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Level up your legal team’s performance without increasing headcount

02 Jan 2024

You’ve known for a long time that you can’t increase your team’s headcount at the same pace that the work increases. The business constantly needs more, different, and faster work, but employing ever more people to deliver it simply isn’t a feasible option. 

Consider adding some oomph to your existing team’s capabilities by using tools that simplify tasks and deliver insights and wisdom that help you create real value. Doing this will allow your current employees to grow in their roles and the team to expand its capabilities. 

Extend your capabilities with legal know-how tools

Every time you’re faced with a new matter, there are choices to be made.  It could be a complicated intellectual property issue or a new deal structure the sales team wants to experiment with. You must find someone to take it on. If there are no internal experts in the legal department, you might send it to an external law firm to handle if it’s a one-off project; for ongoing matters, you might have to hire. 

Legal teams using Thomson Reuters Practical Law can take on new types of matters more quickly. Practical Law offers know-how tools like checklists, practice notes, and legal updates that effectively extend your capabilities and help anyone on the legal team get started with confidence. 

 


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A team of more than 650 dedicated full-time lawyer-editors writes Practical Law’s resources based on their years of practice in the world’s leading in-house legal departments, law firms, and government agencies. They clearly explain a legal issue or challenge and list the steps to handle a matter effectively. Their mentorship and expertise can help your in-house team extend their skills and provide new value to the business. 

Improve collaboration and reduce manual tasks

Often, in-house legal departments feel the need to add new headcount to alleviate the administrative burden inherent in the work; but an efficient task management and collaboration tool can improve the team dynamic and increase efficiency by automating manual tasks. The team therefore feel less overwhelmed and better able to focus on using their legal expertise to benefit the business. 

This is certainly the case for the legal department at global fashion group AWWG, which comprises well-known brands Pepe Jeans London and Hackett, and is the licensed distributor for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein in Spain and Portugal. The group uses the legal management software HighQ from Thomson Reuters to provide greater oversight of its retail store contracts and to streamline legal workflows. 

“Since we have had HighQ, while the volume of legal work is always increasing, the manpower of the legal team has stayed the same. That’s a good result for us,” says Mattia Sommacale, Project Manager in AWWG’s Transformation Office. 

“Time isn’t wasted sending as many emails, updating calls, or searching for contracts. HighQ makes the legal department more efficient so they can focus on more important work and deliver more value to the company.” 

 


 

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Manage external law firms efficiently

Having access to a panel of external law firms is an important extension of any in-house legal department. Whether they augment your day-to-day staff or come in only for major litigation cases or transformational deals, you must manage them effectively. 

Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker is the most widely used software for matter and spend management. It integrates project management, e-billing, and performance analytics. Using that data can help you understand the work your external law firm partners are doing, the results they’re getting, and the bills they’re sending you. 

Markus Warmholz, Head of Commercial Law for healthcare company HARTMANN, one of the leading European providers of professional medical and care products and associated services, sums his department’s use of Legal Tracker up like this. “We can now track the types of legal matters we are spending on and for what types of projects. So, we can make better ‘make or buy’ decisions. We can identify where we might need more training and create business cases for insourcing or outsourcing, which was difficult before,” he explains. 

Rather than monitoring external law firms themselves, your legal team can rely on Legal Tracker to support the enforcement of timekeeper rates, expense compliance, and alternative fee arrangements. You’ll also know if an engagement is at risk of going over budget. 

With fewer surprises at the point of invoice, you can talk to your external legal advisers about your legal strategy and collaborate rather than spend time thrashing out bills and budgets. You and your team can deliver more significant insights and value to the business without adding staff to track complex bills and matter outcomes. 

 


 

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Get further, faster

The in-house legal department is critical to the success of any organisation, but they often feel squeezed for resources. Usually, you can get further faster by adding new technology that scales with the business rather than adding too many more people. Putting modern tools and processes in place can also help protect the team when the headcount shrinks. Using technology to grow your team’s output and capabilities is an incredibly cost-effective strategy that helps you regardless of economic conditions. 

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Technology is a critical enabler for in-house legal teams. Learn more about the tools Thomson Reuters offers to help you scale your impact without growing your headcount. 

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