Stéphanie Hamon has joined Norton Rose Fulbright to launch a legal operations consulting practice, providing management and operational advice to in-house legal teams at major financial institutions and corporations.
The legal operations consulting practice, due to launch in August 2019, will form part of NRF Transform, the firm’s global change and innovation program. Stéphanie Hamon, who was previously managing director and head of external engagement, legal, at Barclays will drive the development of the new practice. Ms Hamon quit the bank earlier this year, and has extensive experience of setting and delivering commercial management strategies for in-house legal departments. She led the Barclays team that was named “Legal operations team of the year” at the 2019 UK Legal 500 Awards. The firm’s new legal operations consulting practice reflects a joint assessment by Norton Rose Fulbright and Ms Hamon regarding the evolution of the role of in-house legal teams, from advising businesses on issues of legal risk and opportunity to a broader role that encompass support for their wider commercial objectives. Ms Hamon commented, “A gc or legal team has two roles. First, advising on legal risks and opportunities. Second, supporting their company’s wider objectives as a business partner. There are lots of advisors who help manage legal risk, but very few who help with being an effective business partner. Through Legal Operations Consulting, supported by the wider NRF Transform program, Norton Rose Fulbright will now do both.”
NRF says driving commercial value, and articulating the legal department’s own value to business stakeholders, is an increasing focus for in-house legal teams. The firm highlights several trends coming together: legal technology has become a real enabler of efficiency and value add; separate legal operations teams are introducing new disciplines and organisational approaches; and, businesses increasingly focusing on extracting maximum return for their legal spend. The new practice will offer the following core services: Strategic legal consulting, legal operations advisory, and legal operations delivery. David Carter, commercial director at Norton Rose Fulbright and global co-ordinator of NRF Transform, commented “Over the last few years we’ve put a lot of effort into changing how we provide services. Along the way we’ve learned a lot in terms of how teams can work in legal environments (including non-lawyers), and the tools that are available to help them. We are now taking everything we have learned, and combining it with Stéphanie’s experience, to provide those insights direct to clients.”