When corporate legal departments made their New Year’s Resolutions in January, clearing the clutter was top of mind for many. Around 50% of in-house counsel see eliminating inefficiencies as their biggest priority in 2022.
Inefficiencies hinder legal departments in multiple ways – threatening productivity, profitability, resource-management, cybersecurity, and more. Identifying and addressing these problem areas doesn’t just make counsel more cost-effective, it frees them up to focus on strategic operations and take a more prominent role in corporate governance.
7 Ways to Eliminate Inefficiencies in Legal Departments
Automate admin tasks
Spending hours on admin is rarely the best use of your legal department’s time and energy. Especially when formulaic tasks like invoicing, filing, and documentation can be easily automated.
Areas like contract management and litigation management lend themselves well to automation, streamlining arduous admin around documentation, case follow-up, data archiving, and monitoring the contract or case lifecycle. Lawyers who use document automation report time savings.
Taking care of this low-hanging fruit means your legal department is freed from the daily grind of form-filling and box-ticking, giving them more time to focus on priority and strategic tasks that are better suited to their skillset. Not only that, but it will likely lead to greater morale among your team as they can focus on work that is more challenging for them.
Improve contract management
Around 50% of general counsel say inefficiencies in contract lifecycle management result in lost revenue, making automation of these key processes a must.
Using a trusted and secure solution, legal departments can confidently automate many aspects of the contract lifecycle. From generating documents to contract archiving, digital solutions are your best defense against human error, data privacy risks, and chaotic workflows. They also enable departments to seamlessly scale, providing a firm foundation for further growth.
Hire Legal Ops
These professionals drive efficiency gains, with their focus on strategic planning, budgeting, and decision-making. They’re generally not involved in legal processes but act more like support staff and business managers.
To be truly effective, your Legal Ops team needs the right tools. They often work across departments and require access to a full-service governance suite that offers visibility, flexibility, and enhanced communication.
Invest in analytics
A solid reporting platform gives corporate legal departments a 360 view into every aspect of their operations so they can easily pinpoint areas that need improvement and attention.
Analytics tools help your team quickly spot any efficiency gaps and address them before they worsen, opening your department up to cybersecurity risk or threatening profitability.
Getting to know your corporate data also helps teams set KPIs and other performance metrics while assisting with risk management, cost-benefit analysis, and forecasting.
Streamline board communication
General counsel have a lot on their plate – not only are they responsible for overseeing the activities of the legal department, they’re also expected to weigh in at the executive level, acting as business partners, strategic advisors, and corporate officers in their dealings with the Board.
The relationship between counsel and the Board goes to the heart of good governance and is reliant on seamless communication and the ability to quickly respond to any issues. When workflows are cluttered it impedes counsel’s ability to maintain that all-important relationship by tying them up in unnecessary knots going back and forth to schedule meetings, deliver reports, and follow-up on action items.
Using a streamlined virtual portal makes life easier for busy general counsel by putting every interaction between counsel and Board in one central hub. Easy to use and navigate, Board portals optimize how Board members, executive committees and other stakeholders work – managing all communication and collaboration in a highly-accessible and transparent format.
Maximize entity management
Departmental clutter is costly enough, but add subsidiaries into the mix and things can quickly get chaotic. Legal entity management is another efficiency pitfall, with counsel often consumed with micro-managing the oversight of these bodies.
Delegating that oversight to technology can transform your legal department’s entity management processes, giving greater control and transparency without the need for labor-intensive manual monitoring.
By consolidating entities under a single, secure platform, counsel have a window into their operations and the ability to centralize all documentation and communication in real-time.
Tidy up your paperwork
Legal departments attract paperwork and, if they’re not careful, can end up getting buried in documentation.
A digital library or archive can help – giving users the ability to securely store, access, share, and edit all documentation from a central system. No more losing files, spending hours hunting down a folder, or losing track of a paper trail; everything is instantly accessible at your fingertips.
Cutting down on paperwork in this way also aligns with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives, giving organizations a chance to go green and reduce waste by implementing more sustainable practices. Research shows a positive link between ESG adoption and financial performance, not just because it creates brand loyalty and drives retention, but because eliminating wasteful practices significantly reduces operating costs. Going paperless protects the environment, lowers a corporation’s carbon footprint, and promotes better time and resource management.
More efficiency, more resilience
The DiliTrust Governance suite provides everything necessary to transform workflows and realize efficiency gains.
Our market-leading solution helps your legal department improve performance in every area. Modules include:
Contract Lifecycle Management
Monitor every step of the contract lifecycle with our innovative platform that targets efficiency hang-ups.
Our Contract Lifecycle Management module allows legal departments to digitally store an unlimited volume of contracts and associated documents, with everything instantly accessible from a single dashboard.
This level of visibility doesn’t compromise security however as admins can safeguard confidential documents by setting sharing/editing privileges for each user using the flexible access controls.
Features such as digital watermarking, document annotation, and intelligent archiving make it easy to move contracts from one stage to the next. And you never have to worry about missing anything along the way – smart tagging features help users organize and classify contracts while date-stamped alerts keep stakeholders on top of deadlines and urgent items.
This integrated module allows for more linear litigation workflows by improving performance at every step from classifying cases to advanced analytics. When cases come in, they’re organized by case position, type of proceedings, and the nature of the case so you know exactly where they sit in the system and can immediately pull them up when needed.
From there, counsel can monitor their progress, seeing new documents or updates in real-time, and customize their interface to access a broad overview of the entire litigation cycle.
Board communication is a cinch with DiliTrust’s easy-to-use and ultra-secure Board Portal. Track daily activity, set meeting alerts, share documents, and more with the collaborative platform that eases the administrative burden on corporate counsel.
The portal is ISO 27001 certified in line with the highest international security standards and is accessible from desktop and mobile devices so counsel and Boards can log in and get caught up from the road, the office, or at home.
Going paperless requires a tool that can handle a high volume of documentation, is easy to navigate, and meets stringent security standards. The Documentation Library delivers on all three counts with unlimited storage, complete confidentiality, and easy access.
Legal entity management
This module monitors a corporation’s subsidiaries and shares, centralizing the legal activities of legal entities, shareholders, executive directors, management and oversight bodies. These are presented in clear organizational charts so counsel can view the structure of entities at a glance. Documents relating to each entity are stored within their specific group, from which counsel can organize, classify, and annotate all materials. Every activity within the module is logged, providing a comprehensive audit trail.
Streamlined, secure, and intuitive, the integrated Suite will change the way your legal department works in 2022, putting your organization on a growth trajectory and building resilience for whatever the year brings. Contact us today to find out more or schedule a demonstration.