SURVEY OF THE VALUE LANDSCAPE IN AUSTRALIA
The value landscape for Australian in-house practices has never been more changeable.
Multiple forces are at play. Economic conditions have an impact on organizational
performance, which in turn influences legal team budgets. Increased competition in the legal
services market (including from “global” firms and “NewLaw” disruptors) drives innovation
in service models design. And a heightened level of collaboration and knowledge sharing
among the in-house community on the topic of value generation enhances the community’s
sophistication and multiplies its leverage in deriving value for its external spend.
To a new entrant into this highly dynamic environment, the question of where to start
looking for opportunities that will deliver demonstrable value could be a perplexing one. The
insights offered by this Guide will certainly help. But this Guide also demonstrates, through
the diversity of measures profiled, that the quest for value in the landscape should be a stroll,
not a sprint. While the opportunities to extract value may not be inexhaustible, they do
arise in many different forms, and even deeply experienced teams can find inspiration and
encouragement in the successes of their peers.
If there is a point of agreement among the discussions that are taking place among general
counsel and senior in-house lawyers in Australia and New Zealand today, it is that the pursuit
of value cannot occur at any cost. Metrics, data, systems, project management tools—all play
an important role. What remains most important of all, however, is the human dimension of
being an in-house lawyer. For leaders of teams in particular, the fundamentals of attracting
and retaining the right people for the organizational culture; of managing poor performance
and rewarding strong performance; of gaining engagement so that discretionary effort is
willingly given: all are fundamental pre-requisites to delivering sustainable, compounding
value for an organization.
Those organizations whose value initiatives form the case studies in this Guide have also
recognized, and benefited from, this elemental feature of the value landscape.
— Justin Moses, Head of Knowledge & Development Compliance, Legal & Secretariat
Westpac Banking Corporation