29 Nov 2017

CSR's legal department embraces technology to lead innovation agenda

The construction company's head of legal Sean Ventris is making moves to innovate, deliver value to the company and become more efficient.

M&A laweyrs still trying to catch a wave

Lawyers need to stay on top of innovation to meet leaders' demands for efficiency and value

The legal department must rise to meet the challenge of 'empowering corporates' growth through innovation and deliver ever greater value and efficiency', CSR's head of legal,Sean Ventris, says. ‘CSR are proud leaders in the construction industry with a world-class approach to innovation and CSR’s legal department are wholly aligned to this strategic focus,’ said Mr Ventris.Having the mindset for continuous improvement and not being afraid to be early adopters of promising technology is what will deliver step change in efficiency and enable our team to demonstrate value and be accountable for our legal spend’.

 External legal spend up

In the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)’s recently released 2017 Benchmarks and Leading Practices Report, external legal spend is on the increase despite pressure to reduce external spend. The report also highlights a general reluctance for in-house teams to adopt new technology. According to Mr Ventris, he and his team are looking to transform the way they procure and manage their external legal services and are using the legal technology platform Lawcadia to assist with this. Lawcadia manages RFPs and engagements across all legal matters with CSR’s large preferred law firm panel.For larger matters panel law firms compete for work through a managed RFP process and it facilitates the use of fixed or capped fees which is something I want to do more of,’ said Mr Ventris. Multiple tenders and engagements are able to be managed in one simple location by the small in-house team.

Pressure from boards

Mr Ventris said the pressure from boards to do more with less was not going to go away and that the in-house community was very interested in the type of innovation that businesses like Lawcadia are bringing to the industry. We undertook an initial three month pilot and the results were encouraging. The feedback from our law firm panel has also been really positive. I think that law firms recognise and accept that real change is coming and that they need to embrace it. I’m really pleased that CSR has been an early adopter of this type of new technology.’

About CSR

CSR is a leading building products company in Australia and New Zealand and is the name behind some of the market's most trusted and recognised brand names providing building products for residential and commercial construction. An ASX 100 company, CSR has been playing a leading role in innovation targeting sustainable building and energy efficient solutions. 

About Lawcadia

Lawcadia is a  rapidly growing Australian legal technology company and believes it is the first business globally to develop a platform to assist corporate and government clients manage and improve their legal procurement processes. Lawcadia works with clients across a range of industries including infrastructure, financial services, insurance, building and construction, government, not-for-profit, energy and resources and FMCG.