The signals from our business colleagues were divided in two and at different extremes. At first, they wanted to increase my team`s budget to participate in the market robbery created by the collapse of Lehmans. Shortly thereafter, the global corporate legal department was mandated to participate in an enterprise-wide cost-cutting measure. Talk about mixed messages. Our approach and solutions are based on many years of direct experience in the industry. We operate globally and can deliver projects at scale by leveraging our non-exclusive partnerships with consulting firms, managed services professionals and legal technology providers. I know it`s counterintuitive for lawyers – they look for security, stability in knowledge models, they expect to be right, to have superior knowledge, they follow precedents. They live in a relatively rigid framework of activities and beliefs. Unfortunately, the organizational structures we develop to deploy and manage lawyers in legal teams often reinforce this rigidity thanks to the firm`s client base, the firm`s specialization, the firm`s limited knowledge, and the lack of stress tests when modifying existing models. Deviations from the “comfort zone” are rare. No wonder change is difficult when you expect this rigidity to be the norm.
In-house legal teams serve a purpose. Often, this objective is not well detailed. There are a few obvious points that the focus will address – a company`s operational requirements, required legal operations, and legal risk management, but this list could be much broader. So how can legal teams be better prepared to continue to support their organizations, demonstrate their value, and make a positive strategic impact as we face uncertain and volatile times? Our vision is to create superior legal services and products that achieve the highest level of client satisfaction. And you could go even further. With your creativity and openness, you can start studying the value chain more deeply under the control of the legal team. Wouldn`t there be opportunities to turn these particular ideas into something of business value with a little creativity and “sell” them? That`s already happening, and I think there are many other ways to get out of that mindset. To my delight, this guide has proven its weight in gold. Therefore, I absolutely intend to make several additional purchases of various comparative legal guides from your company during the year.
John F. Martin – Senior Counsel, GE Energy Global Risk & Receivables COE Andrew conducts a wide range of domestic and cross-border corporate and trading activities for corporate and private equity clients, advising on acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, mergers and public acquisitions, IPOs and equity markets, and private equity investments. Contribute to improving the level of performance of legal services. What can the legal profession learn from other industries and fields? This is a saying from the aviation world that also applies to the legal field. There are a handful of elements: Tabled has partnered with Off Road Legal and is delighted to offer his friends and clients a free discovery workshop with Andrew and his colleague Peter Impey. This workshop will certainly help unlock legal operations and provides: Andrew Wingfield is a lawyer and co-founder of the legal consultancy Off Road Legal. After starting his career at Magic Circle, Andrew specialized in leading in-house legal teams and executing major change and transformation projects. Off Road Legal offers a range of transformation, technology, implementation and value creation services to help in-house teams and law firms adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. Peter has experience and skills as a lawyer, manager and management consultant specializing in Legal Tech. He began his career in Internet start-ups and management consulting firms before training as a lawyer at a leading law firm in the city, and then joining the in-house structured products and derivatives legal team of a major international corporate and investment bank. After gaining expertise in technology design and deployment, he was appointed Global Head of Systems, Framework Agreements.
He pioneered technology to transform the operational aspects of legal contract management and related documentary data. After the 2008 financial crisis, he played a key role in regulatory reform projects related to derivatives documentation and safety. Peter remains on the list as a non-practising lawyer and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Management Institute. Watch the video to think outside the box and see what lessons and inspirations we can find in other sectors that could be useful in the legal industry. Both situations, while at opposite ends of the spectrum, served to illustrate a fundamental point that in-house legal teams and their leaders constantly experiment with: situations can change quickly, things are different from what they used to be, and any form of long-term stability is a luxury. Therefore, expect changes. And then change more. If the change an internal team is facing is cost reduction, the main question will be: how can we continue to work AND manage legal risk with fewer resources? However, the question should be the opposite: what legal resources are needed to maintain the required level of legal risk management and protection? The obvious next question would be, “What is the legal risk required?” Frankly, I don`t think many internal teams have the answer. However, if you don`t find a way to correlate the concept of resource with legal risk, you risk losing the argument that cost reduction has a negative impact on legal risk. Similarly, if you do not have an objective basis for deciding on these key issues, how can you be evaluated? In short, whatever change is taking place, it`s best to accept it and move on. This is the perfect time for the “yes-and” approach.
Here are our 5 best practice tools for legal teams to improve outcomes when change occurs. We are experts in legal services, change and transformation as well as digital solutions. We provide advisory services to companies, in-house legal teams, legal entities, entrepreneurs and investors. I recommend that internal teams put a lot of effort into their operating license. It is a reasoned model to justify with facts and measures why the internal team should exist, which should show, among other things, how the capacity of the internal team (or lack thereof) affects legal risk – positively or negatively. They say that what is measured is managed, but the operating licence moves it to: what is measured is evaluated. Andrew has worked as a lawyer working in magical county and city law. He led and developed a number of in-house legal teams in the global investment banking and financial services industry and became Managing Director and Global Head of a Legal Department of a major European investment bank. While navigating through many different challenges in a rapidly changing world, Andrew has been interested in creating new approaches and ideas, eventually pursuing broader paths and interests to find answers to questions such as: how things can be improved – for example, in the delivery of legal services – and, more generally, What new ideas can be introduced to positively change people`s engagement and effectiveness in the workplace? After a successful legal career in banking, Andrew is now embarking on a new adventure with his own company, Off Road Legal – a legal consulting firm that aims to support legal teams and law firms who want to think outside the box (or “off-road”) to find new ideas and opportunities for their business. Off Road Legal advises legal teams looking for actionable insights and support to succeed in four main areas: transformation, technology, value creation and implementation.
Value creation – models and solutions – reduce costs, find new possibilities. An intellectual property partner with in-house experience in the life sciences industry joined the Boston-based firm from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Andrew is based in our Doha office and leads the firm`s practice group in the Gulf region.