As GCs become more commercial and strategic, a legal hub should be seen as the operating system of the corporate legal team—it’s the platform that redefines the way that the legal team and its lawyers work, manage and engage.

For some time now, it has been the norm for legal departments to have to do more with less. Resource hasn’t always kept up with demand, as in-house lawyers are tasked not only with providing everyday legal services, but also with acting as strategic advisers to the organisation. The impact of Covid-19 will likely exacerbate these pressures and place extra reliance on lawyers to undertake more risk management within their business.

Corporate legal teams are having to respond to these shifting trends while continuing to master their key objectives. Legal departments are increasingly recognising the need to move towards becoming leaner, more dynamic, more commercial and operationally focused. To demonstrate value to their wider organisation, particularly in challenging times, GCs must run their legal function like a business. Strategic planning, financial management and having complete visibility of your team’s workload are critical competencies for optimising your legal operations. Legal technology is the cornerstone upon which these and other competencies depend and will help in not only optimising the delivery legal services but will also enhance operational productivity and effectiveness.

Of course, with resources so limited, in-house teams should look to adopt technology that can offer the greatest possible return on investment, both for the legal team and the wider business. Legal operations technology that incorporates a centralised platform can help you to meet that challenge.

When evaluating new legal technology, it’s worth noting that legal teams often struggle with point solutions, which may offer faster speed of delivery, but they are inflexible, lack interoperability and create data silos. Such solutions usually only offer value to one department and are rarely useful to the business at large. Platforms, on the other hand, enable you to deliver multiple legal and business solutions in a single, unified user experience. Legal operations platforms can easily adapt to, and optimise, existing workflows, providing scalability as your business evolves.

Adopting a platform strategy offers legal teams the opportunity to create a legal hub of multiple tools, resources and solutions. The platform optimises the team’s efficiency and enables them to focus on the right information in real time so they can quickly and more effectively respond to the needs of the business.

These central legal hubs should be thought of as your legal front door, serving not only your legal team, but empowering business users to engage with the legal function and access legal services. The legal hub should streamline external counsel management by creating a central location for collaboration on key projects.

As the legal team takes on more work in house and demonstrates value to the business, the legal hub delivers efficiency to these four key areas:

  • Business engagement and enablement
  • Legal management, collaboration and productivity
  • Contract, asset and risk management
  • External counsel management

A legal hub, built on a platform, empowers in-house lawyers and legal operations teams to stay in control of the legal function and offers tools to adapt to the shifting corporate legal landscape. GCs, legal operations professionals and legal teams that leverage a platform to build their legal hub will be able create a series of dedicated legal operations solutions that drive greater efficiency, effectiveness and value of the legal function.

The legal hub helps legal teams respond promptly and effectively to business needs, work more productively and collaboratively, account to the business for their performance, manage and mitigate risk, and optimise engagement with their external counsel firms. The end result is a highly efficient and effective legal team that is helping their organisation succeed.

About the author

Agustin Sanchez
Senior Proposition Manager – Legal & Compliance, Thomson Reuters