Afternoon Coffee: Sears to Consider Last-Gasp Bid at Auction Next Week; Elevate Acquires Flexible Lawyering Platform Halebury

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On Tuesday, an attorney for Sears Holding Corp. told a bankruptcy judge that the $4.4 billion offer by ex-CEO Eddie Lampert will be considered next week as the retailer moves forward with an auction, The Wall Street Journal reports. The auction Monday is conditioned on Lampert providing a $121 million deposit by tomorrow afternoon, the attorney said.

New Legal Services Supply Chain Emerging

Elevate, an L.A.-based provider of legal consulting, technology and other services, announced its acquisition of UK-based Halebury. Founded in 2007, Halebury is what has become called a “lawyer on demand” provider, offering temporary lawyers. The acquisition will round out Elevate’s portfolio of offerings, particularly in the area of providing temporary legal staff versus consulting and technology.

The acquisition also will expand Elevate’s international footprint and bring its headcount to about 1,000 globally. Elevate reports that it is the most-used law company according to the 2017 State of the Industry Survey published by the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC).

The move is another development in the ongoing transformation of the legal services supply chain (“NewLaw”), as corporate law departments turn to a fast-growing landscape of new external technology and service providers to improve efficiency and performance.

Over the past years, many “alternative legal service providers” (ALSPs) have emerged to support law departments, and the Big-4 also have moved into legal services with possibly disruptive effects. To learn more about these developments refer to Spend Matters’ earlier three-part series, Cutting Big Law Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Falls

The Institute of Supply Management this week reports that the services sector grew in December but at a slower pace that in recent months. ISM’s non-manufacturing index fell to 57.6 last month and was 60.7 in November. Economists had expected the ISM non-manufacturing index to slip to 59 in December, CNBC reports, which also said that ISM’s manufacturing index, released last week, fell to its lowest level since November 2016.

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