A large international retailer required a team of qualified and capable lawyers to carry out a contracts review and negotiation project to ensure regulatory compliance with already applicable regulations. Achieving this compliance required the engagement, co-operation, and agreement of hundreds of third party suppliers.
Contracts had to be sent to these third parties and acceptable modifications negotiated with many on an individual basis. This work was essential for regulatory compliance, and a regulatory deadline was looming, so the work had to be done appropriately, and with skill and tact, yet speedily.
The challenges faced by the client included but were not limited to the following:
- A prior over-reliance on internal resources to carry out the project - continual competing priorities had meant that the project had been 'back-burnered' repeatedly until it became urgent.
- The coincidence of several large internal projects and events at the same time, preventing internal resources from being a realistic option.
- An internal inability to meet the demands of the regulatory compliance given the large numbers of third party suppliers whose co-operation was required within a short period of time.
The resources provided, after rigorous training protocols, were able to begin churning through the backlog of work. Any matters arising were checked with the client’s internal legal team via project leads, and all answers were shared among the resources so that they did not need repetition.
The resource team operated with a degree of autonomy, interfacing with hundreds of third parties, prompting responses and negotiating agreements in compliance with regulations. Where responses were clear, or followed an established pattern, the team were empowered to handle such queries without reference to the client’s legal team. Where internal staff input was required, the resource team would progress matters as far as they could, including noting up, commenting on and amending legal documents, and drafting replies for approval, so that internal staff could spend the minimum amount of time on the project, and sign- off could be achieved with the maximum degree of efficiency.
- The project was completed on time and the project goal was significantly exceeded.
- The team of Barristers was fully vetted and sourced on the basis of each individual’s past experience, and were capable of analysing internal resource responses in the context of the regulatory framework, and engage in conceptual dialogue within this framework to ensure maximum compliance.
- The team were all technologically proficient and capable of learning all required protocols as they arose, in order to ensure procedural rigour and that all progress was adequately documented so as to withstand regulatory scrutiny.
- The team became intimately familiar with the applicable regulatory requirements, and were able to provide intelligent, useful input into decision-making, easing the burden on the client’s legal team.