Alternative In-House Legal Hangout #8 Takeaways – November 2020
In November’s Alternative In-House Legal Hangout, we discussed how legal ops and operational techs can best support the business in the areas of:
- contract life-cycle management;
- email and document management;
- spend management; and
- obtaining the best value for the business (such as e-billing, getting quotes for matters, etc)
Some key takeaways from our panellists were:
1. Adoption of legal ops and operational techs doesn’t have to happen overnight
“There is a benefit to a piecemeal approach to identify pros and cons, but budget is significant too.” – Tamara Franks, Legal Operations Director, Universities Superannuation Scheme
While it can feel organised and controlled to implement change in one fell swoop, by making small changes slowly, it is easier to assess the effectiveness of each change and fine-tune as needed to move in the right direction.
2. Secure support within the business
“Be clear about what your business actually wants and get senior buy-in. It’s important to set up a forum with stakeholders and come to a consensus regarding the scope of what youre doing – it also depends on the nature of your organisation and the size of your teams.” – Richard Thompson, Senior Legal Counsel, SimplyHealth
Change and adoption of new ideas within the business are much smoother when you have the support of senior staff. Taking the time to pitch sugggestions to stakeholdrs and decison-makers pays dividends when it comes to implementing new tech or processes.
3. Don’t lose sight of cost
“Keep an eye on affordabilitiy” – Barry Matthews, SVP General Counsel (UK & EMEA), Meggitt
While it can be easy to get swept up in the winds of change, don’t forget to keep an eye on ROI. Is it worth implementing new legal ops and operational tech if it costs more than it saves in time or money? By adopting the piecemeal approach mentioned above, you can keep tabs on affordability along the way.
4.One size doesn’t fit all
“It depends on the organisation but legal operations can be regional rather than standardised.” – Avi Aggarwal, Head of Legal Domain Architecture, Deutsche Bank
Applying a national standard to an organisation’s in-house legal departments isn’t necessarily the most effective or efficient approach. Regional autonomy can contribute to a mor e tailored method, recognising the needs of individual legal departments and equipping them with the necessary tools to meet their goals.