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Sharing the Wealth: How to Use Legal Tech to Add Value to Other Departments

When scouting for legal tech solutions, the price of the tool is an essential criterion for many companies. Once an offer from the tool provider is submitted, a comparison of internal vs. external implementation, costs vs. savings, and other benefits must be presented in a business case.

While the implementation costs and savings (e.g., time savings or decreased complexity) are important, the “other benefits” should also receive great attention when making the business case. Essentially, these other benefits are the added value the legal tech solution brings on top of any efficiency increase. When discussing this added value, legal operations professionals and legal departments should look beyond their own department and not only focus on their own benefits.
The main question is: What added value can other departments extract from legal tech solutions?
While some benefits might be obvious, others might only become apparent by talking to other departments. Below is an example from a recent project in my company.

The legal department planned to introduce an entity management software to improve its corporate housekeeping service. The selected tool gives a quick and well-structured overview on all relevant information of legal entities.
Information such as the legal name, address, management personnel, and corresponding documents (e.g., commercial registry excerpts) are now centrally stored and accessible on a global level. For the legal department, the benefits were obvious compared to the (mostly non-digital) processing of the information prior to the introduction.

Before presenting our business case to our management, we collected additional use cases by discussing the tool with other departments. The tax department, for example, was interested in storing the corresponding tax information for each entity in the tool. The HR department saw a benefit in accessing management personnel profiles for its succession planning.

Finally, the communication department — responsible for updating legal information on letters, emails, and websites — saw a benefit in having access to a central database. Going through these discussions eventually led to four different departments requesting the legal tech tool for their work. There is no need to say that this strengthened the business case beyond pure numbers.

Finding the benefits for other departments gives you additional support when asking management for a legal tech tool. After all, a proactive legal department engaged in collaboration is perceived better than a reactive one.  So, breakdown your silo and look for allies.

About the Author

Leonard StuermerLeonard Stuermer is legal process manager at MANN+HUMMEL, responsible for legal operations and legal tech solutions. Prior to joining MANN+HUMMEL, he practiced as a lawyer in an international law firm in Germany. He further holds an MBA from the IE Business School in Spain. In his legal operations role, he blends business with law and especially enjoys the innovation part of his responsibilities. He looks forward to seeing legal operations’ further rise in Europe.

 

If you want to discuss legal operations or legal tech, feel free to contact Leonard Stuermer by email or LinkedIn.



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