partnered with Thomson Reuters to ensure the software was successfully deployed across the multinational organisation. Thomson Reuters’ Legal Tracker team worked closely with Marelli’s finance teams to map their disparate local processes and then centralise e-billing through the platform. “Mapping that all out was a colossal undertaking,” Hewitt recalls. 

It really helped us to understand our organisation in a way that we didn’t before.

The results

100% return on investment and ongoing legal budget savings

Legal Tracker has far exceeded Hewitt's expectations. The range of value-added tools bundled with the centralised matter management system — including e-billing, budgeting, data analytics and automated reports — have helped him to monitor and manage his legal budget much more efficiently and effectively. 

Legal Tracker is an integral part of our ways of working and of managing our external legal spend. I can’t see how we could do it without it

Hewitt mandated at the outset that every external engagement be processed through the global enterprise software. This centralisation decision dramatically simplified Marelli’s processes for onboarding, instructing and paying law firms. The global matter management dashboard has also given him and other senior stakeholders much greater oversight of external legal spend. 

It's incredible. We now have a global view of all of the law firms that we use and why we are using them

This global oversight has helped Hewitt to assess his legal department’s budgetary requirements in unprecedented ways. “Legal Tracker has given us an as accurate as possible snapshot of our legal spend. We can do forecasting in ways that we could never do before, so we can control our costs in ways that we could never do before. And this at a time where we are measured by our costs control and shifting some of our external spend to internal spend.”

The net result is that the software has more than covered the investment required to implement it.

Our external counsel spend has gone down over the past year. So there has been a cost saving — Legal Tracker has paid for itself

The platform regularly delivers data-driven insights that help Hewitt to continuously find ways to better manage his in-house legal team and outside counsel. “I get a report once a week which shows me all new matters. If I think there is something questionable or that we didn’t need to engage external counsel on, I’ll send a little note to the person on that team and say ‘what was that for, was it really needed?’”

Hewitt says he would not hesitate in recommending Legal Tracker to other international organisations, particularly those wanting to increase control over external legal spend. He notes that fragmented local finance systems should not be a deterrent, thanks to the excellent support provided by Thomson Reuters in mapping finance processes and centralising them in Legal Tracker.  

If you are measured against your ability to reduce your external spend, I don’t know know how you could do without a system like Legal Tracker. You wouldn't have the analytics or the data that Legal Tracker provides to be able to make those assessments yourself.
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