06 February 2019 at 15:07 BST

New global matter standard to provide 'common language'

High-level matter category standards alliance announces first version of its cross-industry standard for in-house counsel and law firms.


The Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance is building matter coding that includes area of law and process codes, which it says will foster innovation and provide consistency for buyers and sellers of legal services – needed for better pricing and analytics.

Three-year effort

SALI say the matter coding structure is unique: structurally consistent, digitized via modern programming interfaces, scalable, extendible, and party-neutral, providing a common language for firms and clients. SALI also announced its intent to publish the second release of the code during the LMA P3 Conference this coming June, which will further extend the taxonomy for location, jurisdiction, and other key business drivers of legal matters. The standard is the culmination of a three-year effort to provide a common language for in-house counsel and law firms. SALI announced the new global standard at a meeting in Microsoft’s office in Manhattan attended by a number of senior industry figures. The initiative has been driven by the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) and the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA).

Major corporate endorsers

Vince Cordo, central legal operations officer at Shell International, said ‘the SALI standard offers a unique coding for matters and simplifies how they can be managed, while improving our data analytics and reporting, digitizing procedures – moving the needle with measurable value. Legal departments are accelerating the innovation process and the SALI standard is an enabler to that end.’ Justin Ergler, Director, global external legal relations, GlaxoSmithKline said, ‘SALI has always been about standardization to drive efficiency and bridge the gap between firm and client. Now that the standard is released, the pace of change will move more quickly.’ Any company or organization can become a member and participate in defining the legal services market through regular SALI standard committee meetings. Membership tiers are offered for clients, law firms, solution providers and other industry stakeholders. Sali endorsers include the ACC; Buying Legal Council; Citigroup; Deutsche Bank; Edge International; Foundation Software Group; LawVision; and Microsoft.


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