Senior in-house practitioners for big-name brands need to be “more adaptable and agile than ever”, and embracing legal innovation must be accompanied by a simultaneous shifting of professional mindset, says one general counsel.
In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, L’Oreal Australia and New Zealand general counsel Anna Lozynski said digital transformation is a bit like government nutrition guidelines to eat five serves of vegetables a day: “almost everyone knows what they should be doing – yet few manage to achieve the goal”.
“Like any diet or lifestyle change, the key is to take it one day at a time in bite sized chunks without losing sight of the end goal,” she explained.
“Being legally innovative and embracing the change mindset needs to be core, embedded into a legal team’s priorities, part of its business as usual agenda and KPIs, and embraced by the general counsel and by each member of a legal function, every day.”
For general counsel in companies that are public facing, such as Ms Lozynski’s L’Oreal, she said there must be a continuing embrace of e-commerce, especially when new brands are launched into the marketplace.
Her business, in particular, will be focused on four key pillars this year: leading legal innovation, championing data and privacy, providing legal training, and supporting business objectives.
But there are challenges moving forward, she noted, including that general counsel and their companies will have to be more adaptable and agile than ever before.
“This means staying closer than ever to the goings on of the business, and then vis-à-vis the legislative landscape,” she said.
“We are constantly looking at ways to automate routine and high-volume tasks to drive efficiency. We have several new legal apps in the pipeline to be launched in 2019 to complement the 11 self-service legal apps the A/NZ business already enjoys.”
Such companies, and the general counsel who assist them, also need to be perceived as proactive and be master anticipators, she added.
“As a legal function, this means making more data driven decisions – we will have year-on-year data comparisons via our matter management software, as well as data generated from our legal apps,” she said.
“It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of the busyness of the day to day. I think it’s really important to regularly carve out some space for some big picture thinking, strategising, evaluating, reflecting, and of course innovating.”
Anna Lozynski is the general counsel of L'Oreal Australia and New Zealand and is the author of ‘Legally Innovative’.
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