CHANGE DOESN’T ALWAYS COME EASY FOR A 124-YEAR-OLD
company operating in one of the most risk-averse industries in the
economy. Nor does it come easy for the most traditionally conservative and insulated department within the company. But any
business that has been around for over a century knows that evolution is a necessity.
The legal department at insurance company Liberty Mutual
is engaged in a technology transformation to modernize its operations, an effort that will not only require leveraging data and
deploying legal technology in-house, but changing its own culture. This continuing effort is more than just an opportunity to
make its legal department more cost-effective and efficient; it is
also an opportunity to streamline one of the company’s core business offerings. “If you think about the insurance industry in general, we sell t wo products—one is the indemnity and the other one
is [legal] defense,” says Kiran Mallavarapu, senior vice president
and manager of legal strategic services at Liberty Mutual.
Liberty Mutual’s legal department stands out in the corporate
world. An integral part of its company’s business, the legal depart-
ment was able to secure financial and operational support for its
transformation from its executives and leaders—an essential, but
rarely seen, advantage in corporate legal. “Capital expenditure
budgets are [usually] extremely tight in corporations, so it can be
a whole lot harder to free up these budgets for noncore costs like a
legal department,” says Brad Blickstein, principal at the Blickstein
Group, a consultancy that works with corporate law departments
and law firms.
But Liberty Mutual is bucking the trend, and in doing so, it
offers one of the best examples of the opportunities and challenges
faced by legal departments evolving into the 21st century, the
tech-savvy teams of the future. The company’s legal department
recently opened its doors to Legaltech News for an in-depth look
at the complex, mult ifaceted transformation taking place.
BRING IN THE DATA SCIENTIS TS
From settlement information and contracts to sensitive client data
and beyond, Liberty Mutual creates and stores ever-growing volumes of unorganized data across its worldwide offices and databases. Its legal team knows that taming this data through identifying, indexing and enabling access to it is the foundation for
How one century-old legal department is leveraging data, deploying
tools and changing corporate culture to prepare for the future of law.
BY RHYS DIPSHAN
LEGAL OPERATIONS: LIBERTY MUTUAL