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This book compels the legal profession to question its current identity and to aspire to become a strategic partner for corporate executives, clients and stakeholders, transforming legal into a function that creates incremental value. It provides a uniquely broad range of forward-looking perspectives from several different key-players in the legal industry: in-house legal, law firms, LPO’s, legal tech, HR, associations and academia. This publication is a platform for leading legal professionals that offers a new perspective on the accelerating transformation in legal. Combining expert contributions with editorial insights, it argues that the new legal function will shift from a paradigm of security to one of opportunity; that future corporate lawyers will no longer primarily be negotiators, litigators and administrators, but that instead they will be coaches, arbiters and intrapreneurs; that legal knowledge and data-based services will become a commodity; and that analytics and measurement will be key drivers of the future of the profession. A must-read for all legal professionals, this book sets the course for revitalizing the profession.



Introduction: “Run Legal as a Business!”

The authors argue that the new legal function will shift from a paradigm of security to one of opportunity; that future corporate lawyers will no longer be primarily negotiators, litigators and administrators, but that instead they will be coaches, arbiters and intrapreneurs; that legal knowledge and data-based services will become a commodity, and that analytics and measurement will be key drivers of the future of the profession.
Roger Strathausen, Kai Jacob, Dierk Schindler

Masters of Ambiguity: How Legal Can Lead the Business

This chapter of “Liquid Legal: Transforming legal into a business-savvy, information-enabled and performance driven industry” takes a systemic approach to the legal function in business enterprises. Defining law as a set of rules to govern human behavior, legal as the social system with the ideal of justice as normative reference, and laws as the medium through which this norm is operationalized, the article proposes to view both the dissolution and creation of ambiguity as legal modus operandi.
Ambiguity is simultaneously dissolved and created in legal contexts which frame the interactions of agents such as governments, courts, law firms, business enterprises, and private citizens. A legal context centers on a case or matter. Cases emerge when the law (the abstract set of rules) is applied to events (concrete facts in time and space). Cases are thus instances of the law, and they are always situated in a specific context that is defined through interest-driven relations of law and event, of the general and the particular. Like all self-referential systems which take their own output as new input, legal, through ambiguity as its modus operandi, primarily produces more legal.
I interpret the current pressure on in-house legal departments to “do more with less” as a symptom for the dis-functionality of the self-referential legal function within a business enterprise.
For legal to overcome this dis-functionality and to take a leadership role in business, I propose to shift the legal mind set from adversarial to collaborative. Looking at the constructive side of ambiguity, corporate lawyers can learn from each other and develop standards for simpler legal transactions. By focusing on “win-win” rather than “win-lose” relations, legal will create new business value instead of self-referential output.
Technology and the ability to streamline and automate workflows, leverage the scalability of digitalized legal assets, and create transparency across the whole enterprise will enable such an increase of legal value contribution. Transparency can help establish a corporate culture built on trust, fairness and equality of opportunity—a culture which I believe is conducive to doing business in a globalized, complex and polycentric world.
Roger Strathausen

Globalization and the Changing Role of General Counsel: Current Trends and Future Scenarios

Globalization and digital technology have transformed the role of general counsel in the past few decades. This chapter presents a series of studies to explain in what ways the general counsel has transformed the in-house legal function and its relationships with law firms. In response to demands to deliver more legal work for less cost, corporate legal departments have either internalized or externalized legal work. Evidence from Fortune 500 companies reveal that internalizing corporations have more intangible assets (such as brands and intellectual property) to defend, and are more international in their presence. Moreover, companies that externalize legal resources have developed more stable relationships with fewer law firms, each providing legal services in a broader range of practice areas. As corporate clients enhance their international presence, particularly in newer emerging markets, some of them are finding the global mandate of large law firms, which are far less international than other professional service firms in accounting and consulting, less than satisfactory. The chapter concludes by briefly laying out four possible future scenarios in global legal services markets. We identify under what circumstances the corporate legal department is likely to grow and remain powerful in relation to external providers of legal services.
Mari Sako

Legal Advisor–Service Provider–Business Partner: Shifting the Mindset of Corporate Lawyers

Clients’ expectations towards their lawyers have changed, and they will keep on changing. Clients want solutions, not opinions, so lawyers have had to shift from legal advisors to service providers. As the needs of clients are continually evolving, they now want legal solutions to fit into their company’s processes and procedures. So today’s legal service provider needs to transform into the client’s real business partner, to support management in reaching their goals and moving the business forward.
External advice is becoming more and more internal, as lawyers become part of the client’s project team. While qualifications, expertise and availability are a necessary basis for cooperation, adapted team structures and good team management are also required to make that cooperation work.
To become part of the client’s projects, lawyers and law firms need to prepare well. This involves strategic thinking on how to serve clients in their global activities, how to use technology effectively, and how to integrate other service providers and manage projects efficiently. They also need to build trust and credibility through thought leadership and transparency around legal spending.
This will not take place without shifting the mindset of corporate lawyers towards a forward-looking and client-oriented attitude. Developing this attitude, however, requires an optimistic approach in a disruptive environment, mindful thinking about the ethical and economical challenges and a strong belief in the fundamentals of our profession.
Rainer Markfort

Shifting Client Expectations of Law Firms: Morphing Law Firms into Managed Services Providers

It’s good to be the client. We dictate what we want from the law firms and when we want it delivered. That may have been true for decades, if not centuries, but now it is becoming more complicated. As pressure continues to mount on internal legal departments to do more with less, and as legal professionals are functioning more and more like business professionals, we have to think differently. Legal departments need to ask for different outputs from their outside counsel firms, and the law firms need to deliver legal services in a different way.
It is no secret that in-house lawyers love their jobs because we get to be close to the business and contribute to how the company works. We have first-hand sight of how businesses operate and how businesses outsource their non-critical work. So why are we not learning from our business partners about how to operate the legal practice? It is a business, after all. Well, we are learning, and that is forcing a change in how legal services are delivered in-house and in the expectations we have of our law firms. We are learning that we can expect operational excellence from law firms, just like we expect it from our professional service providers in other parts of the companies we work in.
It is time for a radical shift… It is time for law firms to deliver services with the quality of a law firm but with the operational excellence of an outsourcing company. Besides doing away with the billable hour, in-house teams need to get more back than we have gotten before from the law firms for the same amount of money. In addition to high quality legal services and advice, we need to get insight into the work of the law firms in a way we have never had before. The law firms are full of valuable information and data about the legal services that we procure from them, which could inform in-house teams about the business of the company they work for more broadly. Yet, that information is not being harvested and business is continuing as usual: deal by deal, legal memo by legal memo.
Slowly, change is happening. At Microsoft, we have stratified our legal services for procurement contract review in a way that allows us to optimize our external and internal resources and learn about our legal transactional practices in a way we have not done previously. The most radical change we made is moving our law firm support for contract review and negotiation into a managed service engagement. Like the IT managed services that have been around for decades, we are now beginning to engage law firms to deliver to our department as a managed service, the contract review service they had been doing for us for years, but in a very different way. Let’s dive in deeper.
Lucy Endel Bassli

Legal Process Outsourcing: Redefining the Legal Services Delivery Model

In-house legal departments and their outside counsel are under pressure—and have been since before the global financial crisis in 2008—to do more with less. Much more. The great recession only exacerbated this pressure and led to a surge in the exploration of innovative legal services delivery models. As a result, two key questions came to the fore for in-house legal:
  • Can we reduce or eliminate the requirement to undertake certain legal services; and
  • For the services we must have, how can we perform them as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible?
Subsequently, a new legal ecosystem has emerged in which, alongside outside counsel and corporate legal departments, legal process outsourcing (LPO) has arisen to play a crucial role in the transformation, re-engineering and cost-effective delivery of legal services.
This chapter will examine how advances in technology and the growth of LPO are closely aligned. It will hopefully put to rest any mistaken assertions that LPO providers are somehow threatened by technology’s ability to automate processes and reduce the need for human labor. It will then go on to address the journey that the traditional bastion of legal services delivery, law firms, have undergone in exploring the LPO phenomenon and what the profession can expect over the next few years. It is clear that if law firms wish to remain the first port of call for corporate legal departments and the primary conduit for the delivery of legal services, this is predicated on their acceptance of the LPO operating model. In a profession that has historically embraced change at a glacial pace, this acceptance can be characterized as a four-phased process, each of which is covered below.
Finally, this chapter will survey the latest practice frontier being explored by LPO providers—compliance. Much has been written and discussed over the years on the role of LPO in e-discovery, document review and contract lifecycle management. At each and every conference covering these topics, LPO provider sponsors and LPO panel sessions abound. However, given the perilous nature of burgeoning regulation and associated enforcement, it is not surprising at all that the LPO industry has been quick to step up to the compliance plate. However, before diving into these areas, it is important to try to define what the LPO industry actually represents within today’s legal ecosystem.
Mark Ross

LegalTech on the Rise: Technology Changes Legal Work Behaviours, But Does Not Replace Its Profession

For some time, the authors of this article discussed the understanding of LegalTech, its foundation and its impact on the legal profession. This paper aims to provide an overview of the global LegalTech development in an integrative manner. First, we elaborate on a definition of LegalTech and its history in recent centuries. Thereafter, the authors introduce the key technological foundations of LegalTech including artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing. We also highlight the use of LegalTech in practice, ranging from e-discovery to automated legal reasoning. Our understanding from the technological foundation and practical applicability of LegalTech postulates that LegalTech changes, but does not replace, the way lawyers work, and leads to disruptive change of the profession.
Micha-Manuel Bues, Emilio Matthaei

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Run Legal with Business Metrics: Will the Legal of the Future Measure Everything It Does?

Gone are the days when company lawyers were isolated in their ivory tower. In our fast-paced competitive environment, the aspiration of in-house counsels is to go beyond their specialist role and become relevant business advisors aligned with the company strategy and committed in bringing value to the business. Today, the concept of “legal performance” has become part of both the vocabulary and the practice of many general counsels. But how many of them have engaged in legal performance measurement through figures and metrics?
In many corporate functions, performance is measured to ensure that teams contribute to the business objectives and strategy. Incidentally, one can question whether it is appropriate to measure intellectual outcomes such as the results of legal services. Yet, it certainly seems critical for legal departments to understand why they need to assess their performance, what should be measured, and how.
Legal KPIs are often defined without sufficient consideration of what they are supposed to demonstrate, and to whom. It is necessary to start from the vision statement of the legal department, thereby identifying the objectives that support this vision, before defining the relevant indicators, which help to monitor the achievement of these objectives. By doing this, the Legal of the future should not measure everything it does, but simply demonstrate to what extent it contributes to business and strategic objectives. The execution of a “program” will actually help the successful implementation of legal KPIs and ultimately facilitate the transition to running legal departments like real Business Units.
Christine Pauleau, Christophe Collard, Christophe Roquilly

The Legal Entrepreneur: When Do Corporate Lawyers Act Entrepreneurially?

Corporate lawyers are increasingly aiming at being involved in adding value to the business “bottom line”. To be able to create or add business value, corporate lawyers have to identify, evaluate, and exploit opportunities for value creation—they have to act as internal entrepreneurs in their field. Using extant research findings and frameworks, this chapter will outline individual and organizational conditions which foster entrepreneurial behavior. Based on our analyses, we will derive concrete managerial implications for organizations that aim at stimulating corporate lawyers’ involvement in value creation.
Andranik Tumasjan, Isabell M. Welpe

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet: The New Legal Pro-Occupations in the Construction Sector

The occupational golden age of the legal profession is said to have come to an end. The eBay dispute resolution site resolves 60 m complaints a year. Changes in the law are making it easier for accounting practices, estate agents, building societies, banks and others to offer legal services on the side. Companies are cutting back their in-house legal departments or deciding they no longer want to maintain one.
We are therefore on the brink of a period of fundamental and irreversible change in the way that legal expertise is available both within organizations and in society. In the long-term future we will neither need nor want lawyers to think and work in the way they did in the twentieth century and earlier.
In response to these challenges, lawyers are trying to rethink the traditional ways of working, by making legal work more transparent and client-friendly, providing demonstrable value for money and delivering to firm performance indicators. Law firms have started charging clients the same for more work, or less for the same work, shedding staff or keeping the same number and paying (most of them) less.
But this will not be sufficient to halt the current decline. Lawyers must look beyond the traditional channels of providing professional services and appropriate opportunities in other fields, even if they are not immediate neighbors, by re-defining their professional requirements to include legal education and training.
One of the potential opportunities is offered by commercial contracting in construction, a sector almost entirely dominated by non-legal staff, standard forms of contracts and established processes and contractual boundaries. What if a contract administrator, contract manager or even a portfolio, program, or project manager, rather than being a construction professional with an appreciation of legal issues, happens to be a lawyer trained in basic construction matters? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
There are, however, fundamental issues preventing many lawyers from grasping the opportunity and venturing into traditionally non-legal roles in construction, namely the low public opinion of lawyers, professional peer pressure, personal expectations and—the last taboo in the twenty-first century—pay.
Barbara Chomicka

Liquid Legal: Organization 4.0: Using Legal Competency for Building Fluid & Innovation-Driven Structures

Innovation-driven organizations are characterized by their adaptability to the environment. A combination of flexible processes and stable social interactions with the environment enable the development of adaptability. The interaction of the product “labor” must be imagined beyond organizational boundaries and be adapted for the existing frameworks of the organization.
This calls for employees who act in a self-reflective way and who are willing to consider the daily context critically. Such employees monitor the product “labor”, identifying degrees of freedom for their personal development, design options in their work performance and their personal responsibility of their conduct. Conversely, this means that personal reflexive qualities of employees are required to allow for the development of strong innovative organizations.
How can organizations enable the development of this type of person within their own ranks, and what can organizations do to set up a stable framework for work relationships despite of permanent critical observations?
Gerrit Mauch

Change Management for Lawyers: What Legal Management Can Learn from Business Management

The market for legal services is undergoing radical change which also impacts in-house legal departments. A number of chapters in this book address change that is already ongoing or imminent for legal departments, but how do you best go about managing this change? Lawyers are notoriously skeptical when it comes to change, and this is true for both in-house lawyers and their private practice peers. Practically no law school teaches change management, so most lawyers in management roles have only the management training offered by their respective corporations as basis for managing change in their legal departments—and many struggle with change. The most career-defining questions for many lawyer managers are simply: “Will the change I’m planning succeed? Can I overcome the inherent resistance to change among my lawyers? What can I do to improve the likelihood of successful change?” Fortunately, change management theory and experience exist which can be leveraged, and this chapter will help you estimate the likelihood of success for your change project—before you get in too deep.
Arne Byberg

The Legal Department: From Business Enabler to Business Creator

“Legal still needs to earn the right to exist.” Those were a senior Capgemini executive’s introductory words in his speech at the 2013 Group Legal Forum. Beyond the provocative tone, this challenge has been an ongoing driver of the Capgemini’s Legal function.
It is increasingly necessary that legal departments demonstrate their value to the company, lest they be seen as a mere cost center and be treated as such. Legal has often times been dubbed the “sales prevention team” by allegedly being too risk-adverse, appearing as a hindrance to the sales executives’ desire of a quick closing or occasionally viewed as a scapegoat for lost bids. It is critical to change this perception so internal clients realize that Legal is not only protecting the company’s interests but also is a “sales and profit enhancing team.”
The modern legal department must reinvent itself and change the rules of the game through innovation, being proactive with its internal and external clients, and demonstrating that it can be a business creator and not merely an enabler.
Bringing business discipline to the legal department has been the ambition of the Capgemini Group’s General Counsel and her teams for the last 19 years, and in November 2015 it led to Capgemini’s legal department receiving four Trophy awards (“Trophées du Droit”) at the in-house legal team contest organized by the French magazine “Directeur Juridique & Financier”. This annual event rewards professional and innovative legal departments in France, gathering the most important members of the French legal community. These awards, related to transactions, innovation, contract management, and best international legal team, reflect the Capgemini legal department’s accomplishments and the hard work and contributions made by all legal team members over the years in France and abroad.
Isabelle Roux-Chenu, Elisa de Rocca-Serra

Legal Tech Will Radically Change the Way SMEs Handle Legal: How SMEs Can Run Legal as Effectively and Professionally as Large Corporations

Legal departments of all sizes are facing challenges around technology and liberalization, triggered by what is described as the “more-for-less” or “better, faster, cheaper” challenge. Surprisingly, the focus in literature and practice is almost exclusively on large legal departments. However, there are fundamental differences between legal departments in large corporations and the legal function in small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs generally more often use the help of external counsel. Small legal departments usually have a lesser degree of specialization and are much closer aligned with other departments, like Sales and Finance. In some cases, SMEs also have a higher tolerance of risk-taking. Often, there is a lack of clear processes and policies, resulting in more communication and ad-hoc coordination. These challenges affect SMEs without a legal department even more. Such SMEs have the additional challenge of information asymmetry when hiring an external lawyer, they usually have no dedicated legal budget and are lacking structured documentation of legal data. So how can SMEs effectively run Legal as a Business? This is only possible with the effective use of technology, something which is still often rejected by lawyers (also in small legal departments). Technology in the legal services market, or Legal Tech, will enable SMEs to run Legal as a Business, just as large corporations. Legal Tech thus offers opportunities for new and innovative legal services providers to successfully enter into the legal services market.
Sven von Alemann

The Value of Everything: How to Measure and Deliver Legal Value?

Oscar Wilde famously described a cynic as someone who knows “…the price of everything and the value of nothing”. Legal departments have allowed themselves to become the focus of such cynicism, seen as a (high) cost, rarely able to articulate the value of what they do.
Measuring cost is important, legal functions need to be more efficient and their failure to do so has only increased the level of scrutiny they face.
Almost all commentary on legal departments, to date, has focused on the cost of legal and its failure to leverage technology and alternative ways of working.
However, if everything is viewed only through the “cost lens” then effectiveness is often overlooked—and ‘value’ not understood.
What, therefore, is “legal value” and how do we measure and deliver it? In answering these questions, we will also consider Why do companies “buy law” and What should their return on investment be?
Jan Geert Meents, Stephen Allen

The Value Add of Legal Departments in Disputes: Making a Business Case Rather Than Providing Pure Legal Advise

Legal Departments are usually involved when it comes to Business-to-Business (B2B) disputes. They provide legal opinions on the subject matter at hand, consult on the available dispute resolution mechanisms and are the interfaces to the external law firms. However, disputes are usually not the companies’ core business, and thus the commercial aspects of solving disputes are predominant for the company. The following article describes how disputes can be looked at commercially and how they can be run as a Business Case. The article also describes the role and responsibility of the Legal Department in such a Business Case, and several Tools that assist the Legal Department in increasing their contribution to efficient and effective dispute resolution.
Ulrich Hagel

The Future of In-House Legal Departments and Their Impact on the Legal Market: Four Theses for General Counsels, and One for Law Firms

The legal market is in a state of flux. The “more-for-less” challenge, digitization, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data, technology, growing compliance needs, the rise of new business models and the growing emphasis on efficiency are only some of the trends that shake up the traditional structures of legal departments and their relationship with law firms and alternative providers of legal services. These significant changes have an undeniable impact on the legal market in its entirety.
From our perspective, the future of legal services will be driven through companies (as clients), maybe even through in-house legal departments. They decide if law firms are holding up to their promise of delivering value for money and will thereby survive the hypercompetitive market, they decide which technologies are useful in the long run, and they decide which services should be provided internally and which should be outsourced to law firms or alternative providers of legal services. Legal departments’ sphere of influence has never been greater, both within the company and with regard to the relationship between companies and law firms.
This chapter introduces four theses on the structure and processes of companies, and one thesis relevant for law firms on how they can position themselves in the market.
Markus Hartung, Arne Gärtner

Procurement of Legal Services: How Customers Professionally Procure Legal Services Today

When companies need legal services, they typically turn to outside counsel and law firms (“buy”; BigLaw). Increasingly, larger companies start or enlarge the work force of their legal departments to perform the required legal services (“make”; insourcing). As a new option, the legal branches of the big auditing firms (Big Four) and alternative legal service providers (NewLaw, e.g., LPO) are also being considered. Depending on the customer’s (The term “customer” is uniformly applied to both clients of outside counsel and internal customers of legal departments to express the view that providing legal advice is considered a service with customer orientation in either case.) experience and whether or not a company has its own legal department, the purchase of these services, which in particular includes the selection process on the one hand, and the appointment and management of attorneys on the other hand, may occur differently. However, the questions to be raised and the topics to be addressed in this context remain the same. Although the relationship between customer and outside counsel will continue to be diverse, it is mutually beneficial to understand both sides and to recognize the different facets of such a relationship. Further, in any event such legal services and advice cannot stand alone but must fit into an overall solution for the customer’s problem and the challenge he is facing. This article seeks to provide a first overview and to systematically investigate the questions to be posed during the professional procurement of legal services from third party providers, be it outside counsel and law firms or other alternative suppliers. (This article is based on the following publication: Mascello, Bruno (2015) Beschaffung von Rechtsdienstleistungen und Management externer Anwälte, Schulthess Zürich (also to be published in English soon). There, you can find further comments and explanations, sources and references as well as an extensive bibliography. For the sake of readability and brevity, this article uses the masculine form of pronouns only, but the feminine form should always be understood to be included as well.)
Bruno Mascello

CLOC: Joining Forces to Drive Transformation in Legal: Bringing Together the Legal Ecosystem

Many corporate legal departments still run in much the same way they always have, failing to keep up with the changing needs of the modern marketplace. In today’s fast-moving and competitive markets, where companies need to enter into new types of agreements and relationships with customers and partners, this is no longer good enough. Corporations need innovative strategy and cutting-edge execution from their legal departments.
Everyone leading a legal department, today, must define their goals. Do they want to focus simply on being an effective and capable legal department? Or do they want to think like a business, and focus on growth, innovation, and opportunity? The further they go from the traditional, limited model of corporate legal teams, the greater the potential impact on the organization—but the greater the risk.
The non-profit group CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) is a direct response to that challenge. It is a collaborative, community-driven organization of legal professionals focused on defining the future of corporate legal departments. The association is focused on modernizing, streamlining and amplifying the Legal Operations role within the legal ecosystem.
Connie Brenton

Legal Information Management (LIM) Strategy: How to Transform a Legal Department

Using both, his personal experience as a Lawyer, Contract Manager and Intrapreneur, and empirical data gathered in interviews, panels and private conversations, the author, together with his team, developed a framework concerning Legal Information Management (LIM). The article will describe LIM as a continuum, moving us from the pre-digital phase to a state of full information-enablement. In doing so, the article aims to de-mystify the digital revolution. The reader will be faced with practical examples of digitalization and should feel motivated to reflect his own situation. LIM does not require in depth knowledge of information technology (IT), but curiosity and openness to change—qualities best exemplified by Faust, the main character in Goethe’s play, and his quest for wisdom:
So that I may perceive whatever holds
The world together in its inmost folds (Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s play “FAUST”)
Kai Jacob

Technology Is Changing the Way Legal Works: A Look at How Technology Is Driving Better Business Practices in Legal

A new breed of lawyer is trailblazing new paths in in-house legal leadership. They are not simply paving the paths that have always existed, they are leveraging technology that delivers artificial intelligence to get access to information faster, create productivity efficiencies, and improve business practices and outcomes through reporting and metrics.
Ulf Zetterberg, Christina Wojcik

Look to the Moon: Managing and Monitoring the Legal Function

A legal department’s objective is to support an organization in reaching its objectives, by seizing legal opportunity whenever possible and identifying and mitigating legal risks intelligently. To do this effectively, a proactive and structured approach is essential. Although times are changing, many legal departments still have a long way to go. Developing and maintaining a legal dashboard, in some shape or form, should be one of the first steps in taking a more structured approach to managing the legal function. Where the term legal dashboard is currently used mainly for tools to control legal spend, a complete dashboard should also encompass sources of legal risk and legal opportunity. Only if a legal department has a clear and shared view of the current and, as much as possible, future status of the legal function can there be sensible discussion on setting legal priorities and directing limited resources to where they are most needed. A legal dashboard will facilitate discussion not only within a legal department, but also with other organizational departments. The central idea of this article is that collaboration and structured discussion are essential for legal quality to emerge.
Ivar Timmer

Building a Legal Department in a Metrics-Driven World: A Guide to Finding the Best Candidates for the Legal Departments of the Future

In-house legal departments will continue to experience pressure to meet or exceed performance standards across the full spectrum of the legal services they provide. This can only be accomplished if legal managers and their HR colleagues can identify and recruit high quality lawyers who will succeed in a metrics-driven environment. Traditional reliance on academic credentials and “brand name” law firm training is insufficient. Companies will need to develop tools to identify candidates with business literacy, efficient work habits, business-friendly communication skills, well developed risk assessment analytics, and practical judgment. Identifying such candidates requires a combination of new screening techniques and a substantially better use of the traditional interview process. Hiring mistakes are costly, time consuming, and damaging to a legal department’s reputation within the company. Fortunately, several resources are at hand, from psycho-metric testing to effective interview engagements, that greatly enhance the prospects of successful recruiting.
W. Jon Escher

Business-Friendly Contracting: How Simplification and Visualization Can Help Bring It to Practice

One thesis of this book is that the legal function within businesses will shift from a paradigm of security to one of opportunity. This chapter embraces that likelihood in the context of business contracting, where voices calling for a major shift are starting to surface. It explores how contracts can be used to reach better outcomes and relationships, not just safer ones. It introduces the concept of business-friendly contracting, highlighting the need for contracts to be seen as business tools rather than exclusively as legal tools, and working as business enablers rather than obstacles. By changing the design of contracts and the ways in which those contracts are communicated—through simplification and visualization, for example—legal and business operations can be better integrated. Contracts can then be more useful to business, and contract provisions can actually become more secure by becoming easier to negotiate and implement.
Helena Haapio, Thomas D. Barton

Running the Legal Department with Business Discipline: Applying Business Best Practices to the Corporate Legal Function

Running a successful business is difficult—ask any CEO. First you must face the reality of where you stand today. Then you need to develop a point of view about where you want to be in the future, by when, and design a strategic plan that sets out what you will do to get there—but just as importantly, what you choose not to do. You must prioritize the initiatives you will focus on, sequence their order, and build consensus, alignment and buy-in—both internal and external to the department—without which your plans will not succeed. Then you must execute. You must constantly measure, improve and course correct. You must analyze and manage your costs. You must scan the technology horizon in order to respond to threats and take advantage of opportunities. You must recruit, train, retain, and even inspire your people. You must decide what to build and what to buy. And you must do all these things at the speed of business! This article examines how leading legal departments are tackling the “more for less” challenge that they face by adopting applicable business disciplines from other corporate functions.
Liam Brown, Kunoor Chopra, Pratik Patel, Jack Diggle, Peter Eilhauer, Suzanne Ganier, Ron Dappen

LIQUID LEGAL Manifesto: Changing the State of Aggregation in Legal

The fundamental change in the legal industry is often called the end of an era. While this accurately reflects the gravity of the impact, it disguises the huge opportunity this holds for our function. Building on our intrinsic capability of creating trust and stability in business, legal can and should look into the future—as unknown as many things may be—with an optimistic mindset.
Traditional boundaries in our industry and around our function collapse. They are torn down by the new types of services offered by legal process outsourcers (LPO’s), the new ways services are being offered by LPO’s and also law firms, and of course the radically new opportunities that legal technology brings about.
The new landscape and the new horizons created by the changes open the way for legal to rethink modus operandi. We can and must break free from our self-referential system and find a new balance between our interdependence, i.e. how we relate to the company as a whole, and our independence, i.e. our own self. This will enable us to recalibrate ourselves and strive to create business value straight by our own work and by how we go about it.
As we think about the creation of value and as we embrace the vast opportunity that legal technology holds for us in that respect, our approach to both, primary legal data, and, legal analytics will change. As we introduce smart legal technology to our work that supports our processes on primary legal data, we will automatically be able to generate legal analytics that create unique insights for the company.
In LIQUID LEGAL, collaboration is the new paradigm! Forward looking non-profit organizations will drive us forward; open exchange between inhouse departments will create ideas and confidence when stepping onto unknown territory; academia has a wealth of guidance to offer and legal education an opportunity to adapt to a rapidly changing profile of lawyers that must be reflected in the curriculum.
The law of gravitation in legal has changed. Maneuvering requires a new vision and new strategies. Leadership is required throughout and leaders need to rethink their traditional approaches and need to welcome the new talent, skills and roles that come into being in legal. We need to run our function with business discipline.
If everything flows, we better change our state of aggregation and become LIQUID LEGAL and, in the spirit of collaboration, continue to share what we learn—to create and add new value.
Dierk Schindler
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