Optimal Legal Department = Right number of lawyers, with the right skills, doing the right things, in the right areas = maximum effectiveness of the legal department.
Resource matching the in-house legal department is the first step in managing the legal spend as it informs the make/buy decision.
An effective legal department delivers coverage in crucial areas, thereby maximising compliance and minimising risk, with consequent reductions in legal spend through minimised payouts and external legal cost.
Resource matching the in-house department involves analysing and defining the in-house lawyers’ roles, determining how that role can best deliver coverage to the business, and thereby identifying what work should be outsourced.
Undertaking the exercise enables the legal department to measure and demonstrate its value to the business in terms of hard economic data.
The data collected in the review is used to formulate a business case to justify the resource matching decision which itself may involve:
Change in role of in-house lawyers (e.g. recommendation that legal function concentrate on particular areas, and outsource other all other areas of work)
Change in skill sets (e.g. employment of lawyers with specialised knowledge, or development of such expertise in existing lawyers)
Change in numbers of in-house lawyers