13 February 2023

Changing the perception of the in-house legal team from a cost centre to a value centre

Insights Resources

In the current environment, it is now more important than ever to demonstrate that the legal department can provide significant value to the organisation and is not just a cost centre.

The legal department can look to the procurement function for inspiration in demonstrating value in the business’s language. While value generated and cost savings are high on the metrics that procurement uses to justify their impact, so too are cost avoidance, speed to contract, supply chain risk, vendor performance, and increasingly ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors.

For in-house counsel, according to the 2022 Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index, their highest priority is controlling outside counsel costs (85%) and considering the use of technology to simplify workflow and manual processes (71%). The accomplishment of these goals needs to be married with reporting and analytics to showcase the efficiencies and cost savings obtained.

To achieve this proactively rather than reactively, it is essential to have a plan. Identify the areas that can provide the most significant benefits and lead to successful outcomes. Prioritise opportunities for quick wins, such as the “low-hanging fruit”.

Each of these requirements can be championed with Lawcadia’s legal operations platform:

Spend management

Adopting an innovative approach to legal spend management can help legal departments work collaboratively with their law firms to manage external matters, budgets and spend. Lawcadia helps legal departments benefit from a secure, shared interface to collaborate with law firms on instructions, budgets, the scope of work, variations, invoices, documents, and status updates.

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) can be sent directly to their firm of choice or issued to two or more firms for competitive responses. Then compare ‘apples with apples’ using automated comparison reports to highlight pricing, scope, and project management variations. Value is proven through lowered costs for external counsel and objectively demonstrating that the right law firm was chosen, especially when variables other than price are important considerations.

Matter management

Whilst managing a matter can be done manually, it is becoming best practice for in-house legal teams to use a consistent and structured process for receiving, managing, and monitoring legal matters using legal operations software. Lawcadia’s intelligent matter management platform is purpose-built for in-house legal teams, which precipitates the seamless ability to create, prioritise and track legal matters.

Tasks can be automatically created to ensure that key steps are documented for certain matter types. Notes, matter updates, emails and documents are all stored and accessed within the matter workspace – for team members with the appropriate access. Allowing for easy tracking and updating of matter statuses and prioritising workload, legal teams can respond proactively to changing internal demands and requirements. As a result, Lawcadia provides a single source of truth within an easy-to-use platform.

The ability to streamline and simplify the management of legal matters makes it easier for legal teams to stay organised and keep track of important information. Value is created through time-saving efficiencies because, as we know, time equals money. Risk mitigation is also valuable as a structured process and management system minimises the risk of something being overlooked or falling through the cracks. Furthermore, automated communications assist with improving service delivery and can ensure compliance.

Legal intake & triage

Lawcadia offers an off-the-shelf intake solution to handle general legal requests coming from the business, incorporating simple Outlook intake functionality. Streamline the entire legal intake process enabling ease of use for internal business users and providing visibility and controls over law firm engagement and legal spend for the entire legal function. Solve common business frustrations such as duplicated requests, multiple emails, a need for adherence to approval processes and manual data handling by automating key aspects of your intake, triage, communication and even the generation of documents.

The overall goal of intake and triage is to enable in-house legal teams to receive accurate instructions quickly, delegate work appropriately, allocate resources and ensure the efficient delivery of services and the resolution of matters in a timely and cost-effective manner. In-house lawyers can be relieved of low-value and monotonous tasks and focus their attention on more strategic and valuable activities.

Reporting & analytics

Providing high-value analytics and metrics allows businesses to take decisive action based on data-driven insights. Identifying potential risks, quantifying the cost savings provided by the team, justifying the requirement for increasing headcount, and improving overall cross-business collaboration all prove the legal team’s value.

Data and metrics is a language that business leaders understand, and it is vital that the General Counsel can bring dashboards and reports that visually highlight performance and impact. Lawcadia provides ready-to-go business intelligence reporting and dashboards that automatically capture, collate, and display metrics on demand.

Conclusion

Being proactive and delivering high-quality work in a timely manner while lowering overall cost is the solution to change the cost versus value dynamic. Simplifying and automating time-consuming manual tasks and providing detailed metrics to major business stakeholders quantifies the work achieved and shows the in-house team leads from the value-add front.

 

Change from a cost centre to a value centre

The Ultimate Legal Operations Guide for In-House Counsel in 2022

To help in-house counsel navigate and improve the operations and performance of their legal function, Lawcadia has published this special whitepaper. Download an unrestricted copy now.

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