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Managing In-House Legal Services

  • September 2015
  • -
  • Thorogood Publishing
  • -
  • 121 pages

Overview
Managing an in-house legal department can be hugely stimulating and fulfilling. It can also be very stressful and fatiguing. It is tremendously important to take time periodically to step back from the day-to-day activities, which seem so pressing, to chart a way forward for the delivery of legal services to your organisation and to really consider the development of your team’s – and your own -performance.

This is especially pertinent today, given the changes over recent years in:

How the law and in-house lawyers are perceived by business people.
The relationships between in-house lawyers and private practitioners and the ability to move between in-house and private practice.
Working practices.
Managing In-House Legal Services captures the vital elements of effective legal department management and provides a guide to the busy in-house practitioner who must balance caseload with the pressures of managing a department.

Who should read this report?
Heads of Legal department
In-house lawyers
Compliance officers
Company secretaries

Table Of Contents

Managing In-House Legal Services
CONTENTS
A THOROGOOD SPECIAL BRIEFING v
Contents
INTRODUCTION 1
1 ESTABLISHING AN IN-HOUSE LEGAL TEAM 3
Rationale .4
Management commitment..4
Pitfalls5
A suggested starting point .6
2 GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT BETWEEN
IN-HOUSE AND EXTERNAL RESOURCES 11
Resources in the business.13
Resources in the legal department .15
The importance of visibility and dialogue..19
Networking and benchmarking20
Hard times: Richard Norman 21
3 ALIGNING LEGAL SERVICES WITH
BUSINESS NEEDS 23
Client allocation and care .24
Managing legal risk..26
The gulf between business and law28
Adapting to change..29
Reporting lines and corporate governance..29
Strategic alignment for legal departments:
Insight from Richard Norman32
4 SUPPORTING THE COMPLIANCE EFFORT 35
The challenge of combining the roles ..36
Genuine compliance vs lip service..38
Preferred approach ..38
MANAGING IN-HOUSE LEGAL SERVICES
vi A THOROGOOD SPECIAL BRIEFING
5 STAFFING THE LEGAL SERVICE 39
Recruiting 40
Induction and integration.41
Letting go.43
When legal departments merge: Insight from Richard Norman 43
6 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR PERFORMANCE
- MOTIVATION AND CAPABILITY 47
Access to legal materials49
Distilling and sharing know-how 50
Support staff..50
Business interface and credibility ..51
Internal communication and processes ..53
Reporting on performance..54
Work environment and resources ..56
7 DEVELOPING THE IN-HOUSE TEAM 59
Coaching and training 60
Managing performance .62
Competency and skills development .63
Competency Profile: Experienced Legal Adviser..63
Team work ..66
8 RAISING LEGAL AWARENESS 67
Developing programmes ..68
Methods of delivery..69
Appetite and capability ..70
Measurement 70
9 WORKING WELL WITH EXTERNAL ADVISERS 71
The role .72
Selecting and appointing..74
Appointing a firm ..75
CONTENTS
A THOROGOOD SPECIAL BRIEFING vii
Reinforcing the relationship78
Taking a secondee from a law firm.81
10 WHAT NEXT? 85
Should you actively seek greater responsibilities? ..86
Unrelenting pressure to keep costs down or to cut them87
What pressures from our teams? 87
What do we need to change?.88
Some concluding thoughts from Richard Norman .89
And finally ..91
BIBLIOGRAPHY 92
USEFUL RESOURCES 92
APPENDICES 95
Appendix A: Checklist for effective management of legal services..96
Appendix B: Managing and Developing Yourself .100
Appendix C: Strategy for legal services103
Appendix D: Designing, introducing and sustaining
a competition compliance programme ..108
Appendix E: Induction programme for new recruits..113
Appendix F: Using the legal team.117
Appendix G: Sample of performance assessment .119
Appendix H: Appraisal tips ..121
Appendix I: Developing competencies..122
Appendix J: Requests for proposal (from law firms)125

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