CEOs see their in-house counsel as advisors who should support business objectives. Yet legal departments are under increasing pressure to justify their value, increase efficiency and control costs.
Those were some of the findings of the 2016 Chief Legal Officer survey, released earlier this month by the consulting firm Altman Weil. The survey, based on responses from 336 law departments nationwide, showed that legal budgets are increasing. But legal departments are still stretched thin as lawyers contend with an ever-more complex regulatory landscape, internal pressures to justify and contain costs, and increased billing rates from outside counsel.
Law Departments Are Using Technology to Improve Efficiency
When the Altman Weil survey asked chief legal officers what their company’s executives and board valued most, the top response was “advising company leaders,” followed by “supporting business objectives.” The traditional lawyer role of “managing risk” ranked third, followed by “controlling legal spend” and “managing compliance.”
This places in-house counsel in a tough position. They face ethical obligations to manage risk and ensure regulatory compliance, but are also expected to contain costs and be a strategic partner with the business side.
The survey showed that law departments are responding to these challenges by shifting more work to in-house lawyers, increasing the efficiency of internal procedures and making better use of technology.
And the results have been good. Almost 71 percent of those that reported increasing the efficiency of internal procedures gave these efforts a value rating of 6 or better on a scale of 1 to 10. Of those reporting a greater use of technology tools in the last 12 months, 80 percent gave their new technology a value rating of 6 or better.
The Next Step: Using Technology for More Efficient Contract Negotiations
As law departments look for ways that technology can improve efficiency, there’s one critical area that has long been neglected – the contract negotiation process. Negotiations remain stuck in the clunky 1990s technology of Microsoft Word and emails, instead of moving on to a more streamlined solution.
Parley Pro’s cloud-based software provides that more streamlined solution.
Our user-friendly interface lets stakeholders comment on contracts in a way that everyone can see and respond to. When it’s time to incorporate changes, the comments are right there, next to the clause in question. No more time wasted searching through email threads and going back and forth comparing different redlined versions. No more of the business side wondering what legal is up to, and vice versa. The contract negotiation process becomes more efficient, more secure, and easier for everyone to understand.
Parley Pro helps the legal department support business objectives with a dashboard that tracks contracts as they move through the negotiation and approval stages – improving efficiency while still allowing legal to minimize risk and ensure regulatory compliance.
We invite you to give Parley Pro a try, at no risk. Contact us to learn more or start your demo.