In September 2020, Xakia Technologies issued the Legal Operations Health Check eBook — a report summarizing the results of the legal operations benchmarking survey (the ‘Health Check’) carried out from April 2018 to July 2020. Given the Health Check was used by 349 legal teams in 37 countries, the eBook aggregated a significant volume of data about the current status of corporate legal departments of all sizes, in various industries, around the world.
The InvestCEE team contributed the EMEA analysis to the eBook and collaborated with the Xakia expert panel to discuss the Health Check results in an in-depth webinar. This article is an extract of the EMEA overview from the eBook, aimed to inspire legal teams to improve their operations with data & analytics.
Methodology used for the Legal Operations eBook
The 100-question Health Check survey included 10 questions in 10 areas and the data was de-identified and aggregated based on team size, company size, industry and geographical region. The survey measured the maturity of a legal team’s internal processes by adding their median scores for every question in the category. Any combined score of 50 or more was considered mature. The Health Check incorporated best practices from both the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium and the Association of Corporate Counsel, as well as Xakia Technologies‘ own experience serving legal departments around the world.
With an overall health score of 46.5, legal departments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa had the strongest performance in the Health Check. While this score puts EMEA into a leading position comparative to other global regions, the results are still shy of the overall maturity threshold of 50. Comparative to other global regions (North America, South America and APAC), legal departments in EMEA:
reached maturity score levels in External Resource Management, Legal Team Management and Financial Management (outperforming other global regions);
scored just below maturity levels (with over 40 points) in Knowledge Management, Legal Work Streams, Strategic Planning and Workflow Management (outperforming other global regions);
performed moderately well and very close to APAC and North American score levels in Communications and Technology Tools; and
need to significantly improve Data Analytics capabilities where they were outperformed by peers in South America.
Findings for EMEA Legal Departments
The highest scores for EMEA legal departments stem from excellent performance in key process management areas:
External Resource Management: 58 points
Legal Team Management: 57 points
Financial Management: 56 points
Knowledge Management: 49 points
Legal Work Streams: 46 points
Strategic Planning: 44 points
Workflow Management: 43 points
The three areas with the lowest scores in the EMEA region were Communication (36 points), Technology Tools (36 points) and Data Analytics (32 points). The take-away learnings from the Health Check are rather clear for our legal teams in EMEA:
need to improve ability to capture data in legal work;
need to improve communication of the value of legal work based on captured data; and
need to make better sense of legal data to increase the added value of legal services.
Health Check survey data showed that most legal teams in EMEA would highly benefit from proactively investing into streamlined internal processes, structured flow of information, smart tools to help with data management and better use of data analytics.
When exploring detailed findings of the Health Check at the in-depth webinar hosted by Jodie Baker, Founder and CEO of Xakia Technologies, insights from the expert panel (Norton Rose Fulbright, Ascertus Limited, and InvestCEE LegalTech Consultancy) essentially gravitated around one key message. The ultimate goal for all the data capture and all the technology investments is enabling positive professional relationships within the legal department AND with business functions. To get there, we need to access smart technology that can help us better showcase the value of legal work.
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