Friday, May 27, 2011

Teaming up for success with legal services outsourcing - CPA Global

Jason Williams

CHIEF OF STAFF, Deutsche Bank

I moved to my current position in the legal department of Deutsche Bank six years ago. My background is in the psychology of business and have had a series of change management functions in the organization before, especially in finance and risk management divisions. As a non-lawyer, my current role is to help oversee the daily operation of the legal department and result in change management projects, including initiatives, new technology or new ways of working.

In the past three years, has added project management approach within the internal legal departments and an emphasis on business-oriented forms of work processes. The use of technology - for example, document management or contract drawing tools - has become key. The technology needs to support business processes. It's about doing more with less.

A new perspective :
The change is necessary. Already in the last two or three years, there has been a small revolution in the legal profession. The increased use of technology and implementation of an external legal process - also known as outsourcing of legal services (LSO) - are just two examples.

In my previous roles at Deutsche Bank, emphasized both the minimization of risks or costs. But in my current role, I am able to bring those two things together. It is a matter of keeping costs down while ensuring that the department is able to provide legal services properly.

Traditionally, many home computers simply turn to their favorite outside counsel when they need legal support. Now it is to apply the proper remedy for work and the risks involved - or 'smart-sourcing "as we call it.

We have two types of intelligent outsourcing solutions. We have our own captive offshore handling our trading functionality of the document, but also use LSO vendors such as World CPA in India or in other jurisdictions, when it simply is not profitable or necessary to manage the work home.

However, it would be wrong to suggest that you can just go over the work to a vendor. You need to work in collaboration with its suppliers to ensure they understand their strategy and direction of your business. The same applies to external law firms - and their internal team.

Only by understanding how people work can really drive change in the culture of a department or a business. The psychologist Kurt Lewin, proposed a theory for change: is needed to unfreeze the way you work, adapt and then freeze again. But for this to work effectively, it is also necessary to involve staff in the process. It is important not to leave people behind, they need to adapt to new working methods, otherwise, it is natural to slip back into old habits.

The approach also has to be consistent throughout the organization as a whole. I work in Europe, Middle East and Africa, including a total of 200 employees, but senior members of the legal department in other places in which Deutsche Bank operates also the introduction of these changes.

Is a global effort led by the director of global operations of the Legal Department, Rosa Battaglia. In his view, the organization needed to rethink the way it structured its remedies, for all sat together - Rose, myself and others - to review the way the legal department worked. We first saw the document drafting process was broken into its constituent parts and implement solutions, including the London Symphony Orchestra, to improve efficiency. It is not just a matter of making cost savings in the short term, but also ensuring that the legal department is prepared for the future and how the business will change. You can not only have a short-term strategy.

New processes:
As a backdrop to all this, of course, is the environment in the banking sector is currently operating. Regulatory requirements are not going to disappear, in fact, will grow over the next two, five and 10 years. Deutsche Bank has to obtain the resources, and processes in place now if we are to meet future regulatory requirements.

At the same time, the legal department of the needs of different capabilities that were perhaps necessary in the past. Today, one can not give legal advice, the lawyers also have to be managers - both internal teams and external resources as well as suppliers of LSO. Part of my role is to work with others in the department to ensure that lawyers soft skills evolve so they can assume these new responsibilities.

In a way, Deutsche Bank has benefited from a motor earlier in this field. We noticed changes in the industry and understand that by reviewing our legal services and the introduction of LSO from the beginning, then we would be able to achieve much more and much faster progress. For example, working in collaboration with suppliers LSO, we have been able to create processes to meet our specific needs.

It is important to remember that the introduction of new forms of work is not just about changing the process. You've also got to bring people with you. His department has to feel comfortable with the solutions we're proposing, because if not, adopt. However, at the same time, we must make them understand that, one way or another, the change will happen. As an organization, you can choose to change or continue to lead others. We do not claim to be followers.

Gary Nelson


Much of the justification for granting the overall responsibility for Medtronic house legal function of a lawyer was not driven by common sense. As for legal risks from a risk management perspective, for example, is very similar to the way we look at it from a legal perspective. It is natural that we try to centralize our practices and to build common databases and assets.

A similar story applies when looking at financial management. The risk management function of Medtronic has always involved a fair amount of work based on finances, budget, etc.. By necessity - for both legal costs and risks are quite high in medical technology - there has been a growing interest in the management of expenditure and cost in the legal department in recent years. In general, the Department needs to find better ways to manage and monitor budgets, so it made sense to call upon the skills already developed by the team of risk management.

On the basis of two examples, of course, is the need to incorporate project management in the organization of the judiciary as a whole. If a practice or a piece of technology works in one area, then you should also think about using it in broader terms or to address major challenges. That's why, for example, Medtronic pools all your financial information in one place, implementing common technology when it makes sense to do so throughout the organization, and coordinates all of its annual planning through a centralized function. We are now applying the same approach to the legal department as well.

However, it would be wrong to suggest that it is a relatively new practice for a corporate legal department to be headed by a chief not legal. I've been working at Medtronic for 17 years before a finance and risk management capacity, and my mixed paper to oversee risk management and legal operations are formalized almost a decade. Since then, I've overseen by an international team of legal staff of 275, including risk management and compliance staff and around 125 lawyers, covering 250 facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and East Asia.

Free management:
It is natural to assume that there may be a reluctance on the part of lawyers to work with a non-executive graduated law, but I have not found this to be the case. In fact, they are very open to it. Frankly, much of the work managed by the department of legal operations of Medtronic's not really the work that lawyers are trained to do first. In any case, part of his role as manager is to create trust and good relationships over time - this work can not be done without that atmosphere of trust.

By remaining separate legal work everyday, we are also able to focus on management issues at the big picture. Turning to the budget, for example, we pass a number of management initiatives in progress. This includes sitting with all our key partners outside lawyers to see the budgets and work plans. We are also detailed discussions on all matters of high dollar volume to really in tune with the work being done and the costs of doing so.

My department is very active in looking at the spectrum of the work done by law firms and evaluation of routine work. In e-discovery, for example, there are a lot of routine work that we think might be managed more effectively. We are currently analyzing ways to remove certain types of work out of the equation and see the lower-cost options for delivering the work without sacrificing quality. This includes the study of outsourcing opportunities in the U.S. for general legal work (legal services outsourcing or LSO).

We are also implementing more discipline around our electronic billing systems so we can have more automated ways to make exceptions or cases of legal fees that we feel to be unacceptable in today's market

Collaboration is key
I understand the suggestion that the leaders who are not lawyers legal departments are more prudent to deal with expense management and cost reduction firm, which perhaps may be too close to the work. However, do not think it's as simple as that. Medtronic process is a collaborative effort that takes place in full cooperation and transparency with our internal team and external partners.

For example, another initiative we are working very closely on this point is to determine which companies will collaborate in the future. Currently, Medtronic is hundreds of law firms, and we want to reduce that number to less than 50 so we can increase our influence. These companies selected then also have a better working knowledge of what we are, what we do and what is important to us.

As part of this process, we have sent requests for information from all the leading law firms worldwide and we are seeing a number of issues, including who bears the burden of their side and their diversity statistics. We have several markers that are very important to us. We are currently cataloging the responses of more than 100 companies, and the process from start to finish will take about five months.

However, the decision of firms to hold court and can not be managed by a head not only legal - you can not just come down with the budget. Instead, it is working with the legal team to measure, for example, the quality of work of a company or the correspondence between its working and ours.

Eleanor Whitfield

I am a lawyer by profession, but my current role as head of the legal services of Invensys plc is focused on providing services rather than legal practice. However, my legal training - previously general counsel of the working group the day to day business units of Invensys Rail - has armed me with important insights into the way legal services have traditionally been delivered to the organization, rapidly changing nature of our attorneys workload and areas where perhaps I could better help them and our business units.

In particular, this has meant cover possible "holes" in the provision of services. Invensys is a global company and it is impossible for us to have lawyers on the ground in all jurisdictions. I80 We operate in countries around the world, but only with a small team of lawyers. With this breadth of coverage, we must be agile and responsive to changing business needs and the bending of our legal services in the areas to cope with surges in demand.

When a sudden gust of work comes, the temptation is always to roll up your sleeves, stay late and treat yourself. But that can only ever be a short term solution. My attention is focused on finding long-term, more sustainable ways of dealing with such situations. My goal is to resolve the processes that work in the future, instead of burying the problem extends internal resources, waiting to meet them or to resort to external law firm support. At one point, Invensys was using more than 600 law firms and it became clear that we should be more creative in our solutions for this. It was this kind of scenario that led me to the legal services outsourcing (LSO) and CPA Global.

Why outsourcing?
LSO not only support our national team by taking work away from their desks, but also helps to deepen the strategic and commercial knowledge of the legal department. It allows them to concentrate on the big picture. It is not a question of taking the job, but the introduction of more effective processes for their lawyers. In other words, with the right people for the right skills. The internal team will no longer have to spend your time looking at the fine print, and which can be prepared on its behalf by APC Global team in India. Its function is to analyze the strategic production, which advocates more effective.

Of course, the link should be made well. To begin with, the lawyers have to learn to delegate. Delegation is an art, but, if done well, can get better quality results. The work also needs to be able to flow smoothly from the internal team with the provider of the London Symphony Orchestra and the process must be flexible, especially in cases of sudden demand.

But I also mean that LSO providers need to understand the business of his client as a whole. For example, when it comes to reviewing a contract, often the details of the obvious, but more importantly you're looking for - this clause can not be observed at the time, but could end up paying more later. You do not necessarily know that if you do not know the business. I hope the relationship we have with the World CPA team will be developed in this way. As with a legal team, not just to give you work "routine" to do, it is a challenge - that's how you develop talented attorneys. And the level of lawyers in India is exceptionally high. Most have master's degrees or doctorates. The only element that is not always business acumen. You can get that experience alone. That's the exciting part of this process.

In turn, his lawyers develop skills and experience to monitor the flow of that work. It is not a question of replacement of equals - we do not intend to replace any of our team with staff in India - this is support for them to work more effectively. How many lawyers know they do not want a better balance between work and life?

Management skills
It is often asked whether lawyers can be effective managers, but do not think that is something that is even going to be looking at I0 years from now. It is a skill that all lawyers have to develop. But you can not expect them alone - have to give them both guidance and support.

Knowledge management is also key. When a business is global and his lawyers are scattered around the world, there is a danger that different regions are reinventing the wheel each time. You should be able to capture the knowledge and experience of its team in each region so that others can learn from it too.

LSO is also capable of helping in this area, for example, helping a company to build a global database of contracts that can be accessed by all. The more sophisticated, they can harvest the data, for example, not only looking at the number of contracts, but also the trends and potential problems. That is fine for measuring the efficiency and the creation - for example, noting that contracts are stronger or weaker, by region or business area. You can then focus their training, deploy their staff or to prioritize their work properly. It is a matter to be agile and respond quickly as its business units need legal support.
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1 comment:

  1. Team work is necessary in every business so as in legal services also.
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