Next Legal team - Reaping the rewards of matter management

Background

Next trades from more than 500 stores in the UK and Eire and around 200 stores in 40 countries overseas. Online, Next Directory serves customers in around 70 countries outside the UK. The in-house legal team at Next looks after the interest of all of the companies within the Next group.

Prior to going live with Linetime’s Liberate software, the legal team was too reliant on printing and filing documents. The support team of secretaries and PA’s were being overwhelmed with admin and a change was needed. It was felt that a more efficient and streamlined system would be beneficial not only to the team but also to the company. With an increase in workload and a real need to improve response times, an improvement in efficiency was not only desirable but necessary.

A project management team was put together by the Next legal team to specifically look into this and to find a new solution. The project management team lead by Anil Raja, Next’s Assistant General Counsel, wasn’t necessarily looking for a matter management database solution, it was just looking for something that significantly improved efficiency without creating frightening new working practices because too much of a change in working practices would create its own inefficiencies and barriers to change.

The project management team set out a number of key benefits they wished to achieve through the use of technology without any regard to what was actually out there in the market place. They knew this was the right approach because the needs of a business and its legal team should dictate the technology rather than technology dictating how a business should operate.

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