Legal departments are under more pressure than ever before, and are constantly fighting fires on a number of fronts. Regulatory and legislative changes, political instability, changing market needs and growing competition all contribute to a growing deal of complexity for legal departments. And add to that the need to interface with a growing number of stakeholders across the business who demand quick answers immediately.
To deal with these pressures, many legal departments are working harder and increasing resources. According to the 2018 Chief Legal Officer (CLO) survey by Altman Weil Inc., CLOs cited growing workloads as the number one reason for increased workforce and spending last year. However, increasing resources can be out of the question for smaller legal teams – creating a compelling reason to find alternative ways to work smarter by transforming operations.
So how can Legal address these demands and rise to business expectations? The answer is to facilitate better collaboration with colleagues across the business – from sales, finance, purchasing, human resources and beyond – freeing up more time to focus on strategic tasks.
Boosting interdepartmental collaboration remains a challenge though, especially in organisations where Legal processes are not standardised or automated. Not only does this result in the perception that the legal department is a barrier to business, but it also plays on morale. As per a CEB study, 90% of legal staff reported feeling that they slow other functions down when they execute their tasks slowly – a clear sign that inefficient processes hinder the ability to provide value.