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Guide: Building your legal operations function

The rise of legal operations

Legal operations is all the responsibilities of a legal department that aren’t law itself [Read more: What is Legal Operations?]. The pressure on General Counsel to control costs and improve efficiencies, in other words “to run the department like a business”, has led to a rise in legal operations. Although most legal departments have some legal operations initiatives now, a dedicated person or department is only the norm for just over half of the industry. Nevertheless, the trend is heading towards dedicated roles and teams and it’s important that legal departments are equipped with the necessary skills.

SHOULD LAWYERS OR NON-LAWYERS MANAGE LEGAL OPERATIONS?

Legal operations success requires skills not necessarily part of a lawyer’s standard repertoire. These include budgeting, change management and implementing technology projects. However, those who have these skills may lack knowledge of the practice of law, how to manage law firms, and the challenges facing the legal department. So which skills are of most value when building and developing the legal operations function?

This guide contains insights and advice from General Counsel and Legal Operations managers on what an effective and successful legal operations team should look like, as well as which attributes to look for when filling positions, how to up-skill existing team members, and how to use technology to support legal operations efforts.

With contributions from:

  • Ben Eason,  Head of Legal Transformation, Barclays
  • Joachim Kämpf, General Counsel, ECE
    Projektmanagement G.m.b.H. & Co. KG
  • Iain MacDonald, Legal Operations Consultant (formerly Lloyds Banking Group)
  • Amy McConnell, Head of Legal Operations, Vodafone Business

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