DPO-legal counsel collaboration is essential. That is why the Aphaia DPO team is always happy to work with in-house counsel from LegalEdge, whose COO Helen Goldberg and CEO Donna Sewell use this blog post to ask: ‘Are you spending too much (or too little!) on your legals?’
Part of scaling-up and growing your business means increasing your ops team to get better processes in place that help increase revenue, whilst managing and protecting assets and risk. But many companies still either over-pay or wing-it when it comes to one function: legal. They either:
- use the corporate lawyer who did a great job on their last funding round but doesn’t know how to prioritise and manage work for fast-growth companies with limited budgets, OR
- buy templates, fill in the blanks, and hope it doesn’t go wrong, as the team juggle legal with their day job.
Legal is often low on the to-do list. Until something bad happens. Contracts with customers and partners get stuck. An ex-employee causes problems. A customer stops paying. At that stage it’s too late, so an expensive specialist is parachuted in to try to fix the problem.
Do you get an ROI from that? Undoubtedly not.
So, what’s the alternative? How do you avoid wasting management time and money dealing with crises? How do you get legal to grow up with the rest of the business and provide an ROI?
- Think differently. Good legal support should be part of your ops team, not treated as an expensive afterthought. Get the right resource in place that’s proactive, not reactive, and knows your type of business. And set the tone from the top that legal is important and valued. Having someone who’s worked in a business like yours is critical. They can help work out what to worry about and what’s not important. And what to spend. As well as what tech can help. It’s a practical commercial approach that needs the right skill set.
- Have a strategy and budget for legal. That will help drive revenues and protect and make the most of your assets (whilst minimising nasty surprises). It will also help prepare for big milestones, like attracting investment, going into new markets, offering new products and services. As with anything, if you get the right resources (people and tech) in place they will do this for you AND manage the budget.
- Look at processes.The right processes should make it easier for you to do business. If contracts aren’t closed out quickly and effectively your sales cycle slows and revenue growth stops. And bad / unprofitable deals cost money and management time. Do your team know what they can negotiate, and what they should escalate? Do they know what’s got to be delivered under key contracts? Who’s responsible for what and what the risks are if not? A good in-house lawyer will get the right processes in place for all of this.
LegalEdge has innovated and re-engineered the way lawyers work to ensure you get an ROI from legal services. We have a team of experienced in-house lawyers, all of whom have worked in businesses like yours, using tried and tested documents, processes and tech. Our innovative way of working also means you get the benefit of the associated cost savings, so we can make your legal budget stretch further. We’re more than a one-off out-sourced service, we’re an extension of your management team, providing a longer-term cost-effective, practical and business-focused service.