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In-house efficiency 'hard to measure'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 25/01/13

A group of Australian lawyers has expressed its frustration at the methods of measuring in-house efficiency, suggesting that more needs to be done to emphasise how important the role corporate counsel play is for modern businesses.

Legal professionals from prominent Australian organisations, such as Telstra, gathered at the conference, which was hosted by alternate legal services provider Plexus, to discuss the in-house function and how it is likely to develop in the future.

While this is a complicated issue, what the majority of attendees agreed on was the fact that they were all extremely important, and that more should be done to emphasise just how important they were.

Andrew Mellett, the managing director of Plexus, told the New Lawyer that "most participants suggested they would like to be able to demonstrate and measure the value of their in-house team".

However, the problem with measuring the value of in-house services is that they often do not produce tangible results in the same way that, for instance, a landscape gardener does.

One solution proposed by the group was the use of a management by objectives (MBO) formula that analyses an in-house legal team's performance against functional objectives that support strategic priorities.

"It was felt that this provided a measurement of achievements around strategic objectives," Mr Mellett added.