How LawVu brings value to Co-op’s in-house legal team
Implementing a new software solution can be a challenging time, which is why Andrew Hay, Co-op’s Head of Operations Legal & Secretariat did his due diligence and chose the LawVu legal workspace for their in-house legal team.
The Co-op organization centres around ‘co-operating for a fairer world’, where principles are more valuable than profits, bringing different, fairer, and better ways of doing business.
From the outset, Co-op was seeking a legal technology solution that matched the ethos of the organization. It wanted to take a path that ensured success, therefore it was important to choose a legal technology partner that aligned with the values the organization holds.
With an in-house legal team of over 50 members, the Co-op in-house legal team required a solution that met both its own needs and those of the wider organization.
Searching for a better way – and better data
Prior to choosing LawVu, the in-house legal team at Co-op used legal software designed for private law practice. The software had a lot of features that weren’t required and the team found it slow and difficult to use, which impacted productivity and resulted in a lack of adoption with the software. Due to its lack of use, the software also neglected to capture and surface the data the team needed in order to operate efficiently and show its value to the wider organization.
Ultimately, the software was not fit-for-purpose and didn’t meet the unique needs of the team or the wider business.
While there was a recognition from the legal team that a better, more effective solution was needed, they remained hesitant after several unsatisfactory experiences with other vendors. As a result, Hay inherited a bad relationship around transferring data between software solutions and decided to start again – from scratch.
Change management with the right focus
Hay’s approach was to get the right people involved in the right way, right from the start. His background in HR assisted with this; he understood how important it was to have people involved in the project who were willing to embrace the new opportunity to build a better way of working.
Hay says Co-op was initially attracted to LawVu as it’s built specifically for in-house legal teams. In addition, the attitude and approach of the LawVu team gave Hay the confidence that the implementation was going to be successful.
“LawVu works by listening to customers, understanding their needs, and seeking solutions and resolutions. The team is flexible, responsive, and has great communication, which leads to things getting done quickly.”
The key to the success of LawVu and its implementation was the involvement of the whole in-house legal team and taking them on the journey to LawVu, which helped them to shift away from the previous negative experiences. Hay did this by developing an implementation team to gain buy-in from the legal team and also across the wider organization.
With implementation, representatives from each department were asked for their input, giving them the opportunity to voice their needs, how the process would proceed and what the outcomes should be.
This approach was mirrored by the LawVu team, which put forward a plan for success, with a team that included customer success, technical implementation, data and analytics, and customer training. As a result, the bar was set high for the implementation process, and the whole Co-op team felt really well supported.
One of the most important parts of implementation was the migration of data from the old system to LawVu.
As the result of exceptional planning, the migration weekend itself was uneventful, which was a great result, says Hay.
“The implementation of LawVu was fantastic and completed quickly. In particular, the data migration was very good, and completed within the timeframe expected.”
Knowing what matters by gaining insights
The LawVu product is simple, intuitive, and easy, which has led to a higher adoption rate within Co-op’s in-house legal team than with previous software. Hay says they now have more matters in the system than they ever did with the last software, with less time spent actually in the system inputting data.
“Everyone in the legal team at the Co-op is using LawVu now. Before LawVu, there was a significant risk around documentation – it was scattered throughout emails. I now have a much more robust record of what’s happening, and LawVu has reduced our exposure for not having complete matters.”
LawVu also enabled the team to see the uneven distribution of work across the paralegals, which they previously weren’t able to assess.
By using LawVu to capture all matters across the team, the insights & reporting capability captures and surfaces the data, enabling the more accurate and efficient resource allocation across the team, and ensuring more impactful decisions are made.
Using insights & reporting, also gives a better picture of the work being sent to outside counsel, says Hay. Previously it was a challenge to estimate completion dates for a matter, how long the partner firms were working on a matter, or what progress had been made.
These critical data points are captured and surfaced within the tool giving reports that provide critical knowledge on the status of outsourced work.
This is where Insights is helpful, insists Hay, as it takes these individual pieces of data, and presents them in dashboards showing the basic facts and figures they need to report on, and giving operational insight and risk mitigation, enabling them to get in front of any issues.
Insights & reporting surfaces the data to show what’s actually happening in the legal team, with the ‘power of getting it in the moment’ and being versatile and adaptive to what the needs of the business are.
Building relationships, building value
Building a relationship with the LawVu team is integral to the success of Co-op’s journey with the product, believes Hay.
He says LawVu’s approach of listening, working with the customer to understand its needs and, when necessary, seeking resolutions, is paramount to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship.
Working with the LawVu legal workspace, it’s also possible to be future-focused, adds Hay. It’s not only about embedding the use of the workspace in the daily workflow of the legal team and the wider business, but also about looking forward and seeing what’s possible.
For Co-op, the focus is on ramping up Insights across the legal team, so it’s able to provide accurate reporting and analytics. In order to do this, they’ll be working to secure buy-in from everyone in the team so the full picture of what’s happening within the legal team is reflected in the data.
Hay says there will also be some more thought about how the vendor engagement capability can play a part to improve the efficiency around the movement of data from Co-op to outside counsel.
But the success of LawVu at Co-op comes back to one key element – the relationship between the vendor and the customer.
“Having a strong partner relationship with a vendor is just as important as good software – and we have both with LawVu.”