Epiq's Legal Business Advisory Team Named Legal Operations Finalists for 2023 LegalWeek Leaders in Tech Law Awards
Epiq's Legal Business Advisory (LBA) team are finalists for the 2023 LegalWeek Leader in Tech Law Awards for Legal Operations advisory work. The team worked with a Fortune 500 tech company to methodically assess their end-to-end management of IP, with the goal of transforming their operational capability through process and organizational design.
Organizational change at this scale requires understanding a myriad of factors: IP practice and procedures, corporate culture, industry considerations, business priorities, management and staff personalities, commitment to change, availability of resources, cross-functional processes, and more.
Within 4 months, Epiq’s experts conducted 50 interviews across 6 countries (US, Korea, France, India, United Kingdom, and Spain), surveying 70 team members across the IP lifecycle process (including IT, Outside Counsel, and R&D representatives) focusing on how technology, processes, organizational dynamics, and operations management enable (or impede) the successful execution and use of their end-to-end IP management tool.
Epiq uncovered that the IP department had the opportunity to realize gains of up to 40% in additional capacity per legal team member by improving process and organizational design, leveraging existing technology, and optimizing the balance of internal and external resources, thereby freeing up nearly 800 hours per person, per year.
Based on this award-nominated legal operations work, we have identified four guiding principles to plan and execute a successful transformation project that you can apply:
Align IP practice across legal, operations, and business strategy
Focus on effectiveness of legal service delivery
Leverage existing technology, particularly the IP asset management system
- Adopt data-driven continuous improvement practices
Guiding Principle #1 - Align the IP practice across legal, operations, and business strategy
Upon discovering that the IP department had the opportunity to realize massive gains in additional capacity per legal team member, Epiq's team set out to improve IP processes and resource allocation. First, formalizing a dedicated IP Operations function ensured that the right work goes to the right resources, internally and externally, and aligned the legal department, IT and outside counsel around supporting the business strategy.
Guiding Principle #2 - Focus on effectiveness of legal service delivery
Epiq’s LBA team collaborated with this newly dedicated IP Ops function to proactively address emerging departmental needs and streamline workflows while also cross-pollinating leading practices across the organization, thereby enabling lawyers and paralegals to focus on strategic business priorities and the overall value of the IP portfolio.
The team also formalized outside counsel performance management, redefining law firm relationships to achieve stronger service delivery and rewriting outside counsel guidelines to better define processes and control costs.
Guiding Principle #3 - Leverage existing technology
Utilizing the Epiq PracticeViewTM methodology for legal transformation, the LBA team assessed the IP group's competencies (Operational, Organizational, and Technological), and discovered that the client relied heavily on internal IT teams and unsustainable IT practices while underutilizing their IP asset management system. In Phase Two, the Epiq team optimized the client's existing intellectual management asset management system, reducing their reliance on antiquated practices, eliminating manual processes, and increasing cost-savings by fully employing their existing, integrated system.
Guiding Principle #4 - Adopt data-driven continuous improvement practices
In its first year, the IP operations team had a data-centric goal of capturing baseline metrics (total cost to manage global patents, average cost per patent, average number of hours per filing) to show improvements in both efficiency and spending. The project has now moved to its third phase focused on the development and implementation of additional cost savings initiatives, new and expanded global business processes, sustainable best practices, and operational analytics.
Epiq LBA's philosophy, no matter the challenge, is especially well suited for IP projects. We always provide pragmatic, actionable and specific advice. With every project we lay the foundation for the most challenging and impactful initiatives first by notching some early wins featuring improvements in behavior and attitudes, while also producing data-driven insights and/or savings that empower our clients to attain even more audacious objectives.
Epiq's Legal Business Advisory are experts in transformation. With our pragmatic and logical approach, any challenge can be resolved.