General Counsel Solutions: The Three Five Risks and Trends
3 March 2011
I recently reached my two month anniversary at Intralinks and started thinking about the interaction that I’ve had with General Counsel in meetings this year throughout the U.S. and in London, and at the recent LegalTech conference. This seems like a good time to reflect on market feedback about Intralinks for Corporate Legal Management. I came here because I believe — after being a practicing attorney, adjunct law professor and leader of electronic product development for Wolters Kluwer Legal Markets — that Intralinks has a unique solution for General Counsel. What matters most, though, is what the market says. I can summarize the feedback I received from General Counsel over these past two months by what I have come to call “The Three Fives” — five solutions that Intralinks provides for the five risks and five trends that General Counsel face.
General Counsel talked to me a great deal about risk readiness and they described the five greatest risks they face:
- Losing track of a vast amount of information and documents
- The inability to effectively manage and track contracts throughout their lifecycle
- Ensuring regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions
- Transmitting documents through email, FedEx and other ways that are not secure
- Safeguarding the security of sensitive documents such as those exchanged with the Board of Directors
General Counsel told me about silos of information, with documents stored on multiple servers, within multiple divisions, in different electronic formats and in print. General Counsel expressed concern because they could not tell me how many contracts or regulatory filings are active in the company or how many are up for renewal or due next month. In the age of WikiLeaks and other security breaches, they are concerned that their sensitive information, particularly what they pass outside of the company, is not secure. As one General Counsel put it, they need to realize the evolution from print to email to control — control of documents, version control, and moving away from FedEx and email and towards a way of doing business that is secure.
General Counsel walked me through five key trends that impact the way they work and that call for new solutions:
- The new role of General Counsel as business partner and C-Suite corporate strategist
- General Counsel as risk manager
- The new role as budget manager and looking for corporate efficiencies
- The increasing trend towards outsourcing work to law firms and outsourcing companies
All of these trends, they told me, increase the number of parties they must work with inside and outside of the business, and increase the amount of information, transactions and matters they need to manage.
A clear picture emerged that General Counsel are looking for modern solutions to these modern challenges. They confirmed for me that they need a solution like Intralinks and that they don’t have anything like it. Intralinks for Corporate Legal Management addresses these five risks and five trends with a five solution suite:
- Legal Repository
- Contract Management
- Regulatory Filings
- Board of Directors Communication
- Legal Collaboration for your law firms and outsourcing companies
Intralinks for Corporate Legal Management is a customized solution suite designed specifically for General Counsel to be their own private world for managing risk, documents, matters, parties, transactions, workflows, and internal and external collaboration. No other solution meets the needs of General Counsel across all five of these areas within a system that leads the industry in security and the secure exchange of information both inside and outside of the firewall. We have SAS 70 Type II security certification and our platform has successfully undergone more than 95 security audits and evaluations by our customers and independent auditors. And Intralinks provides a single spot for managing everything the General Counsel does with permissions for who sees what, version control, and full search capability. If you used multiple vendors for these areas — one for document management, another for contract management, another for Board of Directors, another for managing law firms — that is part of the problem because you’re creating the silos of information you are trying to avoid. Intralinks can also show General Counsel how to modernize the department and increase efficiencies, saving money in other ways such as labor efficiencies, reduction in other data storage costs, and reducing FedEx charges.
Sometimes I did not finish my first sentence with a General Counsel before they chimed in with something like, “my time is money; I don’t have time to learn a new technology”, or “we have been burned by technologies that took a long time to implement and never worked”. A few minutes later they saw for themselves that our secure SaaS platform has many advantages, including that you can access the system anytime and anywhere, and it is very easy to use and implement. We can get you up and running almost immediately. And if you need it we’ll help you get set up, all with the support of quality 24/7 customer service.
My favorite part of the job is hitting the road and talking to customers and prospects. And having just finished this two month journey in the field makes me even more excited about continuing to provide General Counsel with a unique solution.