GC Spotlight: Carlos Estrada, General Counsel, APAC at The Adecco Group.
We are talking to General Counsels from different industries to get some insights on how they're navigating their legal departments during tough times.
1. What have been your biggest challenges over the last few months?
- Ensuring the teams remain healthy and engaged
- Supporting the business with special circumstances, e.g. force majeure cases, cash collections and payment defaults, adapting to new regulations (especially, in light of COVID19)
2. What are your key priorities for the next year?
- Further rationalize processes and roles by enhancing and promoting a shared service center approach
- Continue prioritizing service excellence and risk prevention
3. Has your role in your organisation changed / is it changing? If yes, in what way?
- More focus on talent attraction, development and succession planning
- Assuming new responsibilities on non-legal key strategic projects
4. What are your thoughts on, or experiences with, legal technology and how do you envisage it changing the way your legal team operates?
- It can definitely help to accelerate change but it is not the solution to everything. What is more important, in my view, is changing the mindset and improving the processes. Technology is just an enabler
- As we are further experiencing virtual communication tools during these times, I believe they could remain as a more effective way to communicate and negotiate contracts in the future
- Digital signature solutions are also here to stay and provide great efficiency, specially, during these times
5. How do you think about the use of data relating to your legal department’s activities (e.g. data relating to contracts, risk, tracking work flows, performance metrics, costs)?
- This is close to my heart: I strongly believe that you cannot manage what you don’t measure. Therefore, we try to track as much data as we can so that my team and I have the right tools to decide where to focus our efforts and prioritize
- We measure, for instance, number of contracts reviewed and turnaround time, stakeholders’ satisfaction level (in terms of speed, quality and business understanding), compliance levels (per country and based on recurrent compliance assessments), number of compliance trainings performed per year, external legal spend YOY, etc.
6. Are there any specific changes, developments or trends that you expect (or hope) to see in the legal services industry?
- I hope that blockchain develops further and can be applied more extensively. I think this could open endless opportunities and greatly facilitate contracts’ execution and enforceability.
- I also hope that contracts’ drafting and negotiation processes could be streamlined
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