So, you know you need to progress your Legal function’s transformation strategy. Your processes are manual and inefficient and something’s got to change, but where do you start?
Your peers in top Legal functions are all talking about legal automation software, but is it right for you?
How to choose the best legal automation software for you
There are growing numbers of NewLaw and legal automation providers in Australia, and each platform offers a slightly different solution. Not all will work for your business, and choosing the wrong one can be a costly mistake.
The first step is to understand what your biggest pain points as a Legal function are. Take a bird’s-eye view over your business and see where the time-consuming, risky or manual legal compliance processes are. These inefficiencies are your best places to start. Some of the most common challenges we see are:
Challenge 1: Requests for legal support are scattered and facts get lost.
Solution: Legal intake automation software.
If your inbox is filled with requests from the business for legal support, your Legal team is likely spending more time filtering through requests to connect the right Lawyer with the query than they do actually applying Legal knowledge to business cases.
Intake and triage can be a major time-sink. Requests for support can easily get lost in a never-ending Legal inbox, or worse, get passed around from Lawyer to Lawyer for weeks before being addressed by the Lawyer who has the correct expertise or authority.
In this instance, you could utilise legal automation to centralise business legal requests. Platforms like Plexus Gateway enable your business to self-submit their Legal support requests and have the requests automatically triaged to the right Lawyer. This function eliminates the run around and ensures the request is addressed in a timely manner.
This automation solution is built for the Legal department but benefits the entire business, ultimately ensuring that business activities aren’t hampered by inefficient legal admin.
Challenge 2: Contracts go missing during the process and are not stored in a way that is easy to find.
Solution: Contract workflow automation.
Many Legal functions find themselves creating a contract and then emailing or faxing it back and forth between Legal, the business, the counterparty (and back again) during negotiations. This process not only comes with serious security risks if anyone’s email is compromised, but the lack of transparency over version control and delegations of authority during the contract workflow can cause confusion and delay the contract execution.
In this instance, contract workflow automation is probably what you’re looking for.
This flavour of legal automation ensures transparency by clearly indicating the most up-to-date version of the contract to all parties during the negotiation process, and the displaying who has already approved and signed the contract during the execution process. Many of these contract workflow automation platforms can be set up to automatically assign your reviewers, approvers and signers to a contract, even if your delegation of authority processes is complex.
As a bonus alongside the increased clarity, you're also mitigating risk via a complete automated audit trail of all tasks.
Challenge 3: Marketing and advertising collateral review is time consuming and delays campaigns from progressing.
Solution: Automate your marketing review process.
No matter how talented your Legal function is, it's always in your interest to maintain a good relationship with the business. Despite this, many businesses find their Marketing and Legal teams struggling with competing or misaligned priorities.
Legal cannot devote all their attention towards Marketing support. But, delays caused by legal review add to the time it takes to get the campaign to market. This process can be incredibly costly to the business and creates friction between functions, especially as most of the time the marketing collateral is legally compliant. However, Legal review is essential to identifying the small risks which could blow up if not managed correctly.
Another marketing activity that requires Legal review and input is trade promotions, which require legally compliant terms and conditions in each instance. Although these terms can seem simple, there are many rules and regulations for trade promotion which vary depending on the state or territory the promotion is run in. Each promotion must have its own specific terms and conditions and have them clearly and appropriately communicated to entrants. While generating these terms is a relatively simple process for Lawyers, it is incredibly time consuming.
In this case, terms and conditions automation could be key to speeding up the Legal review process and maintaining positive relationships between business functions.
This form of automation allows Marketing to submit their promotion through a platform and have legally compliant terms and conditions generated and reviewed by an expert trade promotions lawyer in 24-hours, guaranteed. Plexus Promotion Wizard was built with expert promotional law advice and is constantly updated as the rules and regulations are updated in each state and territory, so you know your terms will always be compliant.
Over to you
So now you know how to choose the best kind of legal automation for your Legal team.
Manual processes are the best type of processes to automate to make the most impact on your business bottom line. Identify these processes, speed them up, and watch your Legal productivity skyrocket.