5 Must-Have Workflows for Legal Operations, Part 4: Conflict of Interest

Mitratech Holdings, Inc
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Conflict of Interest (COI) approvals can cause enormous delays that frustrate everyone involved – especially because they could be so much faster.

Some of the main issues organizations encounter?

  • Manual processes revolve around spreadsheets and emails which silo information and make upkeep a constant project. It’s an unreliable method; even if the information is kept digitized, it wastes time by being stored in multiple or disparate databases.
  • Of course, there’s always the underlying issue of human error; if a COI check is conducted manually, the margin for error increases dramatically.
  • Firms and outside counsel wait days or weeks to begin new work, sometimes straining the relationship between Legal Ops and their outside counterparts.

Some common questions asked during COI requests:

  • How do I report and audit our Conflicts of Interest requests?
  • Is there a way to get this routed quickly for the right review or approval?
  • Is this really a conflict at all?

Why automate your Conflict of Interest workflow?

Adopting a legal workflow automation tool can help you streamline many of the inefficiencies created by a manual conflict of interest workflow. Additionally, for many global organizations that operate in multiple jurisdictions, different codes of conduct may come into play – posing possible compliance challenges. Some of the features/benefits of using the right workflow automation solution?

  • Self-service forms allow employees or outside firms to submit the details of any potential conflict of interest and triage to the right person immediately. This is better both internally and for your clients.
  • Time-based escalations prevent delays from building up, and required form fields diminish the need for extensive back-and- forth: firms supply the necessary information the first time.
  • E-signature tools add a layer of security to your approvals, and centralized dashboards provide increased visibility into every step of the process.
  • Automating repetitive processes results in significant time savings, leading to increased efficiency and cost savings.

As one case study proved,

A conflict of interest waiver went from an average of 35 days of completion to 3.5 days, reducing average time spent per conflict request by 85%. Time spent decreased for all of the internal legal team members and approvers, and also created better relationships with firms.

You can see up to 85% reduction in time spent on COI approvals just by automating them. That alone is a convincing argument in favor of making the move to legal workflow automation now, not later.

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