In-House Legal Teams – Operational Support
In-House Legal Operations. As Director of Legal Operations at Royal Mail plc from 2012 to December 2017, I was responsible for budget management for Group Legal; running all legal panel reviews and other legal appointments alongside the GC; managing Royal Mail’s law firms and other legal services providers; and accountable for all operational aspects of an in-house legal team, including investigating and implementing new technologies.
Over the past few years, I have focused on leading project and business process management in a continually changing, cost conscious environment. Group Legal’s budget has been reduced by 40% in total over five years. The team is still handling the same types and volumes of work but doing things differently.
I implemented Thomson Reuters’ legal spend management and ebilling system, Legal Tracker, in 2015, and in 2017 launched Contract Express (a contract automation tool) following a successful pilot for the commercial team. More recently I have investigated Document Management Systems, unbundling of work initiatives and workflow/triage solutions to further optimize a legal team’s working model.
In January 2018 I attended a 3 day legal project management course with Antony Smith to further my knowledge of this area. I am now globally certified with the Legal Project Practitioner (LPP) certification and am planning to create a half day or full day course on this, specifically aimed at in-house teams.
I am available to work with in-house legal teams on any of the following:
- Driving operational excellence by setting up an in-house legal operations department from scratch or improving what you already have in place – see CLOC legal operations competency diagram
- Working with you to make your in-house team more efficient and effective.
- Assisting you with an unbundling exercise, enabling leaner ways of working.
- Advising you on the various tools available in the marketplace and what might best suit your requirements.
- Reviewing the structure of your internal team and current outsourcing arrangements: is there a better way of working to address the challenges you face?
- Demand management: where is the work coming from and how could you best address this?
- Developing a business plan focussed on enabling you to ‘right-size’ your team, including hiring skilled individuals/non-lawyers for the in-house team of the future.
- Working with you to establish tight budgetary controls, covering both internal and external legal spend.
- Improving business processes and systems to enable budgetary savings and tighter ways of working.
- Enabling a greater focus on MI and data analytics to improve strategic decision-making by creating bespoke reports for GCs and your internal clients.
- Working with you to develop systems and methods to enable you to demonstrate the value/ROI of your team to the C-suite and business heads.
- Buying and implementing suitable legal technology solutions for your function based on your needs and priorities – to include drafting the business case if required. Examples:
- Document Management System
- ebilling solution
- contract automation tool
- triage/front door system.
- Developing a training programme with you to train ‘the lawyer of the future’.
- Training your team on various topics (I am a Faculty Member of the Winmark Global GC Academy):
- Buying, managing and evaluating legal services suppliers
- Effective outsourcing, including setting scope of work and agreeing fees
- Legal project management
- Investigating and implementing legal technology solutions in-house
- Budget-setting, managing and monitoring
- Assisting you with change management and communications if required.
If you wish to have a chat about any of the above, or any other topic that fits broadly into the remit of ‘legal operations’ work, do please contact me.