In 2019, newly independent Corteva Agriscience became the world’s largest U.S. based pure play agricultural company. Its General Counsel, Cornel B. Fuerer, tasked Thomas A. Warnock (Associate General Counsel Corporate Affairs and Head of Litigation) as well as Gregg McConnell (Head of Legal Operations) to lead the modernization of the company’s legal function. After implementing state-of-the-art matter management and document management systems, Tom and Gregg turned their attention to optimizing how they engage vendors and adopted PERSUIT to drive vendor selection, market based pricing and alternative fees. After its experience with PERSUIT and its eDiscovery vendor selection process described below, Corteva now uses the PERSUIT tool to select outside counsel in virtually all of its matters.
“We take our decisions on our Legal Tech partners very seriously. They have to have a solid foundation, a drive for being a game-changer, a focus on user experience and a culture of disruption in the larger market. These are just some reasons why we chose a partnership with PERSUIT.” – Gregg McConnell
Background and Challenge
In 2019, newly independent Corteva Agriscience became the world’s largest standalone agricultural organization and thus needed to build standardized operating procedures. This included identifying its preferred eDiscovery vendor.
There are hundreds of eDiscovery vendors to choose from; so, the challenge for Corteva was finding either one or several vendors to meet all of its requirements. To tackle the project, Corteva chose PERSUIT’s platform and its sophisticated eDiscovery RFP template.
Quantitative and Qualitative RFP Analysis and Reverse Auction. Corteva leveraged PERSUIT’s RFP software, in part, to solve two core challenges: the qualitative nature in which they compare firms and the quantitatively, how much Corteva will pay for their services.
Corteva leveraged PERSUIT’s expert-crowdsourced 50-item questionnaire to thoroughly understand the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor, determining which vendor was ideal and whether matters required a single-sourced approach or multiple preferred vendors.
Typically the scope of work between clients and eDiscovery vendors contain a number of pricing items, each with varying cost-impacts, which can result in price obscurity. PERSUIT tackles the issue by scoping a hypothetical litigation matter with precisely relevant data and details, in order to get comprehensive price quotes from each vendor on an apples-to-apples basis. Each price quote contains details on individual items and relative cost impact.
Corteva received proposals on the PERSUIT platform, from both vendors and law firms. Through PERSUIT’s sourcing and scoping functionalities, Corteva eliminated 2 vendors from consideration and invited the remaining 8 participants to a reverse auction: a process in which each vendor sees the anonymized prices of the other participants and adjusts accordingly.
In a timed auction period set by Corteva, participating firms adjusted their pricing in response to their competitors’ downward price movements. With firms reducing their prices by as much as 56%, the results were substantial. Reductions occurred over each pricing item within the hypothetical matter, so Corteva could further understand the overall pricing impact.