Sacha Kirk, Lawcadia: “the biggest challenge for in-house legal teams is that they continually have to justify their existence”

Today's guest explains, that legal teams too often are expected to do more with less.

In this kind of environment efficiency and speed becomes key. To ensure all the necessary legal processes are going smoothly, to equip professionals with resources, and to allow visibility, advanced legal platforms are needed.

For this reason, Cybernews writers sat down with Sacha Kirk, Chief Marketing Officer of Lawcadia – an intelligent legal operations platform for high-performing in-house legal teams & law firms.

How did Lawcadia originate? What has your journey been like so far?

Lawcadia was founded in 2015 to transform the way that corporate and Government legal teams bought and managed their external legal services, bringing greater transparency, visibility, and accountability to the process.

Co-Founder Warwick Walsh, a corporate lawyer at the time, recognized that there was an opportunity in the market. The company quickly grew, and the platform evolved and expanded to meet emerging market needs.

Can you introduce us to your platform? What are its key features?

Lawcadia is an award-winning two-sided platform that in-house legal teams and their law firms use for legal intake and triage, matter management, collaboration, and spend management.

The entire legal function benefits from streamlined workflows, greater control of legal budgets, accurate instructions, built-in document automation, collaboration tools, and actionable insights.

In your opinion, what are some of the most challenging issues that legal teams face today?

The expectation to do more with less is a challenge for in-house legal teams as they are continually under pressure to justify their existence and prove to their business how they are adding value.

Further, the legal function is grappling with the desire to demonstrate performance and value but is still uncertain about what to measure and how to measure it consistently without adding additional burden to time-poor lawyers.

How did the recent global events affect your field of work?

Collaboration and communication have always been at the heart of Lawcadia’s core values, and this has been key to our success during recent global events. In many ways, the first year of the covid pandemic (2020) was beneficial for Lawcadia as it gave our team of talented developers the time and focus that they needed to re-imagine a platform for the future and saw us launch Lawcadia Intelligence, our intelligent automation engine.

Fortunately, in the global legal market there continues to be a strong demand for legal technology solutions to assist with streamlining processes for in-house legal teams and their law firms, and Lawcadia is proud to be at the forefront of the industry.

Why do you think companies often hesitate to try out new and innovative solutions that would enhance various business processes?

When it comes to introducing new ways of doing things and new technologies into the legal function, the biggest challenge often is the 'this is how we've always done it' sentiment. This, mixed with a bit of technology phobia, can cause hesitation, especially as lawyers can be quite conservative and risk-averse.

The way to overcome this is by using a collaborative approach by utilizing the strengths of all involved parties to develop an overall solution that will support the organization now and allow for future growth.

With remote work becoming the new normal, what are some of the best practices companies should adopt to collaborate on and exchange sensitive data securely?

Data security is crucial for legal teams as most information is highly sensitive. Ensuring that systems have strict access controls in place to restrict visibility to those who need to know is essential in the legal industry, and to this end, systems need to have a robust permissions structure and an ability to lock down highly confidently matters.

As Lawcadia is a two-sided platform with information flowing to and from external law firms, we have a process in which law firms ‘clear conflicts’ prior to receiving sensitive information, as well as technical measures for the secure exchange of data. Having an ISO 27001 certified Information Security Management Systems is also crucial with regular audits, penetration testing, and ongoing security updates.

What other tools do you think can greatly enhance legal operations?

Low code and no-code workflow automation allow for the streamlining of the creation, approval, and management of legal work. By identifying high-volume, repetitive, manual, and time-consuming tasks or documents and automating those, the legal team can reduce the time and costs of completing these processes. In this way, in-house lawyers can be relieved of low-value and administrative tasks, therefore, allowing their time and attention to be spent on more strategic and valuable projects.

Configurable reporting and analytics tools are also rapidly becoming a key focus for legal operations enabling legal teams to measure what they need to measure and ideally automating most of the data collation and analysis via the routine use of workflows, matter management, and reportable custom fields.

How do you think the legal field is going to evolve in the next few years?

As the WFH/hybrid working lifestyle is becoming the norm it is proving to be transformational for those organizations prepared to take advantage of this opportunity. There is also a curiosity in the industry for new technology solutions and uncovering better ways to provide legal services and improve the customer experience (CX).

And finally, what does the future hold for Lawcadia?

The future looks bright. The changing environment has prompted legal professionals to become more open to adopting digital offerings and seek technology solutions to improve systems and inefficient processes. Lawcadia is proud and excited to be leading the charge in this space.

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