Cost efficiency and flexible working: engaging the in-house team—an interview with Kent Dreadon
Cost efficiency and flexible working: engaging the in-house team—an interview with Kent Dreadon

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

  • Cost efficiency and flexible working: engaging the in-house team—an interview with Kent Dreadon
  • Talk us through the cost savings that you have achieved
  • How did you reduce your external spend?
  • You have said that your legal costs are a small part of the budget. How did you did you push your success at cost saving upwards?
  • What part has your team played in improving costs and efficiency?
  • How do you ensure that your team understand the importance of commerciality?
  • How has flexible working become part of the culture of your team?

Improving efficiency is one of the biggest challenges facing in-house legal teams, but it is not just about cutting costs. We talk to Kent Dreadon, Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal at Telefónica UK Limited, about the pressure to save costs and how flexible working can create a more efficient and engaged team

Talk us through the cost savings that you have achieved

Across 2013 and 2014 we managed to reduce our external spend by around £2.9m. This represented over 60% of our total spend. Even to us, that was quite startling. We hadn’t really made reducing external spend a huge focus. And throughout that period, we still had some significant work going on, so it was not as if the savings were simply due to a lack of work.

There also was not a huge drive in the business at that time to cut legal costs. To put it in perspective, internal and external legal costs are a tiny drop in a big ocean at O2. We were encouraged to manage the team effectively, but it is not a business that feels it has to skimp on the annual legal spend. Our budget goes down a little bit each year but it is not too bad.

How did you reduce your external spend?

Various things happened to drive cost