How technology can increase legal risk management efficiency

published on Legal Risk Management
As General Counsel, you’re often required to provide credible and dependable assessments of legal risks facing the organization. However, more often than not, it’s difficult to pull together a reliable view of where your company’s legal risks lie. Data is often hidden on various hard drives and emails. Workflows are manual with poor legal controls. And it takes time to get an up-to-date overview of the status of contract agreements, claims.

The truth is that inefficiency plagues many businesses, but technology can help!

According to the “Looking Glass Report” by Eversheds, increasing efficiency is the top strategic priority for 68 percent of in-house legal departments. When it comes to how technology can enhance their work, in-house counsel respondents said technology would improve information storage and retrieval (87 percent), improve the automation of routine work (61 percent) and create better workflow management (60 percent) – all key activities that are at the core of an effective risk management plan.

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Here are 3 ways technology can increase risk management efficiency and help you implement a structured way of collecting the legal data to identify, track and report on risk.

 

1. Quick & Accurate Data Collection

The consistent collection of relevant data is critical to the success of legal risk management. Not only does data help you identify a particular legal risk, but is can also be leveraged proactively to control future risk and ensure your readiness in the event of litigation.

One of the easiest ways to ensure you have a clear map of all the relevant data is to consolidate data in a secure online repository that is set up to manage specific legal matters. For example, if you’re using a claim management tool to standardize how your organization conducts itself, you can quickly view of all correspondence related to a claim.

When it comes to information (data), in-house counsel needs to understand:
  • what data (documents, emails, etc.) the company and its employees have
  • where data is located, stored, shared and managed, including text messages, employee mobile devices and hard drives, human resource documents, audit records and cloud services
  • who is responsible for the various types of data
  • what data is necessary for the ongoing operations of the company, both in terms of business and legal operations
 

2. Increase Collaboration to Identify & Control Risk

Collaboration is key to the success of any risk management plan. The reasons to involve various departments, employees and stakeholders in risk management is two-fold: to help you get a comprehensive view of risk across your entire company and to empower everyone in controlling it.

It’s crucial to have a clear picture of who has an impact on risk. With a centralized repository, you can easily pull up an overview of all entities and related subsidiaries at any point in time and generate organizational charts. You can also create detailed reports to help you identify the people who negotiate contracts, make decisions or participate in specific workflows where there is risk exposure.

Secondly, with limited resources, it’s impossible to review every clause on every contract without becoming an administrative bottleneck. Technology can empower your colleagues to be more self-sufficient in managing their legal risks so that you can take a more managerial approach.

For example, you can assign ownership of risk controls and mitigation activities to other departments while retaining control over the management of legal matters.

Furthermore, replacing manual systems for contract, entity and claim management (which can expose you to human error and non-compliance) with automated workflow processes and templates, can greatly reduce your exposure to risk.

3. Proactive Risk Tracking & Reporting

Finally, it’s important that you are able to see an overview of risks that relate to each legal matter. When all of your legal information is in a central place, you can keep on top of key obligations with alerts or reports so you never miss another notice period or deadline.

With a smart repository you can quickly review and report on business objectives, and demonstrate the strategic and financial impact of risk management. You can also build in risk reporting protocols to highlight areas of concern, change, emerging threats and opportunities to enable effective decision making and proactive risk management.

Conclusions

Technology can help in-house legal counsel increase risk management efficiency and proactivity. Quick data collection, collaborate and reporting can help you identify, assess and manage risk. helping GCS achieve objectives and produce viable and tangible solutions to managing risk.

By implementing a systematic and structured risk management plan you can encourage proactive management of business processes that aim to protect your business, while increasing the possibility of achieving business objectives. Not sure where to start? Get the “7 Steps to Manage Legal Risk” guide today.



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