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CCCA_V6No2_Dept-Performance-FIN_CCCA_V5No3_Dept-Performance 5/23/12 11:32 PM Page 9 Performance in the Law Department The value enigma The 2012 Barometer Survey on risk management, the most important challenges facing in-house counsel and using metrics. By Richard G. Stock here are a number of “connections” The survey states that “measuring and is broken down by sector.The day-to-day Tthat can and should be made among providing value can be elusive concepts workload leaves little time for“big picture several elements of CCCA’s 2012 In- that are difficult to quantify.”Agreed. One thinking” or the development of initia- House Counsel Barometer. These question asked of the 411 respondents tives which would benefit the organiza- include measuring and providing value was: “Which of the following represent tion as a whole. in legal services delivery, the greatest the main ways in which your department challenges facing in-house counsel on provides value within your organization?” the job, the length of the work week, (see Risk management graph, left). Publicly traded companies (137 participants) and the place of performance indicators Greater insight would have been provid- for legal departments. Each is an impor- ed if the first option had been unbundled: tant subject in its own right. helping business get done; and managing or Wholly-owned subsidiaries of publicly traded companies (42 participants) The CCCA has indicated it is conduct- reducing risks.In addition,rating the impor- ing a comprehensive review of the 8-year tance of each option on a 5-point scale Private companies (95 participants) old survey in preparation for 2013. With would lend some weight to each option. this in mind, the following offers a num- It is noteworthy that the report refers to ber of observations and suggestions. The the findings on this question as metrics, Government (100 participants) 2012 Barometer survey is helpful, but when the question was about providing needs to probe more deeply in the future value, not about how the legal department Not-for-profit, and other types of organizations if it is to uncover the different way in is measured. The overall survey will be (37 participants) which in-house counsel deliver value. improved with differentiation and consis- tency in several of the terms used in the All participants (411) Risk management report: providing value, measuring value, 0 20 40 60 80 100 metrics, hard metrics, key performance Percentage that rank workload as their No. 1 challenge. indicators, and performance metrics. A Managing or reducing risks associated with careful look at other questions in the report Perhaps the selection of challenges was business decisions will suggest where clarity of definition will not complete enough. For instance, other enhance the 2013 Barometer survey. surveys suggest that providing interesting Ensuring the organization is in compliance with sector regulations work to members of the legal department Ranking the most important challenge is a significant challenge. Nevertheless, on Controlling costs for use of external counsel In-house counsel were asked to rank average, the workload challenge proved to eight challenges in terms of their impor- be five times more important (65 per tance. These included three challenges cent to 13 per cent) than the second- Managing lawsuits for the organization about privilege, and another four about ranked challenge. matter management software, ethical Some 85 per cent of survey respondents screens, alternative fee arrangements, and said earlier that managing or reducing risks Controlling costs by advising on legal settlements encouraging equity.The eighth challenge associated with business decisions was concerned workloads. the main way in which their legal depart- Other The top challenge for in-house counsel ment adds value to the organization.Yet, 0 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% is the workload. The relative importance the greatest challenge is the day-to-day ÉTÉ 2012 CCCA Canadian Corporate Counsel Association 9
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