Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright will launch a legal operations consulting practice led by Stéphanie Hamon, formerly of Barclays. The practice will provide management and operational advice to in-house legal teams at major financial institutions and corporations.
The legal operations consulting practice will be launched in August 2019 and will form part of NRF Transform, the firm’s global change and innovation program.
Stéphanie Hamon, who was previously managing director and head of external engagement, legal, at Barclays will drive the development of this new practice. She has extensive experience of setting and delivering commercial management strategies for in-house legal departments. Stéphanie Hamon led the Barclays team that was named “Legal operations team of the year” at the 2019 UK Legal 500 Awards.
The firm’s new legal operations consulting practice reflects a joint assessment by Norton Rose Fulbright and Stéphanie Hamon regarding the evolution of the role of in-house legal teams, from advising businesses on issues of legal risk and opportunity to a broader role that encompass support for their wider commercial objectives. Driving commercial value – and articulating the legal department’s own value to business stakeholders – is an increasing focus for in-house legal teams, as several trends come together:
- Legal technology has become a real enabler of efficiency and value add
- Separate legal operations teams are introducing new disciplines and organisational approaches
- Businesses are increasingly focusing on extracting maximum return for their legal spend.
The new practice will offer the following core services:
- Strategic legal consulting – advising in-house legal teams on how they can support the wider objectives of the business, and helping to set priorities and a practical vision for programs and initiatives that would support this.
- Legal operations advisory – advising on management of legal operations functions, including best practice legal project management.
- Legal operations delivery – assisting in the delivery of specific projects or mandates made up of work likely to be delivered with the involvement of, or at the request of, a legal operations team.
Martin McCann, Norton Rose Fulbright’s global head of business and global sponsor of NRF Transform, commented:
“For me, the most exciting part of the practice that Stephanie will lead is that it will get us closer to clients. The better we understand our clients’ complete needs, the better we are able to service each aspect of the work we do for them. This will give us maximum insight into clients’ most pressing concerns, and the opportunities to add value, across all of the work we do.”
Stéphanie Hamon commented:
“A GC or legal team has two roles. First, advising on legal risks and opportunities. Second, supporting their company’s wider objectives as a business partner. There are lots of advisors who help manage legal risk, but very few who help with being an effective business partner. Through Legal Operations Consulting, supported by the wider NRF Transform program, Norton Rose Fulbright will now do both.”
David Carter, commercial director at Norton Rose Fulbright and global co-ordinator of NRF Transform, commented:
“Over the last few years we’ve put a lot of effort into changing how we provide services. Along the way we’ve learned a lot in terms of how teams can work in legal environments (including non-lawyers), and the tools that are available to help them. We are now taking everything we have learned, and combining it with Stéphanie’s experience, to provide those insights direct to clients.”
Norton Rose Fulbright has an established track record of leading innovation in legal services. The firm was recently awarded most innovative technology initiative at The Lawyer European Awards 2019.