4 Ways to Improve In-House Legal Department Efficiency

A combination of regulatory complexity, rising expectations and increased demands on legal and compliance teams is driving unprecedented change across organizations and impacting all aspects of legal and corporate compliance.

According to the Legal Outsourcing Outlook 2022, the growing number of legal entities around the world is one of the reasons legal teams are struggling to keep pace with the volume of work. The report reveals that organizations operate as many as 13 entities in North America alone, and dozens more in other regions.

For legal teams, this means having to ensure proper compliance and governance for all of these entities. And while these tasks are often mundane, they are necessary. Failure to perform these duties may result in penalties and business interruption. The problem is compounded by jurisdictional differences in how laws are administered, such as customs and regulations in specific industries, as well as constant regulatory changes.

In the face of these trends, here are four ways your company’s legal department can improve internal service efficiency while continuing to deliver high-quality work.

1. Align strategy with business priorities and needs

Business needs are constantly changing. This is increasingly true if your business operates in multiple jurisdictions. Factors that can affect the business environment include:

  • Market and economic conditions
  • New updated laws and regulations
  • Environmental conditions
  • Public health considerations
  • Social and political changes

Your legal and compliance teams need to communicate frequently with key stakeholders to identify and address business needs and requirements. To help build a strategy for each market, they should buttress these discussions with input from local management and administrators. It should be a continuous exercise. Processes and the teams that oversee them must remain agile and adapt to changing needs.

2. Revisit workflows

Legal services are not exempt from scrutiny. They are increasingly being evaluated based on workflow efficiency.

Whether your team is part of a large or small legal department, even expert professionals struggle to keep track of all the work being done. Effective legal project management requires being able to view all projects, including those assigned to internal departments, external agencies, and external counsel. This allows management to make more informed decisions, such as prioritizing projects and allocating resources accordingly.

Additionally, workflows need to be reviewed to address redundancies and other inefficiencies. Then plan to revisit them at regular intervals to meet changing priorities or use new technologies.

3. Take advantage of technology

Advances in entity management technology have dramatically reduced the burdens on legal and compliance professionals.

Beyond the ability to view and fulfill compliance obligations, these systems also provide the ability to store all company information and documentation in one place, acting as a central repository to manage vital company data. the company. This eliminates the need to switch between systems to access entity information and instead gives these teams easy access to a single source of truth. The right entity management solution can help streamline workflows and provide a way to share business data.

Using a centralized system also ensures that corporate data is protected through tighter system access controls than traditional approaches allow.

4. Consider legal outsourcing

Outsourcing can differentiate your department and improve capacity without increasing overhead. By delegating time-consuming and repetitive tasks, teams can focus on critical, high-value activities and spend more time on the health and growth of the business. This increases productivity, reduces internal processing costs and speeds up project delivery.

According to the 2022 legal outsourcing outlook, companies of all sizes are making more outsourcing use. When surveyed, 93% of corporate legal or compliance departments say they have outsourced work to outside companies in the past three years. The top three critical factors when selecting an outsourced provider are experience (45%), budget/cost (31%) and accessibility (29%).

What kind of supplier do they outsource to? While companies choose different vendors for distinct types of work, legal directors prefer to outsource to more specialized vendors rather than law firms.

Looking forward

In today’s competitive business environment, companies are increasingly looking to their legal teams to deliver agile, responsive, and strategic services. But given the changing demands placed on legal services, the rising tide of outsourcing will continue to rise – and for good reason. Outsourcing can improve capacity without increasing overhead, delegate non-essential tasks, and allow your legal team to spend more time on critical activities. Learn more about the key findings and insights from the Legal Outsourcing Outlook 2022.

With the right partner, you can effectively manage your data to save time and resources and increase ROI, giving you peace of mind so your team can focus on what’s most important.

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