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In-House Legal Operations

In-House Legal OperationsIn-House Legal Operations.  Many GCs will have heard about legal operations and will appreciate its importance and the benefits that can be achieved. However, some GCs may not have the budget – or appetite – to either recruit a permanent legal operations executive or bring in one of the Big Four (or similar firm) to assist them in this area. This is where I could help on an ad hoc or interim basis.

As Director of Legal Operations at Royal Mail plc from 2012 to 2018, 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.

During those years, I focused on leading project and business process management in a continually changing, cost conscious environment. The legal budget at Royal Mail was reduced by 40% over five years. The team is still handling the same types and volumes of work but doing things differently. Whether handling the work in-house or outsourcing it, ways of working had to change.

Legal Project Practitioner (LPP) certificationI 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.

More recently, I have worked on strategic reviews of corporate legal teams’ legal operations maturity levels (see the CLOC wheel below), advising them on organisational design,  legal panel arrangements/reviews, legal spend management, process improvements and legal technology usage – all options tailored to optimise their team’s working model. I carried out a full scale ebilling solution relaunch for a UK client in 2019 and again for a global bank in 2021.

Although I have managed numerous projects highly effectively over many years, in 2018 I attended a three day legal project management course with Antony Smith to increase my ‘text book’ knowledge of this area. I am now globally certified with the Legal Project Practitioner (LPP) certification. View certification on About Us page

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/professionals for the in-house team of the future. Not all of these will be qualified lawyers.
  • 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. I can work with known and respected technology implementation partners if the solution is large-scale. Examples:
    • Document Management System
    • ebilling or legal spend management solution
    • legal procurement/RFP tool
    • contract automation tool/contract lifecycle management solution
    • triage/front door system.
  • Developing a training programme with you to train ‘the lawyer of the future’.
  • Training your team on various topics:
    • Buying, managing and evaluating legal services suppliers
    • Effective outsourcing, including setting scope of work and agreeing fees
    • Legal project management
    • Legal process improvements
    • 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 In-House Legal Operations or any of the above, or indeed any other topic that fits broadly into the remit of ‘legal operations’ work, do please contact me.

CLOC Diagram - In-House Legal Operations;

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