You’re working on an urgent matter, say an IP issue, but you’re missing some vital information from your product team. By the time the email arrives—after several increasingly exasperated reminders—you’re way behind schedule. Now your external counsel is tied up on something else, further delaying the matter, and you can’t update your board on progress. It’s a common frustration for in-house legal teams.
“In-house counsels are pushed from pillar to post trying to keep the matter moving forward and keeping all stakeholders abreast of what is happening,” says Raphael Segal, director atLegal Interact.
“The most common complaint we hear is that in-house teams seldom get the information they need when they need it, they often don’t get fully instructed by their business colleagues, they don’t get timely updates from external counsel and, on top of all that, their systems are inadequate.”
Some in-house teams are still trying to manage this process using spreadsheets with data pulled from emails—or from colleagues walking down the corridor and giving verbal requests. Other teams have to use their business’s existing CRM systems to perform tasks that those systems weren’t designed for. Others may also be trying to get by with practice management software.
“Practice management software is great for law firms; it’s got functionality that is relevant and useful for law firms, but it’s principally built around the management and charging of time,” says Segal.
But in-house lawyers have entirely different needs and challenges to their private practice peers.
For starters, when managing legal matters there is a lot of information required from disparate sources. All of that information needs to be collated, centralised, and categorised so legal teams can work in a coordinated and collaborative way, says Segal.
We have found that most in-house lawyers typically have their individual way of working on a matter. Without a proper system in place, legal departments can struggle to develop a standard approach based on best practices, so lawyers work together more efficiently.
In-house legal matters typically involve multiple stakeholders from the wider business who want to be involved but don’t always understand or appreciate the legal risks. That can make sharing information safely a challenge.
Dedicatedmatter management technology allows in-house legal departments to run their matters like projects, set out clear timelines for stakeholders to follow, provide transparency when it is safe to do so, and ensure that admin tasks are taken away from lawyers so they can concentrate on the legal work that matters.
That is why Legal Interact developed its specialist Legal Matter Manager software to help in-house teams be more productive and deliver greater value to their business.
“Matter management is all about being able to build a best practice for the efficient management of legal matters, enabling all parties to collaborate as efficiently and as effectively as possible,” says Segal.
By adoptingLegal Matter Manager, your in-house team can gain insights into your legal exposure through matter data in real-time. It gives you the ability to manage your costs and set budgets on a per-matter-basis, helping you better monitor and control your external legal spending. It allows you to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders through automation and process efficiency, ensuring no deadlines are missed. In addition, it creates alignment between the legal department and the broader business by providing greater transparency on the progress of matters ensuring that everybody involved is kept up-to-date and focused on what they are required to deliver.
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