Month: March 2019

Ten Things: Using Data Analytics in an In-House Legal Department

If you have ever run an in-house legal department, or just been part of one, you know that one constant question is “how are we doing?”  While it appears to be a simple question, it is fraught with multiple meanings.  It could mean how are we doing against the budget?  How are we doing with turning contracts for the business?  How are we doing in the litigation? Or, how are we doing with our compliance efforts?  Regardless of the “what” the “how” has troubled legal departments for decades. That’s because historically the legal department lacked the data to measure whatever question was being asked.  Consequently, the legal department was often excused from performing or reporting with the same discipline and reliability as other parts of the business.  Legal was special.  Legal was excused. But, not anymore.  Businesses of all sizes increasingly expect their legal departments to work with – and report out – data the same way as the rest of the company.  That is why the use of data analytics is now a priority for in-house lawyers.  This edition of “Ten Things” will discuss the basics of using data analytics in your legal department:

(more…)

Ten Things: Building a Strong Compliance Department

If you work as an in-house lawyer at a large, mature company, odds are good that the company has a well-functioning compliance department.  But, if your company is small or not very mature, there is a good chance that this isn’t the case.  In-house lawyers constantly look for ways to avoid or lessen risk that can damage the company.  While it doesn’t always get the love it deserves, a robust compliance function is an important part of risk-reduction at companies of any size.  As such, in-house lawyers should get behind the creation of a compliance group if there isn’t one or enhancing the existing one whether it sits in the legal department or not.  A strong compliance department moves the company from reactive to proactive in detecting and preventing wrongdoing.  Besides avoiding trouble, this can lead to substantially reduced fines with regulators who, as a first step, usually zero in on whether the company has a robust compliance program or not.  The compliance department also helps establish the right ethical tone at the company, a tone that makes it easier for employees to make the right choices.  While many executives don’t see the value of the compliance function – despite the many proven benefits – the in-house lawyers do.  But, they frequently don’t know what to do next.  This edition of “Ten Things” walks through the basics of setting up or enhancing a compliance department:

(more…)