Most Innovative Legal Department
“The new pressures of the coronavirus pandemic have certainly acted as a catalyst for this change,” said Zack Hutto, consulting director at Gartner. “Legal and compliance teams have rarely been at the forefront of modernization, digitization and automation. The pandemic has flattened staffing budgets and increased legal workload. Technology is the most obvious solution for many legal departments. The prevalence of the role tends to increase with the size of the organization. What could be the next innovation role in corporate legal teams? A Gartner study notes an increase in investment in legal project managers (up 56%) and data scientists working in the legal department (up 30%). Vodafone O: 7 L: 8 I: 8 — Total 23 The UK telecoms company will provide free internet connections to 1 million people in 2022. Vodafone`s legal team led the initiative and worked with charities working to end digital exclusion. The lawyers drafted customized contractual arrangements so connections could be made as quickly as possible, and the company had earned $500,000 in July. The lawyers also helped provide Ukrainian refugees with 200,000 free SIM cards.
Nor is there any reason to do it alone. Some leading legal departments find willing (if not enthusiastic) innovation partners in the law firms and non-firm service providers their departments already work with. Originality: 9 Leadership: 8 Impact: 8 — Total 25 The French video game company`s legal team uses resources flexibly to align its professionals with product development teams. The legal team is made up of product designers, user interface experts, and software developers, as well as lawyers to ensure that user-friendly legal tools can be developed for the company. The team designed a legal “gateway” that gives the company access to legal services, many of which – such as the creation of non-disclosure agreements and release forms – have been fully automated. With this in mind, the team introduced gamification techniques to train all Ubisoft employees on legal topics such as data protection. NatWest O: 6 L: 8 I: 8 — A total of 22 lawyers from NatWest, the British banking group, have made their legal documents more accessible. Terms and conditions are now shorter and easier to read, as well as neutral and easier to navigate for dyslexic readers. The lawyers also worked with the Chancery Lane Project, a collaborative legal initiative, to include energy consumption requirements in their supplier contracts – the first UK bank to do so. Colt Technology Services O: 6 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 19 The legal department has supported the company in its strategy to reduce its CO2 emissions, including working on the procurement process for the production of three-quarters of transport by 2030. The lawyers set up an environmental, social and government criteria team to create a Q&A and a “sustainability bot” to inform clients about Colt`s ESG strategy. The legal team platform has become a central information hub used by the entire organization.
License our cutting-edge legal content to strengthen your thought leadership and brand. The team also uses dashboards to track workflows and performance across the legal department. Hogan Lovells was selected as the second most innovative law firm based on a number of submissions, including several new technologies and legal approaches developed by our lawyers from several offices in Europe. Diageo O: 7 L: 8 I: 6 — Total 21 The legal team at Diageo, the distiller, sees its mission as “paving the way” for the company, with lawyers providing clarity when regulatory regulations are ambiguous. One example is the lawyers` collaboration with the innovation team on the launch of a new alcohol-free spirit. They discussed with the European Commission how best to market the product responsibly, taking into account its trace alcohol content. This work has set a standard not only for Diageo, but for the industry as a whole. Fujitsu O: 7 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 20 A new tool introduced by the legal department uses statistical models to analyze the risk of potential transactions and provide useful information for negotiations and help the IT company make strategic decisions. He has produced over 300 reports that provide initial insights and expand the legal team`s market data. To leverage some of the broader transformation investments of other functions, specialized legal technology providers will increasingly build legal applications on business application platforms from Microsoft, SAP, Salesforce and ServiceNow. These will appeal to large companies that want to leverage existing investments and ensure easier integration. “When in-house counsel invest in innovative firms that meet their needs, rather than established firms that can `work,` they help drive innovation for new and established firms,” says Michelle Alborzfar of Upwork.
Diageo O: 6 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 19 The legal team supported projects to help the beverage company improve its social responsibility efforts. This includes promoting Diageo`s ESG credentials in a way that avoids accusations of greenwashing and creates sustainable packaging. Coca-Cola HBC O: 6 L: 7 I: 6 — Total 19 The bottling company`s legal team led the establishment of “cross-practice groups,” which are networks linking legal teams from different countries and Coca-Cola companies.