Skip to main content

True value of in-house remains a mystery

By Justin Whealing For Lawyers Weekly

08 January 2013

A gathering of high-profile in-house lawyers has expressed its frustration at the methods of measuring in-house efficiency.

In late November, alternate legal services provider Plexus hosted a discussion on The Future of the Legal Function.

The discussion was attended by seven prominent in-house lawyers, including Simon Brookes, the deputy general counsel at Telstra, and Jenny Rees, the general counsel with SingTel Optus. Also present were: Michael Jackson, the vice president of legal and commercial at Thales Australia; Andrew Harding, an executive director at the Macquarie Bank; Nevenka Codevelle, the general counsel at the APA Group; Rachel Besley, the general counsel of Deloitte, and Grant Smallhorn, the Asia Pacific general counsel at Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Andrew Mellett, the managing director of Plexus, said there was a general feeling among in-house lawyers that there was no elegant method to measure the value of the in-house function.

“It was agreed that the value of the in-house legal function is hard to measure, although most participants suggested they would like to be able to demonstrate and measure the value of their in-house team,” said Mellett.

Participants discussed a number of current methods used by corporations to measure in-house efficiency, such as linking legal spend to capital efficiency metrics and seeking to quantify the amount saved on external legal spend through a blended rate calculation.

However, the current method cited as the best, albeit from a limited field, was the use of a management by objectives (MBO) formula that analyses an in-house legal team’s performance against functional objectives that support strategic priorities

“This was the method that seemed to strike most of a chord,” said Mellett. “It was felt that this provided a measurement of achievements around strategic objectives and ensured that those strategic objectives are also supporting critical business objectives.”

Originally published in Lawyers Weekly
View source

Liked this article? Plenty more where that came from. Head back to the news feed.

Digital Transformation

A General Counsel's guide to modernising their legal function.

Digi transform ebook

Increase productivity, reduce workloads and simplify your legal processes on a platform built for in-house teams.

Want to speak to someone instead?

Call us on +61 (3) 9908 3784

Your Ebook is on its way to your inbox!

You can also download via the link below:

Download now

Thanks for reaching out.

One of our consultants will be in touch shortly.