find the latest legal job
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
4+ PAE Commercial Lawyer - Contract Role (Maternity cover)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· 4+ years PAE · End-to-end deal carriage
View details
Partners and Senior Specialist Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Australia
· Earn 70% of billings and fixed referral incentives · Full practice flexibility & freedom
View details
Legal team reaping benefits of key measurement tactics

Legal team reaping benefits of key measurement tactics

Jason Ryan

The deputy general counsel of Treasury Wine Estates says implementing key measurement methods in his legal team has improved its performance tenfold.

Speaking at lexvoco and McInnes Wilson’s In-house Counsel and Government Solicitor Symposium recently, deputy general counsel of Treasury Wine Estates and self-described “data nerd” Jason Ryan (pictured) discussed improving performance through measurement, and how his legal team has taken this to a whole new level.

In implementing methods of measurement, Mr Ryan said he and the legal team at Treasury Wine Estates have been able to create strategies for continuous improvement.

As an example, Mr Ryan said one of his team members, Danni Casey, runs the company’s Wolfblass packaging facility – one of the largest packing facilities and wineries in Australia.

Mr Ryan explained that if asked how her plant is performing, Ms Casey can immediately present data that includes hourly, weekly and monthly measurements. Likewise, he said, if a salesperson at Treasury Wine Estates is asked about their performance, they are able to describe it in terms of sales by channels and by volume.

Mr Ryan said implementing these key areas of measurement has enabled the company to understand precisely how effective its lawyers are, not just whether they’re over or under budget.

“Companies perform better when they measure, and the more you measure, the better you perform,” he said.

“Our executives wanted us to prioritise high-value work, to directly align our work to strategy, to perform efficiently and effectively and to empower everyone around us to take sophisticated commercial risks.”

In total, Mr Ryan said his legal team has created 20 metrics that record performance. He noted these are separated into three groups – client satisfaction, operational effectiveness and financial performance.

His legal team has a colour-coordinated chart, measuring the performance of these three groups, aiming to spend their time doing “high value – low effort” work instead of spending their time in the “red”, meaning doing work that is very high in effort but very low in value.

Mr Ryan noted that this data measuring high- and low-value work can be tracked on an individual or a team basis, meaning the entire legal team is able to spot individual or group trends, locate the sources of low-value work in the company, work out why these exist and take action to remedy them.

Similarly, every time lawyers have an interaction with a client at Treasury Wine Estates, the team colour-codes this contact depending on whether it was a pleasant experience, how functional or dysfunctional it was, and whether the two parties understood each other.

According to Mr Ryan, this engagement rating data generates a “heat map” across the organisation that highlights problem areas.

“We don’t use this data for the purposes of saying how brilliant we are – it’s really about improving the team’s performance,” he said.

In-house lawyers can commonly feel as if they’re too busy to get everything done; however, Mr Ryan noted that the metrics used at Treasury Wine Estates can reveal whether a lawyer is actually doing enough work, doing the right work, operating efficiently and working well with the client.

“It will come through loud and clear in the data whether or not they’re actually too busy for the right reasons – and if they are, it might be time to hire a new lawyer to help them,” he said.

 

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Legal team reaping benefits of key measurement tactics
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
06:04
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
06:02
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
Scales of Justice
Jan 17 2018
Lawyers lash out over latest Dutton attack
A number of legal bodies have condemned federal home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s latest commen...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...