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Insights

Global perspectives.
Latest thinking. 

Leigh Dance has written, published and spoken extensively on many aspects of global legal services, at major global conferences and in business and legal industry publications worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal.  Click here for our extensive archive of past (we believe still insightful!) published articles.

Dance is author of Bright Ideas:  Insights from Legal Luminaries Worldwide, published by Mill City Press and available on Amazon.  Bright Ideas is a compilation of 23 original essays by leaders and influencers around the world.

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Global In-House: Improving Performance & Time Management

Here are synopses of two of the three latest articles on Global In-House , the column I’m writing for American Lawyer Media’s Corporate Counsel. "Four Reasons Why In-House Lawyers Can Be Bullish About the Future," published January 12th, describes why the horizon is sunny for global in-house lawyers. Amidst a year-end and year-start full of bad news, here are four bright signs for global corporate lawyers:

1) You are no longer aspiring to be a full business partner; most of you have arrived. Global in-house lawyers have more internal influence and status than ever, and more opportunity to shine.

2) You’ve moved up the value chain as your company’s reach becomes more global. In-house counsel that can navigate foreign legal frameworks are highly appreciated, and supporting an increase in cross-border transactions makes your job more fun.

3) As in-house lawyers throughout the western world gain more responsibility for governance, your role is more crucial to the enterprise and to its Directors.

4) Your work can truly make a difference. I recently heard former President Bill Clinton address lots of lawyers that support international pro bono. Heed his words: “Every time you do something to promote the rule of law, you help create a way for people to cooperate without battle.”

The Feb 1st piece, "Eight Time-saving Tips for Global In-house Legal," is part 1 of a 2-part article focusing on smart steps to address the challenges of global in-house counsel’s constantly growing and complex workload. It presents examples I gathered from global in-house counsel that have made real progress to save time and streamline their in-house teams’ workloads.

The examples come from international companies including Bridgestone Firestone, CSC, FTI Consulting, Hilton, Orbit Showtime Networks and Rentokil Initial and cover more than 80 countries.

Their ideas and experience include suggestions to make change more manageable, and easier for busy in-house lawyers to adopt. They include:

  • Steamlining sign-offs
  • Time-saving apps
  • Collaborative tools
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Self-service tools
  • Managing email
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Running good meetings

Part 2 has just appeared in Corporate Counsel, and covers not only promising signs of remarkable progress, but also the roadblocks and challenges to adopting new IT tools, systems and approaches. Stay tuned for that synopsis in a week.