As the legal industry digitises, the role of the General Counsel grows ever more complex. In a recent series of roundtable discussions co-sponsored by Corporate Counsel Australia and MinterEllison on the challenges faced by modern GC’s, many attendees expressed concern over how difficult it can be to justify the role of the GC in concrete terms. “Part of the issue is that their work is qualitative rather than quantitative,” says MinterEllison’s whitepaper on the discussions. “Companies are much more willing to hire accountants during high-demand periods such as tax season, whereas the worth of in-house lawyers is seen as more nebulous.” As a platform for data organisation, Dazychain represents a unique opportunity for GC’s to not only improve internal efficiency, but to report their value to the company in easily-understood, quantifiable terms. Katherine King, COO of Yarris and Dazychain Product Owner, weighs in.
“In legal departments,” says King, “data is primarily used in two ways: to manage matters and to manage people.” The categorisation of matters into filterable data is a perfect example of the former: “You can analyse based on risk, look at matters by division, or sort matters by priority. That sort of data is key to ensuring that the organisation is made safe from potential poor outcomes of key matters, thus improving overall success.” The latter, human resource management, allows a legal team to make the most of who they have. “Many corporate legal teams work at a very fast pace and are very under-resourced. The GC needs to be able to see what matters different members of the team are currently working on, and allocate matters based on current priorities or workload distribution.” Dazychain enables GC’s to better visualise workflow in these two areas, with extensive filtering options for both outstanding matters and work allocation amongst team members.
Aside from increased efficiency, what makes Dazychain such a valuable asset is its power as a reporting tool for GC’s to demonstrate to their companies the real worth of an in-house legal team. “We need to be able to show the outcome of the team’s work, and the contribution they’re making to the rest of the business,” says King. Using those same data-filtering and visualisation features, Dazychain can be used “to individualise a report for a business unit head or to provide information to the CEO and the board. It can be quite eye-opening for the rest of the organisation, allowing the GC to potentially argue for more resources, outsource some work, or think about how other people can self-serve.
“With Dazychain, it’s no longer a mystery what the legal team is doing,” says King. “This kind of visibility enables a GC to grasp the levers of control and responsibility and decision making to go in directions that benefit the legal team and the organisation as a whole.” A transparent, well-managed legal department can only improve a company’s bottom line and overall employee satisfaction, two goals that Dazychain was specifically designed to achieve. When successfully implemented, Dazychain’s potential is enormous, not only for a GC, but for their entire organisation, as well.
By Cameron Raia