At the recent ITGC Irish Legal TechOps event, Johnson Hana’s Sinead Garnett spoke on a range of topics relating to the growing legal operations function.

The video and transcript below are an excerpt from that panel discussion and feature Sinead’s answer to a question from Sarah Irwin, founder of the ITGC: What is the future of Legal Operations in Ireland?


The first thing [to note] is probably the prevalence of legal operations. Like Alex [COO at Brightflag] mentioned at the beginning, it really is growing.

Although to some extent it’s still a bit “what is legal ops?” but the fact that people are event asking that question makes a change to a few years ago, in Ireland at least. Obviously, though, there are different rates of adoption in different countries.

So I think that’s really exciting, because that is encouraging the maturity of the function.

Like, if you look at how Legal Ops has evolved over the last twenty years, it’s gone from maybe being a more tactical, risk and financial management discipline, to being a very important strategic partner to the business. [And therefore, to being] the facilitator and enabler of the business.

So I think it’s becoming a lot more innovative.

Also, I’m biased, obviously, but I do think we’re going to see increasing adoption of ALSPs.

And I think, actually, we probably are almost certainly facing into a couple of years of downward macroeconomic trends and that tends to accelerate the adoption of technology, and also different types of service providers. And, actually, the growth of legal operations [as a function overall].

I think that means that there is this understanding of operational efficiency:

  • What resources am I deploying against what workstreams?
  • Am I actually aligning the cost of my work, with the value it’s creating for the business?
  • Or with the risk that it’s mitigating?

Because if I’m not, there’s a mismatch here, and I need to rethink that.

I think in technology we will obviously see Legal Tech continue to evolve to be more and more important to the functioning of the legal department.

I suspect we will see a broadening of Enterprise technology, to cover the legal department more and more.

But we’ll kind of see how that plays out, and then, I guess, data.

It’s just all about data.

And legal departments cannot get away with not being subject to BI metrics, to KPIs, OKRs, whatever your favourite acronym is!

I think, like, I know Alex said it but, you are absolutely going to have to be demonstrating:

  • Am I reducing costs?
  • Am I reducing risk? Or
  • Am I generating revenue (by my impact on the sales cycle)?

And getting to a point where you can really quantify and measure that I think is going to be critical.

About Johnson Hana

Johnson Hana is Ireland’s leading alternative legal solutions provider. That means we disaggregate legal advisory and legal process work, and focus on the latter.

We offer:

Legal Process Outsourcing – whereby a specific legal process is carved out and outsourced to us

Legal Process Secondments – to augment a busy legal team or fulfil a temporary requirement for an experienced legal professional.

Historically, legal advisory and legal process work were tackled and billed in the same way. This means that all legal work has been as costly and time consuming as legal advice.

It doesn’t need to be.

We deliver legal process work through a combination of innovative legal technologies, robust project management methodologies, and expert lawyers. This approach reduces client legal spend by over 50%, while also providing totally transparent reporting and billing. This leaves our clients free to focus on the strategic, advisory work that really adds value.

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