Sophisticated Businesses with Large Law Departments

Principally in partnership with Lean Focus LLC, Ephraim Starr, pllc helps companies of any complexity and in any region of the globe to build high-performance cultures that deliver sustained profitable growth. This practice area is for businesses looking to drive functional and business process improvements, not only for the Law Department or Legal Function, but also for the teams who handle Mergers, Acquisitions & Integration; Corporate Governance; ESG; Regulatory Compliance; Contracts Management; Intellectual Property creation and use; Environmental Health & Safety (EHS); Enterprise Risk Management; Audit; and essentially any other business process, function or department within any company looking to create a lasting high-performance culture.

Together with Lean Focus LLC, I teach and support companies to implement lean business systems and to drive process improvements in the areas most-in-need. If you don’t know what a lean business system is, consider the Toyota Production System, one of the well most well-known business systems in history. The Danaher Business System is another frequently cited business system, and is the one where I gained much of my own lean experience.[1]

Lean business systems are essentially continuous improvement systems where the companies have a so-called “kaizen mindset.” Kaizen comes from two Japanese words meaning change for better, and, in the business-world, is synonymous with continuous improvement. The best implementers of lean business systems abhor waste. Everything they do is about eliminating non-value-added work—things that do not contribute to better services or products for the end-customer. Lean process improvements can change any aspect of a business from manufacturing to back-office processes like order-to-cash or contracts management.

As the Senior Vice President of Lean Focus’ Legal Practice and Merger, Acquisition, & Integration Practice, I assist companies with business process improvements largely but not exclusively in their Legal and M&A functions. Think of all the areas under your purview that could benefit from improvements: M&A diligence, new acquisition integration, contracts management, IP portfolio management, compliance programs, labor & employment, internal financial controls and audit, enterprise risk management, sourcing, logistics, marketing lead generation, e-commerce, sales funnel management, and more. Be honest with yourself. What do you think of your processes?

For example, in the Legal function, does your Law Department have KPIs and Standard Work? Do your legal professionals speak the same language that your management speaks in other functions, be it Sales, Finance, Engineering, or Operations? Do you hold the Law Department accountable to the same kind of standards and metrics that the other functions in your business hold themselves accountable to do? Is your legal function a bottleneck? Do your business partners sometimes see Legal as slowing them down? Do you feel like you’re spending too much money on compliance efforts with little return on the investment, or perhaps have compliance gaps? Take stock of your overall legal circumstances and your approach to handling them, and if you feel like any aspect of that approach could benefit from process improvements, please contact me so we can explore the opportunities you have to improve your bottom line with a sustainable legal advantage.

More generally, if you are responsible for a business enterprise or one of its important functions, and you know or suspect that you can achieve better (more productive, more effective) ways of doing things, contact me. It would be a privilege to support your business, whether enterprise-wide or for specific business process transformations.

[1] Ephraim Starr, pllc has no affiliation with Toyota and no current affiliation with Danaher Corporation. These links are provided for reference only.