Quick wins with a legal workspace
Vocus is a telecommunications company with approximately 1500 employees based across Australia, providing specialist fibre services. A challenger in the industry, Vocus’s success derives from its great culture, great people, and the ability to compete against the big players while remaining nimble.
Juggling multiple point solutions
Before implementing LawVu, the legal team managed its contracts and matters in separate legal tech tools. Trying to manage work across these systems created inefficiencies in the team’s ways of working, and this disconnect between the two systems resulted in missing information and ultimately an increased risk to the business.
“Having separate systems to manage contracts and matters meant finding information could be hard because we were constantly switching between systems and things could get lost. Legal intake was also not as efficient as it could be. It would come into legal via email, and then it would be picked up by our paralegals, who would distribute the work. There was a lot of back and forth before it would get allocated to a lawyer,” says Jillianne Osborn, Deputy General Counsel at Vocus.
There was also a lack of adoption across the multiple tools as a result of poor user experience and the additional time required to jump between systems. Each system was designed only to support a single workflow and lacked the depth and functionality needed to fully support and connect the legal team as a whole.
Optimising legal operations is essential to Vocus. “Managing risk appropriately and ensuring business continuity has been essential in the current uncertain economic climate and we’ve done this through consolidating the team’s workflow, matter management and contract management into one single platform” says Osborn.
Creating connection with a legal workspace
With the legal team continuing to grow professionally and taking on more work, there was a need to find an efficient solution. Managing matters and contracts in one system was crucial, as well as having a highly functional and searchable document repository.
“We needed to operate more efficiently, and so bringing on a single connected legal workspace was the obvious solution.” says Osborn.
LawVu had the added benefits of providing data reporting and visualization, which was also important for the team. By capturing all of this data within one system, the team gains a bird’s-eye view, and can report how legal is performing and demonstrate its impact on the wider organization. “With everything in one place, we’re now able to easily view and export metrics to provide direction on where we are spending our time, where we should be spending our time,” Osborn explains.
The other key driver towards investing in a single legal workspace was the availability of robust integrations. Vocus operates heavily out of Outlook, so having the Outlook integration with LawVu is key.
Quick implementation leads to fast adoption
The legal and deal desk teams are now operating out of LawVu as the result of a quick implementation of the tool into the legal team’s current workflow. “The LawVu implementation team was really quick and proactive, and when given access to the system, it was pretty easy to figure out how to do things yourself,” says Osborn.
Osborn was also pleasantly surprised by LawVu’s approach to onboarding.
“The LawVu team worked with our needs and requirements, and the adoption and feedback from the team has been excellent: ‘it’s a really great tool’ and ‘it’s really easy use’. The adoption’s been faster than anticipated as the system is really easy to navigate,” says Osborn.
Immediate wins and return on investment
1 – Approximately 25% reduction in email traffic resulting in 12.6 hours of time saved across the team in one month
Prior to LawVu, the team was managing intake through email. “Our intake process was not as efficient as it could be — work was submitted through email and often came without complete information,” explains Osborne.
A significant trend across in-house legal teams is to reduce the amount of time spent in email. Using the LawVu Business Portal, all work is submitted through one easy-to-use interface. Submission guidelines are set by the legal team so intake is structured and everything they need to know is collated— preventing unnecessary back and forth with the business. The team no longer spends time in email, going back and forth with the business, asking for more information to complete a request, such as the deadline, reason for the urgency or to attach the contract. All details are managed through the LawVu intake process.
“Early signs is that the time savings will be significant with an approximate 25% reduction in email traffic since rolling LawVu out to the wider business. This has resulted in a saving of approximately 750 mins (12.6 hours) of time spent reaching emails across the team in one month— time that is now free to spend on the work that our team came in-house to do— the strategic work that impacts business outcomes.”
As a result, the legal team has noticed a positive change in wider business’s behavior. “The beauty of just having one system to manage work is that all requests directly come through LawVu rather than through individual emails. In turn, this process has made it a lot easier for our business users.”
2 – Contract turnaround/completion time = 12% improvement
Prior to LawVu, contract turnaround time was not as efficient as it could have been as a result of managing work across multiple systems and not having a single repository to store information. This meant a lot of time was spent looking for the right version of a contract and often things got missed.
By bringing the legal team’s contract workflow into one system, in the LawVu pilot, the team saw an approximate 12% improvement in turnaround time for contracts.
3 – Time taken to allocate work to a lawyer reduced from 3 hours to 0 hours
Another benefit of the LawVu Business Portal has been the automation of assigning work. “Before LawVu, requests would come into legal via email and then it would be picked up by our paralegals who would distribute the work.”
With LawVu being so configurable, the team has set up intake so that certain matter types are automatically assigned to a lawyer. This automation has meant that the time to allocate a lawyer has reduced by around 3 hours.
Future time savings through automation
Plans for 2023 are looking bright for the Vocus legal team. With one system now set up and rolled out to the team, they plan to continue to embed LawVu and promote its use as the best way to engage with the legal team and improve the efficiency gains they’ve already seen since implementing LawVu. The team plans to keep improving the allocation of matters across the team based on different requirements like priority and risk, as well as adding automation to specific processes like creating NDAs by using the built-in LawVu wizards.
“The complete adoption and utilization of LawVu will be a game changer for our team and will continue to provide the time savings we need to concentrate on the strategic and high-value work that the business needs from legal,” says Osborn.