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LegalJune 17, 2024

New energy sector eBook: Is your corporate legal department future-ready?

The energy industry is undergoing rapid transformation. From regulatory shifts to advancements in green energy technologies, as well as unpredictable obstacles such as accidents and natural disasters, legal departments in this sector face unique challenges and opportunities. To stay ahead, it’s crucial for these departments to be future-ready. Our new eBook, Is your corporate legal department future-ready? Meeting the complex legal needs of the energy sector, explores strategies for preparing legal departments in the energy industry to tackle future challenges effectively.

Navigating the energy industry

Legal departments within energy companies need to be effective and efficient at navigating a complex and evolving landscape. The market volatility and intense scrutiny they regularly face require the ability to quickly adapt. In addition, these teams have opportunities for innovation and growth. Embracing innovative technologies and engaging in strategic planning can help legal departments lead their organizations through necessary transformations so they can remain both responsive and proactive.

Technological advancements are reshaping legal operations in the energy sector. For instance, AI can streamline bill review and increase compliance with billing guidelines by guiding internal staff or external review experts to focus on line items that require attention. In fact, automation tools can manage several categories of legal workflows more efficiently, reducing the risk of human error and speeding up processes. Adopting these technologies not only increases efficiency but also reduces costs and strengthens outside counsel relationships.

Building a strategic vision for energy legal departments

Having a strategic vision is crucial in the energy sector. All planning should include a focus on aligning the legal department’s goals with the broader organizational objectives. Include short-term goals that consider the immediate needs of the next six months to one year and long-term objectives reflecting how the department can prepare for the following three to five years. Focus on quick wins first and make plans flexible in case needs change.

Engaging with stakeholders, both inside and outside of the legal department, ensures that strategies are well-rounded and forward-thinking. Fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement is essential.

Where to start

A technology roadmap provides legal departments with an adaptable plan that helps everyone in the organization remain aligned, both strategically and tactically, while working to stay effective and up to date. To be useful, a roadmap must be customized to suit each department’s unique needs and circumstances. When your department is ready to begin assembling a roadmap, the best place to start is by assessing your functional maturity level.

The best approach is to use a purpose-built maturity model or tool that lets you benchmark your department’s technology and processes against industry standards. This will help your team develop an understanding of where other energy companies are with respect to legal tech and provide the perspective to honestly judge how well-equipped your organization is to adopt various technologies. These models help you leverage the right technologies for wherever you are on the legal technology maturity scale and can help you strategically consider the tools you should focus on as your department evolves. Legal teams that leverage maturity models often find they help increase ROI and achieve greater impact with future technology investments.

Getting your legal department future-ready in the energy sector requires an understanding of the current industry backdrop, building a vision for the team’s future contributions, and embracing technology that will aid evolution over time. For a deeper dive into these insights, download Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions’ eBook for energy industry legal departments: Is your corporate legal department future-ready? Meeting the complex legal needs of the energy sector. Also, check out our website to learn more about how ELM Solutions is helping streamline processes and control expenses tied to legal matters across all sectors of the energy industry.

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