Whether they are wading through the quagmire of regulatory obligations or advising on the effects of policy adoptions, legal teams are continually engaged in entity management. Without the help of entity management technology, the complexity and rate of changing information could easily overwhelm even the most seasoned legal departments.
Luckily, entity management technology helps keep legal teams effortlessly organized and well informed. Entity management technology allows legal teams to provide data-based counsel and to guide the organization’s overall business strategy. Below, we’ve explored the many ways entity management software can enhance your legal team.
Creating a Single Source of Entity Information
In order to provide the best advice to corporate stakeholders, legal departments depend on the accuracy of their entity information. Too often, however, this data is piecemeal; it’s incomplete, out of date or inaccurate, leading to slowdowns or, worse, bad decisions.
Often, bad data sources encourage internal team members to fashion their own work-arounds, siloed data sets and patchwork org charts that can’t be depended on when you need them. Robust legal entity management technology can fix this problem, creating a single, reliable source for all entity information and allied documents.
Entity management technology provides secure, authorized access to core entity information and important entity documents, such as charters, contracts and legal proceedings. When a change occurs in personnel or policy, users can make quick adjustments to the appropriate database, and those changes are registered across the organization.
Compare this to old modes of entity management, where a change in the board of directors might require hours of emails and phone calls, verifying and reconciling contacts and company structures. Entity management technology handles this in a couple of keystrokes, allowing legal team members to focus on core responsibilities and perform as lawyers, not administrators.
Preserving Corporate Knowledge
Another unexpected advantage of a centralized data repository is in the onboarding of new employees. Traditionally, legal teams have a fairly high rate of turnover, with some lawyers moving from organization to organization every few years. Often, when that happens, important data and documents either go with them or remain mired in company email systems.
New employees either have to pick up the pieces of ongoing projects or sift through files searching for lost information. The single repository of entity information helps preserve institutional knowledge and corporate history. All documents and data are available on the server, allowing new employees to pick up where their predecessors left off, without the slowdowns or data loss typically associated with a change in personnel. This feature makes legal departments essentially turnover-proof, facilitating seamless employee transitions.
The consequences of a data breach can be disastrous. Recent high-profile scandals involving media giants like Facebook have heightened corporations’ awareness of their data security risks and responsibilities. As corporations struggle to comply with the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California’s upcoming Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the importance of data protection should not be underestimated.
Accessing data from across the organization, the legal department must be acutely attuned to these threats. Entity management technology helps mitigate data security risks, providing unparalleled protection for your organization’s internal records and legal documents.
Each phase of document creation, editing and access is safeguarded using customizable, role-specific permissions. These permissions provide secure information only to authorized users. As your workforce changes, these permissions change along with it, letting your team rest assured that their data is safe.
Providing Data-Driven Counsel
The data analytic capabilities embedded within entity management technology allow legal departments to review and contextualize massive amounts of data quickly and with confidence. They can then put that data to use, creating decisions based on clearly defined metrics, rather than just legal instinct.
Data analytics can also help legal departments understand which matters are best to bring in-house, which firms to consult on specific subjects and how to negotiate the best rates within a particular market.
Managing Compliance Obligations
With so many different regulatory obligations pertaining to a multitude of different jurisdictions, multinational corporations struggle continually to stay abreast of compliance initiatives. Failing to meet these obligations could result in slowdowns, fines or other legal action.
Entity management technology can help you avoid these issues, creating an array of automated alerts to make sure the right team members have the information they need to meet regulatory demands. These efforts are made easier by streamlined and automated information updating, assuring that compliance efforts are kept verifiable and complete.
Collaborating Across the Organization
Once a legal team adopts a robust entity management system, it is easy to build out the functions to allow for collaboration with other departments within the organization. For example, insurance providers have begun using entity management technology to track both their legal proceedings and their claims information.
Other companies have partnered their legal teams with their finance team to track the business operations of a specified entity. These types of collaborations can help the organization prevent millions of dollars of loss and risk while strengthening cross-departmental bonds within the company.
Demonstrating Value of Legal’s Contribution
More and more, legal departments are becoming an influential component of management teams. Across corporations, General Counsels have taken on a more significant role in providing business and strategy advice at the executive level.
As legal teams fight for company resources, it is important to be able to articulate how the work of the legal department helps support he overall objectives of the organization. Proper use of technology can help them understand, calculate and demonstrate their contribution and value to senior management.
Customized dashboards help General Counsel proved a detailed overview of their department’s activity, including movement on urgent requests, numbers of matters closed and budget spent. It also provides ways of measuring workload, response times to requests and other key performance indicators. Sharing these metrics with C-suite decision-makers can be a clear and effective way of communicating the value of the legal team’s contribution.
Interested in more information?
If you’d like to know more about how entity management technology can advance your organization’s legal efforts, contact a Blueprint representative. We’d be happy to help you learn more.