The tipping point came when a paralegal fell long-term ill. A listed company with a complex legal structure, the seniors in the corporate legal department had plenty of stimulating strategic legal, compliance and privacy-related work to occupy them. All good? Not really…
Not really, because the organisation was struggling to retain the staff it needed to look after the commodity contract reviews and day to day activities of over 100 legal entities in different jurisdictions. Instead, the specialist paralegals and seniors were doing much of this, which was squeezing out their strategic and advisory responsibilities. At the same time, the junior lawyers and paralegals were eager to explore new growth opportunities, a step that would involve offloading work that was mostly administrative. Further compounding the situation, priority changes were creating backlogs and uncertainty about the reliability of the information available, and a recent major takeover meant that the legal team wanted to quickly merge and align data and processes.
A traditional law firm is no option
The paralegal’s illness made the issues starkly apparent. The client’s immediate need was to get someone with the legal qualifications and, importantly, the business smarts to help them through the immediate work peak. This person should keep the legal entity database up to date and handle basic contract reviews with the meticulous accuracy needed to ensure compliance. A traditional law firm was not an option because it wouldn’t have the business acumen or the necessary familiarity with the company’s specialist legal management IT systems to get up to speed fast. It would also be expensive.
Instead, the client came to Legadex and laid out their needs. We seconded them an experienced corporate paralegal and helped the company to successfully negotiate this difficult phase. End of story? No, as this proved to be the start of a long-term, strategic relationship.
Flexible rightsizing to smooth peaks and troughs
The client’s legal team is responsible for corporate legal, compliance and GDPR-privacy issues. On top of this, the company’s businesses rely on them for accurate data on business contracts and legal entities in different jurisdictions. As in every major corporate, ad hoc issues arise and need to be handled alongside recurring projects, such as compliance and auditing, that have their own workload peaks and troughs.
As the client learned more about how we worked, they began to see opportunities for a hybrid way of working that would eliminate the frustrations felt by their legal counsel and paralegals. We came to call it ‘flexible rightsizing’.
This would involve supplying the client with our qualified temporary staff, on site, as needed. In addition, they asked us to form an online team to look after recurring commodity workload at predictable fees. This hybrid talent pool would ensure the client always had enough experienced hands to meet seasonal peaks and staff major projects, such as compliance, GDPR implementation and auditing, without having to either overstaff the rest of the time or ask its inhouse team to take on yet more work during busy periods. Under the flexible rightsizing concept, senior counsel could focus on advice and strategy and specialist paralegals and junior counsel would have more time and so more opportunities to build their wider experience. And the routine work would be done on time.
Scale up and down with your virtual legal team
And that’s what we did. We created a pool of experienced people to be available for the client on-site and online when needed. As a result, we now work as the client’s trusted inhouse and virtual team, scaling up and down quickly and professionally to match their current needs. We add speed by supplying extra heads as needed, we add skills by supplying specialists as necessary, and we understand and are familiar with the company’s GRC software systems. We are also helping the client to implement the new technology the legal team chose to enhance privacy compliance and audits.
This combination of regular face to face contact and on-site knowledge exchange benefits all the work we do together.
Client benefits at a glance
- Hassle-free and on-time production of pre-defined and other reports, such as organisational charts, ensuring the right authorities and signatories, contract values, run time, renewal alerts, corporate compliance, etc
- Timely filings with relevant authorities in multiple jurisdictions
- Hybrid online and onsite work ensures a good understanding of the client’s way of working and processes
- Easy upscale and downscale geared to business needs
- Pool of knowledgeable staff for specific projects and needs, including GDPR privacy, compliance, know your customer and business information
- Service level agreement ensures right level of service
- Predictable monthly costs based on clear tasks and deadlines in line with composition of inhouse legal team
- Substantial time savings enable inhouse teams to focus on strategic work and legal advice, supporting growth, development and retention of expert personnel and expertise