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ARTICLE | Between the Client and the Vendor

Practice Group Streamlines to Set Up Service Contracts

By: Douglas Levy, Michigan Lawyers Weekly

12/21/15

One of Michigan's biggest firms has developed a unique practice team that focuses on drafting and negotiating its business clients' agreements with virtually every kind of vendor — from human resources service contracts to sponsorship deals to armored delivery work.

Utilizing a streamlined intake and workflow process, Bodman PLC's Enterprise Procurement Group has been able to lift a lot of the grunt work from in-house counsel while also giving the companies a solid budget from which to work.

And business has boomed. The group processed more than 1,500 transactions in 2015 as of November — a 40 percent increase from two years ago. Thirteen attorneys are on its staff roster, including three recently hired as associates.

"When you get into some of the organizations, their procurement is very substantial on a daily and annual basis, in terms of spending, number of contracts and number of vendors," said Ralph E. McDowell, chair of Detroit-based Bodman. "Our group assists to centralize, organize and standardize functions that can often get bogged down in a company."