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A business using multiple contracts for multiple purposes is a lawyer’s worst nightmare. How can processes be streamlined to improve efficiency and consistency and to minimise risk? Sophie Gould talks to Andrew Stewart, who was until recently Managing Attorney for Global Technology and Sourcing in BP Legal, about how he transformed their approach to contract management and its impact on the business’ ability to self-serve.
There are over 300 lawyers in the BP global legal team and a presence in more than 40 countries. I came to the role of Managing Attorney eight years ago. I ran a team of nine people, split between Houston, Sunbury and Budapest, supporting three key internal
business functions. There is Global Business Services, a back-office process-driven organisation that does largely execution-only work, such as finance and accounting, invoice reconciliation and order entry. Secondly, there is Indirect Procurement,
which buys things the BP Group needs strategically, or which are shared by everybody (for example, IT equipment and professional services). The third group we support is our IT organisation.
When I came into the role and started working within procurement, one of the first questions I asked was: what documentation and templates are you using? Different groups had their own templates and precedent banks in different places – I
counted over 40 documents which had official or unofficial accreditation as an indirect procurement template. There was no consistency in approach to risk, structure or terminology. It was really confusing as to which document to use for which purpose.
It became obvious that we could get rid of a lot of them and rationalise the remainder.
We started a process of analysis to see which templates were
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Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices.
As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers. These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK. She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors.
She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.
Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.
0330 161 1234