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Boosting Compliance: 5 Innovative Strategies for Your Legal Department

Dear in-house lawyer, stop for a moment! We're sure you've found yourself in a situation where you're constantly putting out fires rather than being able to stay ahead of them. It's also likely that you've felt that wish you could have prevented them earlier but, rest assured, if so, you're in the right place. This article will explore how to shift the Compliance focus from reactive to proactive. The goal? To drive compliance, from your legal department to your entire company, with innovative and practical strategies that will allow you to anticipate and prevent legal problems before they become crises. 

Are you ready to take your legal department to the next level? Let's dive into the world of Compliance 360!

Lawyer in brown blazer chats on the phone outside her office. Bigle Legal CLM article on compliance.

5 steps Toward the Compliance of the Future

  1. Do you react or do you prevent? A New Paradigm for Compliance
  2. Anticipate Legal Issues: Implement Preventative Policies and Procedures
  3. Employ Legal Tech to Boost Compliance Strategically
  4. Create a Team of Compliance Superheroes
  5. Open Your Mind. New Approaches to New Compliance Challenges

1. Do you react or do you prevent? A New Paradigm for Compliance

Among the many challenges you face as an in-house lawyer, Compliance management is likely to have become a task in which you are at least indirectly involved. Whether your responsibility is direct or indirect, Compliance is critical to the success and sustainability of organisations, and the legal department's work directly contributes to this. But how do you approach this management: does your department react to problems as they arise, or does it actively anticipate and prevent potential risks?

If you choose the first option, you are taking a reactive approach. It means dealing with legal issues only after they have arisen, which can be costly and even damage the company's reputation. The second option is a proactive approach, which involves anticipating and preventing potential risks before they become crises. This approach focuses on identifying and mitigating legal risks before they materialise and develop into various crises, ultimately helping to protect the company's reputation and avoid legal sanctions.

Proactive Compliance is about anticipating and preventing potential risks before they become crises.

2. Anticipate Legal Issues: Implement Preventative Policies and Procedures

Establish clear policies

To be effective, your company's compliance policies must be clear, specific and easily understood by everyone in the organisation.

Structure internal procedures

In addition to establishing clear policies, it is important to develop structured internal procedures to guide employees in day-to-day situations.

Training and Awareness

It is not enough to have policies and procedures in place; they need to be communicated and reach every employee, so training and raising awareness of their importance and application is essential.

You may be interested in: Key tips and legal tech trends for the in-house lawyer of 2024

3. Employ Legal Tech to Boost Compliance Strategically

Fortunately, you are not alone in this task: let's look at what tools can help you automate processes, avoid mistakes and prevent gaps in your company's compliance.

Legal request systems to open up collaboration

Legal request systems, also known as legal ticketing, allow company employees to submit legal requests in a structured and organised way. This not only facilitates communication between different departments and Legal but also ensures that all requests are recorded, centralised and addressed promptly. Before you receive requests in the corridors, by email or even your Whatsapp (or even by land, sea and air), adopt a centralised system to anticipate and receive them in an organised way.

Document and process automation

Automating the creation, review and storage of legal documents saves valuable time and greatly reduces human error, but above all, it standardises documents and contracts, which directly impacts Compliance. In addition, by using these automation tools, legal departments can streamline routine processes, such as drafting contracts or reviewing internal policies, freeing up resources to focus on more strategic tasks.

Standardising documents and contracts has a direct impact on companies' Compliance.

Advanced electronic signature

By adopting advanced electronic signatures, your legal department can standardise signature processes, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of signed documents while storing multiple biometric data of signatories, and helping to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. By eliminating the need for printing, scanning and physical storage of documents, advanced electronic signatures reduce the risk of human error and document loss, which strengthens traceability and control over signature processes.

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) platforms

State-of-the-art CLM platforms offer a complete solution for contract lifecycle management, from creation to signature and renewal. By centralising all contracts and related documents in a single, secure and accessible repository, CLM platforms facilitate the monitoring and enforcement of contract terms, as well as the identification of potential risks and opportunities for improvement.

Lawyers in suits gather around a table in a meeting with their superior. Bigle Legal CLM article on compliance.

4. Create a Team of Compliance Superheroes

The effectiveness of compliance depends not only on the implementation of policies and procedures but also on the team responsible for carrying out these initiatives. Let's look at how to build a team that can proactively and effectively address regulatory challenges.

Build a diverse team

You need lawyers with compliance expertise, but also professionals with experience in technology, data analytics, internal audit, risk management and other relevant areas. 

Training and development

This includes training programmes on specific compliance topics, as well as opportunities to acquire relevant technical and management skills.

Promoting a culture of compliance

Communicate compliance policies and procedures while promoting ethical values and integrity throughout the organisation.

Cross-departmental collaboration

Finally, it is important to foster collaboration and communication between the compliance team and other departments and functions in the organisation.

5. Open Your Mind. New Approaches to New Compliance Challenges

Legal Hackathon Programme

These events provide an opportunity for team members to work together to identify and solve company-specific legal challenges creatively and efficiently. During a legal hackathon, participants can develop innovative technological solutions, review and optimise existing processes, and generate new ideas to improve the efficiency of the compliance programme.

Crisis Simulations

Another innovative practice is to participate in regular crisis simulation exercises. These exercises simulate emergencies and legal risks, such as cyber-attacks, data breaches, unexpected litigation or reputational crises, and provide the Compliance team with the opportunity to practice proactive management of these situations.

If you've read this far, you're interested in ensuring your company's compliance, so one last piece of advice: follow us on LinkedIn if you want to keep up to date with the latest innovations for your legal department, and don't miss our upcoming articles!