Legal Operations

The holistic approach to optimizing of business processes between legal departments and other organizational units

Hiring of outside attorneys is a challenge in the corporate process. Firstly, it is important to respond to rising cost pressure in the legal departments, and secondly to ensure the expected quality and qualification for the particular mandate. The metrics for making the decision are:

  • Goal-oriented, legally appropriate council,
  • On-schedule and close communication
  • High cost-efficiency and verification

Legal Operations comprehensively supports and controls this process. Procedures can be developed here which act as genuine drivers or catalysts for improved cost controls while achieving the same or better quality. A permanent reduction in costs is guaranteed!

With the decision in favor of outsourcing, a permanent process of “selection – quality control – monitoring” has to be established. With LPM the corporate lawyers can permanently support this process by providing suitable information and assess it under financial aspects. According to the practical requirements:

determine – control – implement – evaluate

individual modules were integrated into one solution for this interrelated process, provided with a flexible correction control procedure for higher-order user control and supplemented with modern rating and evaluation functions.

The following individual process steps are integrated into the Best Practice Package Legal Operations:

Legal Operations – Matter Management: Client File

Beginning with the creation of a client file with the specific features for describing a client or commission, the foundation is laid for a smooth information chain in Legal Operations. Not only is the typical master data on the client collected, but also the links needed for subsequent litigation, such as

  • Selection criteria on the law offices
  • Categories of needed expertise
  • Legal and accounting-based relationships (insurance, assistants, etc.)

Legal Operations - Lawyer DataBase

The administration of outside lawyers in a central database considerably promotes the selection of an attorney when consultation is needed. Any number of law offices and their attorneys can be set up in a structured manner, assigned to individual technical fields including the particular level of know-how and associated costs per attorney managed. At the same time it is possible to evaluate the attorney’s service on a per-consult and per-subject basis. For example, finding, selecting and if necessary hiring of an attorney can be greatly simplified, e.g.

  • In Germany,
  • In the city of Frankfurt,
  • With expertise in “Trademarks,”
  • With “expert”-level know-how,
  • Hourly rates between 300 and 500 EUR/h
  • And a rating >= x

Thus a consistent and evaluable basis will be created for all attorney relationships from the corporate point of view.

Legal Operations – Matter Management: Case File

The case file is aimed at different formats of legal disputes and provides for saving information, documents, schedules, templates and relationships in a structured format. For example, special types of files are already present as templates for civil litigation, damages or trademark litigation with their specific rubrics. Thus the system can check the files for completeness of data, parameters and information. The reduces time expense and makes time expended more efficient in litigation preparation through file searches, comparison of documents and analysis of master data. Whether it be files, documents and contracts – all circumstances can be recorded, administered and evaluated.

The representation and configuration of all active and passive processes is particularly important, together with their relevant litigation value; these are the processes which are of fundamental importance to the corporation. Precisely at this point a linkage to integrated risk management is important in order to determine, assess anticipated costs (case costs, additional consulting, outside consultants, trial delays etc.) both in advance, and also during the litigation and to provide all necessary decision-makers with facts and information.

Legal Operations – Performance planning and check

Depending on the structure of the contract, invoicing for services can be prepared by the law offices in monthly or in other convenient cycles and then audited by the corporation. The defaults can be programmed into the system with specific service periods or with expenditure planning and then compared to reported expenses. Confirmation of services is fast and easily communicated by means of fast reports which can be permanently recalled for an overall viewing.

Legal Operations – Rating

Like the rating systems known from eBay, Amazon and others, you can set up your own personal evaluation categories based on your specific criteria and scoring system and have them administered by your own organization. The individual approach and structured opportunity to set up so-called "hard" and "soft" criteria is the basis for an assessment scheme independently of the particular case, industry or type of service. This will assure neutrality and a high level of acceptance among users and brings tangible results with respect to your compliance requirements. This will also mean that the evaluation cannot be disputed due to a definitive separation of the "preparation of evaluation criteria" and of "data collection".

Legal Operations – Business Intelligence

"From A to Z": Ultimately the processed information and data always represent the result of an evaluation or derivation of decisions. In the interest of corporate lawyers and of the organization as a whole, where should the appropriate value be placed:

  • Simple and fast preparation of listings and selections
  • Pre-defined reports with flexible data selection across subject matter (files, procedures, contracts, contacts, companies and follow-up) and organizational structures
  • Individual reports: Specifically regarding processes and information chains and also the distribution of tailored lists, evaluations or dashboards

The possibilities can be classified either as part of the standard solution or can also be used on a modular basis. But in any case, competent counsel is recommended for a specific set-up, since the use of modern technologies such as Business Objects or such allow convenient functions like drill-down or drill-across. And our competency team will be happy to assist you in this.

Management Summary

The approach for establishing Legal Operations as a holistic process is derived from the practical requirements of your corporate lawyers. There are three recurring framework criteria to be evaluated and applied:

  1. To respond to the ever increasing demand for legal assistance and advice in the quickly changing corporate strategy and culture (globalization, regional differences in attitude, etc.)
  2. To sharpen your view and orientation toward costs and planning and purchasing of services and budget responsibility down to the attorney level
  3. To make decisions on whether the quantitative challenges are to be covered by external resources (Legal Process Outsourcing)

With Legal Operations corporate lawyers can obtain a very effective and consistent support in this process. Anyone who takes this forward-looking approach will create one of the fundamental prerequisites for being a strategic, long-term partner and adviser in legal questions, especially for Management. With transparency and financial arguments you can enhance the strengths of your corporate lawyers within the company organization by means of Legal Operations.

Where sub-steps had previously been managed separately, now a consistent process is possible:  Information will move transparently along the corporate decision-making process, from selection through evaluation of results, in a secure format. The functioning and decision-making competency of corporate lawyers is professionally supported by Legal Operations.

If corporate decisions of a legal nature are outsourced both with regard to quality and if necessary, with regard to quantity, then adherence to the following items can be assured and controlled with Legal Operations:

  • Corporate strategy and compliance guidelines
  • Invoices for costs and services
  • Legal qualification and technical competency

For more than 30 years The Quality Group as entrepreneur in Enterprise Information Management and vendor of the TQG businessApp platform.® has offered an excellent mix of appropriate experts in the legal field for consulting with corporate jurists.

With the TQG businessApp platform.® your company will achieve the legally required balance-sheet and audit compliance.

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