Report shares five ‘pillars’ for sustainable post-pandemic in-house legal teams

GCs need to rethink the way they organise their teams after the coronavirus crisis, report says

Report shares five ‘pillars’ for sustainable post-pandemic in-house legal teams

A new report has shared five “pillars” of sustainable post-pandemic in-house legal teams, saying that general counsel need to rethink the way they organise their teams as the crisis wanes.

In its Built to Last? A blueprint for developing future-proof in-house legal teams report, Obelisk Support identified the main issues facing teams. The report looked at current reports, surveys, literature, and thinking in the legal industry and in the academe.

The flexible legal services provider said that in-house legal teams are most challenged by increasing cost pressures; staying ahead of risk, regulation, and litigation; evolving expectations of their businesses; and managing multi-generational teams.

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Obelisk Support said that key to future success of in-house teams is attracting, retaining, and developing the skills of people who can meet current challenges and create work environments that foster innovation and excellence.

“Focusing only on ‘more for less’ will eventually lead only to ‘less,’ as staff become burnt out and productivity reduces. Rather, the leaders of in-house teams need to find ways to build a sustainable working culture that provides a platform for them and their teams to create value for their business,” the report said.

To create sustainable teams, truly flexible work environments must be created, Obelisk Support said. These environments enable people to thrive across different stages in life.

Teams must also develop varied and challenging career paths that ensure in-house lawyers build both business and legal skills.

Organisations must also pay attention to the health and wellbeing of employees. This must be done through both policies and concrete action, the report said.

Diversity must also be fostered “across all dimensions and at all levels,” Obelisk Support said. Teams must build inclusive cultures, which in turn leads to superior performance.

In-house legal teams must also be role models for the changes they want to see for their own teams and companies, as well as the wider legal industry.

Obelisk Support said that nobody knows yet how the COVID-19 pandemic will develop, but at some point, everyone will be in a new reality.

“Whatever that looks like, the pace of change will continue to increase, risks will multiply and the significance of the in-house legal team will only grow,” Obelisk Support said. “However, this growth won’t just mean more of the same. Far from it, the in-house legal team of the future will need to be leaner, smarter and more agile.”

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