During my recent visit to Denver for the 2018 Aderant Momentum conference, I noticed a common theme as I interacted with attendees at the conference: Many law firm leaders are currently questioning the effectiveness of their financial reporting systems.
In a previous blog post, my colleague Kevin Clem provided an overview of six unique maturity models that we laid out to participants in HBR’s educational program at CLOC’s 2018 Corporate Legal Operations Institute. Our invitation in that initial post was to study these models and conduct a self-evaluation to determine where your department fits, then challenge yourself to take your operations up a notch.
According to HBR’s 2017 Law Department Survey, 82 percent of law departments expect their legal needs to increase over the next year. Yet, law departments also reported increased efforts to bring matters in house, which presents an interesting opportunity for forward-thinking law firms. Firms that are strategically examining and evolving legal service delivery models to better align with the needs of corporate clients will ultimately be able to differentiate in a rapidly changing market.
Last month, I had the pleasure of moderating an excellent panel at the Consero Legal Operations Forum entitled “Dashboards & Portals: Leveraging Existing Operational Investments for Greater Returns,” in Pasadena, CA. My esteemed panelists included Scott Fuller from Applied Materials, Brian Pomeroy from Discover Financial Services, Elizabeth Miller from Dolby Laboratories, Julie Cremeans from Fair, and Emelita Hernandez-Bravo from Fitbit. Each panelist brought a fresh perspective on how to best leverage data and analytics in a sophisticated law department. The audience consisted of the vast majority of the conference’s attendees and included legal operations professionals and practicing lawyers from approximately 80 different companies.
Over the course of this IG blog series, we have examined how the IG professional can align their IG program to directly support the mission and vision of their organization. Several case studies helped illustrate how this alignment allows the IG / RIM professional to contribute to the bottom line in meaningful ways. In this post, I am taking a deeper dive into a very specific challenge that most multinational organizations face today: compliance with the soon-to-be-effective GDPR imperative. During our annual roundtable events, we surveyed clients regarding their level of engagement with their organizations’ GDPR initiatives, and learned that a surprising 45% said they had minimal to no involvement at all.
In today’s world of never-ending data growth, privacy breaches and cyber-attacks, and growing legal and regulatory oversight, an IG professional’s job is challenging enough. But when an organization acquires or divests an entity or even a product line, the IG professional faces an additional set of challenges as new data may need to be integrated into systems and applications, existing data may need to be segregated and separated, and other data may require sharing or redacting.
As data continues to grow uncontrollably in every organization today, the need for comprehensive information governance becomes increasingly apparent. Defining the rules and operating needs that govern an organization’s data, and then acting on those rules through defensible disposition, reduces the risk and cost of unnecessary storage and e-Discovery, as well as reducing the damage of a potential cyber-attack.
This year’s Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Forum focused on the ten years of change since the economic crisis of 2007. I had the pleasure of moderating the panel, “Boats Against the Current: The Evolving Law Firm Business Model” that included a diverse panel of c-level executives who explored the changes that have occurred to the law firm business model. Most notable, however, we examined how operations leaders have risen to the occasion and are charting a new course for the c-suite – one that is more directly influencing firm strategy, business development and revenue-generating activities.
One of the most exciting parts of my job as head of Software Solutions at HBR Consulting is that daily, I get to speak to successful law firm and corporate legal leaders about trends and topics influencing their industry.