The Smarter Working Week explores the different ways legal functions are becoming smarter about the work they do, how they do it and why – a place where in-house teams can share practical advice and best practice.

The constant pressure on costs and on seeing results more quickly means legal teams often find themselves in situations where they have to articulate the value they bring to the business.

In an age where money is tight, how do you quantify and measure the value of a legal team? How do you identify the work that really matters to the business and how can the legal team align itself with the business’s strategy?

Are you doing enough to educate the business about the work the legal team does? Is your team visible enough within the company?

Watch the session recording on ”Demonstrating and articulating the value of the legal team”. 

  • Demonstrating that you’re not only an efficient legal team but that you’re also adding value
  • Increasing the visibility of the legal team within the business
  • Streamlining Legal’ relationship with the business by building trust and ensuring you have the best process in place for providing advice
  • KPIs, KRIs and measuring productivity in-house: is it worth doing, is it too late to start doing it, and what is the best way to measure it?
  • Budget cuts: GC advice on having THAT awkward conversation







Martin Jones, Head of Operations – Legal, The Unite Group

Having moved from being a construction lawyer in private practice to become an in-house generalist I have had to combine the diligence required in my specialist field with a “can-do” problem-solving approach. Unite Students is an operationally intensive business with a broad range of legal issues requiring flexible and practical solutions. No two days are ever the same and challenges can range from those traditionally expected in a multi-billion pound property portfolio through to very nuanced areas, for example assisting in our approach to student welfare issues. Covid-19 has certainly provided a whole new set of challenges to navigate, all whilst working to keep the 75,000 students living with us safe and secure.

Alissa Foale, Chief Legal Officer, Brewin Dolphin

Alissa Foale is the Chief Legal Officer at Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC a FTSE 250 company and leading wealth management firm. Qualified as a lawyer, in both Australia and England, her experience has been mainly in financial services/regulatory and commercial contract law. Alissa has a passion for legal operations and has embraced the challenge of delivering a robust strategy to ensure that the legal department is best placed to manage the Group’s legal risk and help to drive growth and innovation at Brewin Dolphin.

Xavier Schops, Group General Counsel, Sonova AG

Xavier Schops is the senior lawyer of Sonova, a Swiss listed medical devices global company, His practice focuses on corporate law, cross-border M&As and strategic partnerships, complex commercial contracts and alliances as well as ethics, compliance and policies. Xavier Schops worked in Switzerland, France and Asia for global automotive, advertising and mining groups and a decade for US chemical and food companies.

John Skelton, General Counsel & Group DPO – Shared Specialist Services, Centrica

John is the General Counsel for Shared Specialist Services and the DPO for Centrica, where he has worked since 2013. Prior to that, he spent many years in private practice (Pinsent Masons and Eversheds) where he was an Outsourcing and Technology lawyer.  John is also on the Leadership Team of the O Shaped Lawyer.


Moderator: Alan Ragueneau, Europe Managing Director, Dentons Nextlaw In-House Solutions

As Europe Managing Director of Nextlaw In-House Solutions, Alan has a passion for developing and optimizing legal operation strategies and solutions across various legal practice areas – including intellectual property, transactional/M& A, antitrust, privacy, and compliance. Alan was previously the Legal Director Market Operations and Sales EMEA at Whirlpool, where he was involved in the redesign of the legal operating model, leveraged modern coaching tools and implemented robust risk management systems. Prior to that he held European Chief Counsel roles at Mondelez International and served as Global Head of IP at Galderma (a joint venture of Nestlé and L’Oréal).