Law department 80 lvl: the experts of Skolkovo LegalTech. Black Edition on making in-house lawyers a competitive business advantage
In today’s increasingly competitive global markets, corporations need not only a strong legal department, capable of predicting and preventing risks and affecting business strategies to a larger extent.
Introducing new technologies, which automate routine processes and speed up processing of massive collections of documents, has helped to free up in-house lawyers from time-consuming tasks and enabled them to find creative solutions for complex cases. In anticipation of the large conference on innovations in legal sphere Skolkovo LegalTech. Black Edition, scheduled for November 29 at the Skolkovo Innovation Center, attendees discuss how an in-house professional can become a competitive advantage for the company and how to raise up the level of in-house lawyers to that of their business partners.
The globalization of business inevitably results in a more complex legal context for the companies. Solving arising legal issues requires more diverse approaches. “Law firms and departments are actively restructuring their workflows, services and “products.” Sometimes, they completely change their area of expertise and start developing applications or become the alternative suppliers of services. Under these conditions, lawyers have to find a more business-oriented approach, set strategic goals and achieve them,” ELTA chair Tobias Heining said.
From time to time, you can hear the voices in the corporate environment that legal department being can slow down a business, and lawyers are the people assigned with the task to say “no.” Although an in-house lawyer is not just a tool to prevent risks but a professional with a wide range of responsibilities and an important business asset of the company.
Ari Kaplan, American lawyer and attorney, and honoree of the Fastcase 50 award for Legal Innovators and a research associate of the College of Law Practice Management, believes that in-house employees know better than anyone else how a company can balance its risk and see maximum profits boost in the ever-changing market environment. “The more legal departments are involved in the internal processes of the company, the more they influence its strategy and success. In this event, they have a better understanding of modern technological solutions being implemented in the company to transform its work,” the expert said. In the long run, Kaplan says, an in-house professional in its new role of a strategic partner helps to increase productivity, optimize the distribution of roles and improve the efficiency of the company business model.
“Hiring professionals for risk assessment without revealing a full picture of the project business plan can have a negative effect on its implementation,” Nana Suladze, director of the law department at RUSENRGORESURS said. “For example, for the power industry, which is going through constant legal transformation, interpreting normative acts has great importance. Namely, the work of lawyers and the creation of legal practice enables the company to organize its business processes. If the legal branch of the company does not consider itself the back office, but a full-fledged front office, it will give the company the impulse to come up with new ideas and offer non-standard methods in its work.”
Ekaterina Lobachyova, Legal Director of X5 Retail Group, agrees that lawyers and businesses should work in synergy so that they will be able to produce truly outstanding results. “Efficient legal support is impossible without understanding of the company business processes and the active implementation of its strategy. We try to get our lawyers involved in all issues, required by the legal regulation. In particular, some employees of the legal department are the permanent members of various investment committees,” Lobachyova explained.
According to the results of high quality research “The 2019 State of Corporate Law Departments,” carried out by Thomson Reuters and Acritas legal department analysts, the innovative model of a legal department involves the revision of work processes, the increase in creativity of in-house lawyers and the legal department’s involvement in a business strategy. For this reason, a sound legal department, which effectively implements the LegalTech solutions, is able to affect the company’s performance in all key areas, including the quality of products or services and, obviously, profits.
Leading international and Russian experts in this field are going to talk about the latest trends in the corporate legal department management and many other issues at the Skolkovo LegalTech. Black Edition.