Legal operations consulting
The efficient delivery of legal services and management of an in-house function
Legal operations consulting applies business principles and new ways of working to help you optimise the delivery of legal services to your organisation. The greater efficiencies achieved enable GCs and in-house teams to go beyond managing legal risk and become a business partner, supporting the wider objectives of the business.
Key business principles
Most legal departments will be at different levels of maturity – excelling in some areas but not others. The first step is to identify where you are currently and, more importantly, where you want to get to. A tailored roadmap can then be developed to get you there.
Our Legal Operations Maturity Pyramid – inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – illustrates the various stages of maturity for in-house legal departments.
Each of the components of the pyramid represents a key building block in your journey to becoming a strategic business partner.
By managing your function like a business, such as providing KPIs to your business teams so they know at all times the progress on legal advice they have asked of you, you deliver more value.
In practice, this means:
- Setting up an operating framework to support the growth of your business and related demand on the legal team (such as: triage of demand, risk matrix for intake, allocation of work internally/externally, use of legal tech and use of legal project management methodology)
- Providing transparency and vision to the business on how you are running your function, for instance developing appropriate KPIs to articulate the cost of legal to a business unit
- Delivering efficiency gains and demonstrating the value that your function – and its key law firm partners and vendors – are delivering, such as process mapping for key legal tasks and workflow to ensure speedy completion of contracting
Strategic legal consulting
Advice on how your function(s) can support the wider objectives of your business (the top of the pyramid)
Legal operations advisory
Advice on the management of your legal operations function(s) (the middle of the pyramid)
Legal operations delivery
Assistance in the delivery of your projects which require legal operations resources (the bottom of the pyramid)
The benefits of legal operations
You can achieve more with less by leveraging new methodologies, process and tools
Manage your function(s) more effectively by sharing information across your business more easily and transparently than before
Ensure you have the right people, processes and structures in place for new technology
While the stature of in-house legal teams at financial institutions has increased post crisis, Barclays in particular under Hoyt has been widely considered as having one of the more forward-thinking and innovative legal departments. [….]. The most obvious manifestation of this was the banking giant’s final panel review in mid-2018 ahead of a long-planned phasing out of formal reviews by 2021. Alongside Hoyt, operations leaders Stéphanie Hamon (now at Norton Rose Fulbright), […] led on Barclays’ reshaping, generating savings believed to run into the tens of millions of pounds.
Legal Business, 22 July 2020
I very much appreciated working with Stéphanie and her team. It was refreshing and encouraging to have someone with first-hand experience who understood the challenges and was able to provide concrete steps on how to advance and address topics. I particularly appreciated her ability to interface between legal and the business as well as her ability to articulate legal value and vision to business stakeholders.
A Regional GC of a global financial institution
Legal Ops…Real Stories
Episode 1: Legal Ops...Real Stories with Angela Yuen
Legal work needs to be allocated efficiently and effectively, to the right resources and for the right price.
Episode 2: Legal Ops...Real Stories with Samantha Thompson
There is more to legal than meets the eye and, as the ‘guardians of reputation’, the in-house legal team should be engaged far earlier in the conversation to provide a holistic viewpoint, and add value.
Episode 3: Legal Ops...Real Stories with Richard Crabb
The importance of getting the basics right, as well as highlighting the need for law firms to move beyond providing only traditional legal services to offering support in a more well-rounded way, addressing the ever evolving complex nature of in-house teams’ challenges.
In 2021, we launched our Legal Operations Roundtable Series, hosted by Stephanie Hamon, Head of Legal Operations Consulting. The series of discussions looks at practical issues affecting GCs and in-house counsel, providing useful tips and tools to help them become strategic business partners, the opportunity to network with their peers and share their experiences.
Due to the success of the series, we have continued the sessions into 2022 by popular demand. The next discussion will cover “Articulating the value the in-house team provides: the power of story-telling" on 26 May.
You can browse some of the resources from previous sessions below.
Legal project management
In the face of unprecedented financial and budgetary challenges, GCs are under pressure to deliver greater control, predictability, accountability, and responsiveness from their external legal service providers.
The 7 pitfalls of document automation
Document and contract automation is one of, if not, the most accessible of the digital transformation capabilities on the market for any GC and in-house team.
If you ask five in-house lawyers what knowledge management is, you are likely to get five different answers.
Legal work streams
When considering the approach to managing legal work streams – namely the day-to-day performance of legal work – it can be difficult to know where to start.
GCs and in-house teams often ask the question, ‘How do I evidence my legal department’s value to the business and not be seen purely as a cost centre?’
Legal team management
In-house legal teams are expected to manage complex business and legal challenges and risks in an increasingly volatile and uncertain environment, never more so than during the pandemic.
Communication and collaboration
Many in house teams experience a disconnect between the reality of their role and the value they bring to the business, and what the business understands and expects from them.
Demand management and work allocation
Legal work needs to be allocated efficiently and effectively, to the right resources and for the right price however this can be a challenge unless in-house teams know.