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In-house analysis: What benefits can the centralisation of legal services bring to a business?
Naomi Seward of Nationwide discusses how her company implemented a central legal function and the significant impact it has made.
As with many organisations, the provision of legal services was provided by various different business areas. Each business area would set and be responsible for their own budgets, and would then instruct their own counsel as necessary. While a good level of service was being provided, the size and scale of the business required a more co-ordinated approach. By centralising the function, we were able to develop a stronger function that was joined up, enabling us to become a stronger partner to the business as a whole. Nationwide is a growing brand and the biggest building society in the world. We needed to match that growth and aspiration with a model that was future-proof. We think we’ve done that quite well.
We began by centralising the budget. This pulled together all the areas within the business that instruct lawyers. The next step was to create a panel to ensure consistent provision of legal services to a specific standard across the organisation.
We needed to determine what legal
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