Case Study: Legal Department Consulting




The Client

Global specialist healthcare business, headquartered in London with a 1,300 employees across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, that develops innovative products in specialist areas of medicine and pharmaceuticals.

Executive Summary

Our client wanted help determining how to best position its legal department to meet the needs of a dynamic, growing company. The Major, Lindsey & Africa team successfully collaborated with our client's legal team and employees throughout the company to develop a strategic plan that is being used to shape the law department's approach to delivering world-class services to its clients.

The Challenge

The company's legal department asked Major, Lindsey & Africa to help evaluate its current organizational structure, talent and technology. Recognizing that the company's business was rapidly changing in terms of size, product focus and geographic scope, the general counsel engaged us to work with the legal team leadership to determine how they could best meet the needs of their internal clients as the company continues to grow and evolve.

The Approach

Before starting field work, the Major, Lindsey & Africa Legal Talent Management Consulting Team worked with the general counsel to frame the scope of the engagement. They agreed on a multipronged approach:

  • Evaluating the department's current organizational structure and staffing levels and determining what changes would enable it to best serve the growing business.
  • Collecting feedback from key business unit and functional group leaders as to their perceptions of the law department's effectiveness.
  • Determining whether the company's Contract Management System was "fit for purpose."
  • Assessing the law department's ability to function as an effective, collaborative and interdependent team.

After finalizing the scope of work, we engaged in a comprehensive fact-finding process. We interviewed each member of the legal department, including administrative and support staff and then interviewed leaders of multiple business units as well as functional group leaders from regulatory, compliance and clinical affairs. In addition, our team reviewed company strategy documents, internal satisfaction surveys and time studies.

We undertook an extensive evaluation of the company's Contract Management System that included multiple demonstrations, review of training and user documentation and extensive interviews across multiple lines of the business to assess user acceptance.

Finally, our Legal Talent Management Consulting Team conducted an assessment of each lawyer in the department. These assessments were sophisticated tools designed to help each lawyer and his or her manager better understand their respective strengths, developmental opportunities and the extent of the match between individual and company values. We then met with each participant to share their assessment results and provide a road map to becoming more effective team members.

The Solution

Major, Lindsey & Africa made recommendations as to how the law department's current organizational structure could be adapted to meet the needs of a changing company. Those proposals included:

  • Adding lawyers in business-critical regions where the lack of a locally based attorney was impacting the business units' ability to get timely advice.
  • Redesigning legal roles to provide support across multiple business regions and business units.
  • Developing an organizational model better equipped to handle the law department's varied responsibilities by establishing two teams, one with primary responsibility for supporting the company's corporate and governance functions and another supporting its commercial functions.

With respect to technology, our Managed Legal Services team presented an objective assessment of the company's Contract Management System and a project plan to enhance the system's functionality by creating a cross-functional team to improve user acceptance of the platform. At the end of the process, Major, Lindsey & Africa helped socialize their final recommendations with the company's law department during the legal team's annual off-site retreat.

The Result

The client is now in the process of implementing our recommendations.


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