1 March 2018

Highlights from the 2018 CLOC EMEA Institute

Events News

The inaugural CLOC EMEA Institute Conference was held on 23 January 2018 in London. A gathering of in-house counsel, lawyers and legal operations professionals, this dynamic and exciting event provided a valuable opportunity to examine and discuss the state of legal operations in the UK and Europe. Lawcadia’s Client Partner, Tracy Van Heer, was fortunate enough to attend and has the following insights to share.

The time for change is now

Legal technology and the role of legal operations have been on the agenda for some time. However, as technology moves past e-billing and AI and legal operations continue to evolve, the appetite for change is noticeably apparent. Connie Brenton, CEO and President of CLOC and Senior Director of Legal Operations at NetApp couldn’t have put it better when she said; “The industry is changing, and the people in this room are changing it”.

GDPR is a hot topic

The EU General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018. And although attendees were confident in their understanding of the need for change, when it comes to achieving actual compliance, they’re keen for more information. Alessandro Galtieri from Colt and Steve Roberts from BT delivered an in-depth discussion about how to approach compliance and its likely impact on procurement activities, putting many minds at rest!

Legal Operations is no longer an optional extra

Rather than being restricted to procurement, the overwhelming theme of the event was the role legal operations will play in tomorrow’s legal industry. The topic was examined in great detail, covering everything from what a legal operations professional does, to the role of metrics and how future legal ops professionals won’t need law degrees to be effective.

Given the strength of conversations in Europe about legal operations, it was great to see attendees participate in robust discussions about how overwhelming implementing legal ops can seem, as well as practical suggestions around implementation and how data can be used to measure the effectiveness of your team and drive departmental transformation.

Overall, the prospect of change is exciting, not frightening

Although General Counsel overwhelmingly expressed the pressure to ‘do more with less’, the overall mood was positive. Many expressed a desire to move beyond e-billing and implement systems that provide more control from the beginning of the engagement process, ensuring legal operations overall become more cost effective and productive. As the member of a growing legal technology team, this was music to my ears and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

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