Centralised legal services: making it work for a business
Centralised legal services: making it work for a business

The following In-House Advisor guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Centralised legal services: making it work for a business
  • How was the business structured before you centralised legal services?
  • How did Nationwide start bringing legal services into one place?
  • What are the benefits of centralisation?
  • How do you make all the business areas comply?
  • Where does outsourcing fit in?
  • How is the relationship between the regulator and in-house team? What’s the practical effect of the different controlled functions hierarchy?
  • How do you ensure the provision of legal services helps the organisation reach its business goals?
  • What has been the impact of analysing processes to ensure the legal provision is streamlined?
  • How do you manage your visibility and reporting in the wider business?
  • more

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.

How was the business structured before you centralised legal services?

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.

How did Nationwide start bringing legal services into one place?

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