Optimising the way your legal departments operates can be a tedious process if not planned and implemented well. It used to be that only large corporate law departments could afford to optimise the delivery of their legal services by hiring dedicated legal operations functions. However, nowadays, with the right technology, even small legal departments can innovate, without taking time away from […]
What is Legal Operations?
If you are part of a legal department, you are probably already dealing with Legal Operations, whether or not you know it as such.
To answer the question” What is Legal Operations?”, it’s important to make a distinction between the two things legal departments focus on. The first is legal work like providing legal advice, managing litigation and/or performing contract review. The second is the strategic prioritisation of work, resource management, technology management, ensuring alignment with the companies’ goals, and so on. The latter is Legal Operations.
For companies operating several departmental databases, there is the prevalent issue of decentralized contract management whereby contract information is scattered around the buisiness. And should a potential investor come along or a merger take place, that issue becomes a big problem – especially for the legal department. This very well could have been the case for Elisabeth Hondius, legal head of biopharmaceutical company, MSD. She recalls how she used to have enough difficulty finding information as it was before her company merged with another. A familiar plight for in-house lawyers everywhere, she says many departments would manage their own contracts, giving her little insight and control.
If you think your job is more demanding and time consuming than a year ago, you are not alone. About 3/4 of in-house lawyers say workloads have increased compared to 2016. The question is, how can small legal departments cope with this increasing workload? For small legal departments that lack the budget to increase headcount or outsource legal work, this increased demand for legal services from their businesses means more operative work, often at the expense of providing strategic counsel. In fact, many GCs are only able to spend 32% of their time providing strategic counsel while more than 50% of their time is spent on admin tasks like filing, searching for documents and sending emails.
Are you searching for a tool to track and manage personal data processes within your organization? With GDPR organizations need to have systems and processes in place that keep data safe and help you mitigate the risks of a data breach. Obligations for both data controllers and processors have increased, resulting in an increased risk for companies where they will have to deal with a growing amount of claims from data subjects but also have to revise their liability policies. Luckily, technology can help you stay on top of your data processes and breaches to avoid sanctions. The nature and amount of data processing makes manually monitoring personal data impossible.