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ComplianceApril 14, 2022

4 ways to improve in-house legal department efficiency

A combination of regulatory complexity, growing expectations, and increased demands on legal and compliance teams is driving unprecedented change in organizations and impacting every aspect of legal and corporate compliance.

According to the Legal outsourcing outlook 2022, the rising number of legal entities worldwide is one of the reasons why legal teams are struggling to keep pace with the sheer volume of work. The report finds that organizations manage as many as 13 entities in North America alone, with dozens more in other regions.

For legal teams, this means having to ensure proper compliance and governance for all of these entities. And although these tasks are often mundane, they are necessary. Any failure to perform these functions can lead to penalties and business disruption. 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 corporation’s legal department can improve in-house department efficiency while continuing to deliver high-quality work.

1. Align strategy with priorities and business needs

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

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

Your legal and compliance teams must engage in frequent communication with key stakeholders to identify and fulfill business needs and requirements. To help build a strategy for each market, they should underpin these discussions with input from local management and directors. This should be an ongoing exercise. Processes and the teams who oversee them must remain agile and pivot as needs evolve.

Thumbnail image of the ebook PDF
Legal outsourcing outlook 2022
A data-driven look at the top outsourcing trends in corporate legal and corporate compliance today

2. Re-examine workflows

Legal departments are not free 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 work that is being performed. Effective legal project management requires having the ability to view all projects, including those assigned to internal departments, external agencies and to outside counsel. Doing so allows management to make better-informed decisions, such as prioritizing projects and allocating resources accordingly.

Furthermore, workflows should be reviewed to address redundancies and other inefficiencies. Then plan on re-examining them at regular intervals in order to address changing priorities or to make use of new technologies.

3. Leverage technology

Advancements in entity management technology have significantly reduced burdens for legal and compliance professionals.

Beyond being able to see and complete compliance obligations, these systems also offer the ability to house all company information and documentation in one place, acting as a central repository to manage vital company data. This eliminates the need to jump from one system to another to access entity information and instead gives these teams easy access to a single source of truth. The right entity management solution can help to streamline workflows and provide a way to share company data.

Using a centralized system also ensures corporate data is safeguarded thanks to stricter controls over system access 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 high-value, critical activities and dedicate more time to the health and growth of the company. This drives increased productivity, reduces internal processing costs, and expedites project delivery.

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

What type of provider are they outsourcing to? While corporations choose different providers for distinct types of work, chief legal officers prefer outsourcing to more specialized providers rather than law firms.

Looking forward

In today’s competitive corporate environment, businesses increasingly look to their legal teams to deliver agile, responsive, and strategic services. But given an evolving set of demands on legal departments, the rising tide of outsourcing will continue upwards — and for good reason. Outsourcing can improve capacity without increasing overhead, delegate non-core tasks, and allow your legal team to dedicate more time to business-critical activities. Learn more about the key findings and insights from the Legal Outsourcing Outlook 2022.

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

To learn more about how CT Corporation can help you manage your entity information needs, contact a CT Service Representative.

Please complete the following form to download the ebook:

The CT Corporation staff is comprised of experts, offering global, regional, and local expertise on registered agent, incorporation, and legal entity compliance.

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