African Centre in Toronto

The Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind

Legal

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The legal department becomes a true business partner with proactive collaboration.

African Centre in Toronto understands that the more proactive a legal department is, the better it can provide operational staff with effective solutions for risk control. 

ACT believes that Legal team play an active role and work closely together with colleagues as business partners rather than reactively waiting on input from others will be perceived by everyone involved as providing greater value. They can therefore earn more respect when negotiating contracts or dealing directly with clients

The level of involvement improves when automation takes on the mundane tasks that are keeping the department overworked and frees them to provide better service for other departments. For example, contract management tools make it easier to quickly create documents and accelerate the contract life-cycle. 

Awareness of how much risk your company can tolerate

As a lawyer, you may be in the habit of attempting to mitigate all risks. In contrast, your job in the Legal Department is to advise of risk and understand how much risk the business can accept to keep things moving forward.  

Manage risk, don’t run from it. Law firms are about reducing risks, but companies are about maximizing profit. Figure out a way to say “Yes,” not to say “No.” (unless it’s illegal). When “No” is the right answer, present alternatives that accomplish the business goal.

Define and communicate legal department KPIs

Valuing a legal team’s contribution also means measuring and communicating it internally.

It is the head of a legal department’s role to set up performance indicators: quantitative elements on case management, budget for purchasing legal services, etc., and to communicate them internally.

In the end, it is the curiosity and willingness of lawyers to leave their legal comfort zone and move into “business”, a less controlled and therefore riskier field, that will make it possible to change perceptions and have their contribution to a company’s performance appreciated at its true value.