Why you should hire a legal project manager during the covid crisis
The legal department is an integral part of large companies and is often under-resourced. However, it has been under increasing pressure to do more.
2008’s global recession saw a shift in the legal profession. Chief Financial Officers now have more control over legal spending.
Legal teams are crucial in keeping businesses afloat as they now face the consequences of the pandemic.
Due to the lockdown measures taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the UK was in the worst recession since records began. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), in August 2020, found that almost one third of businesses couldn’t afford their operating costs.
The statistics office also warned of the possibility of one in ten businesses going bankrupt. Businesses are worried that without government support, the furlough scheme will end at the end October 2020.
Many businesses are struggling to survive and the in-house legal team plays an important part in their recovery. Some people would view the legal department as a department that helps businesses avoid risk and manage their legal operations. This is understandable. stepping in when there is a problem or threat.
Their role has expanded to include advising on business decisions that could make it more profitable. With the need to navigate an uncertain economic environment, businesses require their legal departments to be fully equipped.
The concept of legal project management is relatively new. Pinsent Masons’ 2019 research found that while there are 1177 Project Managers in the UK legal sector and only 395 of them manage legal services delivery, the majority of them are legal project managers.
Legal project managers provide strategic and commercial input to the process and work to ensure that projects are delivered on time and within budget. Project managers are used across many industries to manage the project’s scope, budget, quality, risk, and resources.
It’s a new concept for the legal industry, as lawyers have project management skills that they have acquired through their roles. With increasing pressures and restraints on legal team members, and less time to manage project projects, many are realizing that outsourcing a legal manager is a sensible solution.
How can legal project managers improve the business of their legal department?
Reduce the pressure on in-house attorneys – Although senior lawyers have a lot of practical experience and knowledge about managing projects, they are still ‘project managers’. This means that they often have multiple priorities.
This can make it difficult for businesses to deal with the economic difficulties caused by the pandemic.
A specialist legal project manager can ease the pressure on senior lawyers. This will allow them to be more focused and more able to keep their promises.
It could include tracking actions and cost reporting, which can be time-consuming. A greater productivity level will be achieved if you spend more time efficiently and don’t put as much stress on your lawyers.
Provide an objective view – An external legal project manager can offer an objective view of the project’s state and is unlikely to be defensive.
An external project manager can see from above, anticipate large obstacles, and delegate the appropriate level of responsibility to each team member.
They will also be able identify potential stumbling block that might be overlooked, avoiding unexpected time or resourcing