The 'Right' Vendor Management Best Practices: Like Tesla vs. Edison in a Law Firm Relationship Battle

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: February 04, 2020
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  • Cultures and philosophies that drive different law firm management practices
  • Key law firm management best practices
  • What's the "one right way"?

Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: February 4, 2020


Tesla and Edison were two of the biggest innovators in the 20th century who happened to have very different views on the same subject. Kind of like many legal departments, some of whom put the utmost importance on law firm relationships while others lean more toward law firm efficiencies. In this session, we’ll explore the benefits and downsides of these two views with a debate from corporate legal clients on different ends of the vendor management spectrum.

This program was recorded as part of's Legalweek Conference on February 4th, 2020.

Provided By



Preston McGowan

Chief Transformation Officer
Goldberg Segalla

Preston McGowan is an accomplished operations executive with deep expertise in transforming core, legacy operations at some of the world's largest financial services corporations. As the chief transformation officer at Goldberg Segalla, Preston facilitates the optimization of enterprise business processes and accelerates business strategy execution with the advanced application of information technology and analytics.

Before joining the firm, Preston was senior vice president and Project Management Office senior manager at Chubb & Son. In this role, he was responsible for providing strategic leadership to all IT initiatives and leading a project management center of excellence.

Prior to accepting this role, Preston led Chubb's Claim Litigation Management Unit which provided centralized management of legal counsel utilization and spend. He joined Chubb in 2003 and also held leadership roles in marketing and corporate strategy.

Preston began his professional career as an INROADS intern and management trainee with the former Continental Insurance. In 1994, Preston joined CIGNA Healthcare of Georgia to build and direct its IT and Workflow Management department that provided systems and operational solutions for the HMO's southeast region. In 1998, he returned to New Jersey to join Prudential Financial as an operational risk management consultant where he led several engagements focused on the company's transformation from a mutual to a public company. In 2001, Preston joined Advisen Ltd., an insurance-focused technology startup, where he served as vice president of operations and directed the firm's project management office.

Preston earned a B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, where he was chapter president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and went on to earn an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was president of the Wharton African American M.B.A. Association. He also holds a Management of Technology diploma from the Georgia Institute of Technology and executive education certificates from Harvard Business School and Wharton/INSEAD.

Kevin Iredell

Chief Marketing Officer
Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Kevin Iredell brings to the CMO role a strong background in and hands-on knowledge of marketing, communications, branding, business development, operations, and public relations–all with a specific focus on demonstrating ROI. At Lowenstein, he drives growth across business units by creating and executing firm-wide and practice-group strategic plans and leading the marketing and business development team through strategic resource allocation, creative campaigns, and marketing technology platform optimization.

Kevin’s broad perspective is derived from his experience in leadership roles inside and outside of the legal industry. He has led marketing and business development at two other AmLaw 200 firms; he also developed and led the marketing research and measurement group of Greentarget, a national public relations firm. Earlier, Kevin served as Vice President of Legal Intelligence & Marketing at ALM Media, where he was responsible for marketing, social media, communications, and market intelligence programs across all of ALM’s publications and web sites, including The American Lawyer and

Christopher Ende

Chief Value Officer
Goulston & Storrs

As Chief Value Officer, Christopher Ende leads Goulston & Storrs’ strategic initiatives relating to pricing structures, legal project management, practice innovation, and profitability analysis. Chris collaborates across all firm legal practices and professional departments to deliver increased value to clients through innovative fee arrangements, process improvement, and data analytics. He works directly with clients to deliver tailored pricing solutions and service delivery models that align incentives and facilitate successful outcomes. Chris draws on his knowledge gained as an in-house legal operations leader to effectively design win-win solutions.

Chris has deep experience in the business of law and brings a “voice of the client” perspective to the firm. Chris previously led the outside counsel spend management program for a Fortune 15 company where he developed strategies to optimize outside counsel spend, including designing a preferred provider program, building an award-winning, custom application to drive data-driven selection of outside counsel, and designing metrics to measure performance and value. He also held a senior leadership position at an alternative legal services provider where he developed solutions for corporate legal departments to improve operational efficiency and reduce legal costs. Prior to those roles, Chris built and led the global pricing and project management program at an Am Law 50 law firm.

Mark Smolik

General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
DHL Supply Chain Americas

Mark Smolik leads the company’s legal, commercial contracts management, compliance, and economic development teams. He also serves as Global Chair of the company’s Supply Chain Legal Services Practice Group. The company employs 48,000 associates throughout the Americas and provides third party logistics, supply chain management, and contract packaging services to many of the world’s largest companies. The company also provides general management, professional back-office support and creative marketing services through its Williams Lea TAG operations.

Prior to joining DHL, Mark served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer of Safelite Autoglass where he also led the Human Resources and Government Affairs departments. Prior to joining Safelite, Mark served as Senior Corporate Counsel with The Sherwin-Williams Company.

Mark received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Carroll University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Columbus 2020, the economic development organization for the eleven county Columbus, Ohio region. Mark also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of Logigforce, and the Board of Visitors of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He is a frequent speaker, and the author of several publications, on the changing dynamics of the legal industry.

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