New strategy at Barclays

Following its failed bid for ABN Amro last year, Barclays Group has set a new strategic plan for its legal team in 2008.

General counsel Mark Harding and chief of legal operations Richard Daniel have sounded out more than 20 legal managers in putting together a seven-point plan for the future.

Daniel said: “We are doing a big piece of work this year, looking at the more outlying parts of the business. Because some relationships have grown up piecemeal, there’s an element of looking at that – like making sure the billing processes are structured.”

A special team in Barclays’ London headquarters has been launched to clean up the bank’s international legal coverage, standardising processes and streamlining its law firm relationships outside the UK.

The strategy covers areas such as knowledge management, technology and how best to work with Barclays’ in-house compliance function.

The bank has already piloted a new e-billing scheme that will completely dispense with paper bills.

The strategy document will be sent to all 750 members of the legal department to update them on plans for this year and beyond.