We built a system to help the legal team at William Grant & Sons improve the way they share information, work with colleagues in other locations, and track performance.
Established in 1887, William Grant & Sons (WGS) is a premium spirits company, with brands distributed in 180 countries around the world by its wholly-owned subsidiary companies, joint ventures, and third-party distributors. With the company strongly growing in world markets, the WGS legal team was expanding and becoming increasingly global. Spread over three locations – Glasgow, London and New York – the team needed to improve its ability to share information, work across borders, and monitor performance. They decided to invest in a technology solution that would enable WGS to better manage their legal matters.
William Grant & Sons’ requirements
The WGS legal team wanted to be able to plan proactively and organise their workload more effectively. They wanted to easily capture key information – such as costs and legal risks – and be able to make instant decisions about where to focus their legal resources. They also wanted to empower the business from a legal perspective.
This vision was realised by delivering a back office legal portal, in which members of the legal team could collaborate and manage their day-to-day activities, and a front office legal portal, which let staff external to the legal team gain knowledge, insight and visibility of the legal function.
CompanyNet and WGS adopted a highly collaborative approach to designing and implementing the solution, which was built on the existing WGS SharePoint architecture. Our solution comprised:
- A secure, flexible and visually inviting environment which lets the legal team manage their workload, share files, view real-time performance and progress and share information and knowledge across the team.
- A highly-controllable security model to ensure information is only accessible by those with appropriate authorisation.
- A Matter Management System that allows legal matters to be recorded and their related information (such as contacts, contracts, legal maps, costs and email correspondence) stored securely.
- Outlook integration – drag and drop emails into the relevant matter.
- Performance dashboards allowing KPIs such as risk, costs and progress to be viewed in real time.
- A workflow/email alert engine to guide and enforce the successful progression of certain routine types of legal matters.
- Contract and trademark management systems to allow digital versions of legal contracts and trademark portfolios to be stored, shared, searched and annotated through an interactive graphical map interface.
- Legal risk calculators to help assess the risk of particular contracts and disputes.
WGS’s commitment to participating in the post-delivery training and knowledge transfer process resulted in a high level of self-sufficiency and low ongoing support costs.
Business Benefits & Achievements
The legal portal delivered the WGS legal team’s vision and was designed, built and implemented within a four-month period. The portal helps the legal team provide even better services to their colleagues. It has:
- Created a team calendar to strengthen collaborative working.
- Provided visibility of what the members of the team are working on and other key performance data, both to the WGS Legal team as well as external WGS stakeholders, to help them make better-informed business and legal decisions.
- Enabled the team to more accurately record and monitor the costs of using external law firms, including their ability to stay within budgets.
- Created a user-friendly and intuitive way to display the group’s trademarks and contracts portfolio, helping in discussions with sales and marketing colleagues.
- Enabled the team to store contracts digitally and to annotate those contracts in order to give subsequent readers of the contracts a better understanding of why particular clauses were drafted and to highlight key dates for future action.
- Provided self-assessment tools to calculate/validate contract and litigation risks.
- Reduced the administration burden and provided an audit trail of progress.