This is the third in a four-part series in which Oracle Associate General Counsel Suchitra Narayen, QuisLex CEO Ram Vasudevan and consultant Rees Morrison will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing a global legal department. Read parts one, two and three.
In the first three parts of this series, we discussed internal challenges and opportunities within global legal departments and across broader organizations. In this final installment, we will focus on an external option to help corporate legal departments deploy efficient and cost-effective legal processes. Legal process outsourcing (LPO) providers who take on specific projects or tasks at the direction of an in-house legal department have proven themselves to be valuable partners in designing unique, efficient and cost-effective solutions for corporate legal departments. As the LPO industry has matured, the processes market leaders deploy have become increasingly sophisticated, enabling the in house legal department and the LPO partner to focus on not only legal process management but also hard data analytics that may offer valuable insights to facilitate better, more informed decisions that impact both legal and business strategy.
Maximize the value of the relationship: Start your relationship with projects that both sides are comfortable handling. As you build trust in the work product you receive, consider assigning more complex projects to really leverage your LPO partner’s true capabilities. What may begin with a simple post-merger integration project working with corporate counsel may evolve into end-to-end contracts lifecycle management, the administration of an open-source licensing program, working hand-in-hand with intellectual property lawyers and engineering teams, or helping to design and implement a contracts-related compliance program. Your LPO partner can also draw on their own experience to help you create innovative, unique solutions, so consider joint brainstorming sessions or periodic reviews to help you jointly monitor issues and effectively deal with new challenges. By helping the legal department to support both legal and non-legal functions across regions, your partner can extrapolate best practices that could be adopted globally and identify opportunities to drive uniformity in practices and processes.
Leverage analytical capabilities to provide insights and add value across the organization: As your partner takes on these more complex tasks, they may be able to deliver metrics that support not just requirements within the global legal department but also the needs of the compliance organization, audit committees, sales, procurement, engineering and other stakeholders. By viewing contract management or other tasks as a business solution rather than just a legal process, they can help the legal department provide more comprehensive support to non-legal groups with a constant eye toward building efficiencies. They have a unique viewpoint from which to evaluate your contracting or other practices in real-time, which allows them to provide data analytics on legal and business issues across projects by capturing operational metrics, contract content and other data.