We speak with Telefónica’s General Counsel Marcel Ritter about how the company is innovating to deliver business partners legal advice digitally and on-demand.
Telefónica is a multinational telecommunications company, with over 110,000 employees providing telephone operations, mobile networks, broadband, and television products across Europe and the Americas.
Marcel Ritter, Telefónica’s General Counsel, has in recent years prioritized the introduction of technology like BRYTER into their legal function, easing the absorption of changes like work-from-home, increased demand for operational efficiency, and new ESG requirements.
We spoke with him about how his department went from thousands of paper contracts to an increasingly digital-forward approach to service, without relying on IT.
Picking legal low-hanging fruit
While paper-driven processes may represent a small portion of Telefónica’s environmental impact, these processes represented low-hanging fruit for digitization initiatives. Prior to the introduction of BRYTER, Ritter noted that his team had once processed 8,000 contracts, signed on paper and delivered across the globe, in the absence of an electronic signing tool.
These inefficiencies are compounded with the work-from-home trend, as 99% of the Telefónica legal team has not been in the office since March of 2020, but still are expected to support billion-dollar transactions.
Building a digital toolchest
Ritter began by building internal alliances, evangelizing the benefits that Telefónica would yield should the legal team digitize their operations. Acknowledging that this was a job for Legal to do for themselves, he remarked, “IT doesn’t come to you and say we have a great thing, and you can digitize your stuff. Usually, you only know how your stuff works.”
The appeal of BRYTER was the power it gives the legal team to skip IT and dive right into creating solutions for the problems they understand best. As a no-code platform, BRYTER is easy to use and both flexible and powerful; tools created using the platform can be easily updated, and can also address virtually any legal workflow — even highly complex issues.
With an eye toward identifying repeatable processes, then digitizing them, the Telefónica team got to work building on BRYTER no-code platform. Currently, their completed use cases include:
- NDA Generator: A tool for commercial colleagues to define what type of NDA they need, followed by automatic generation of the document.
- Data Breach Reporting Assistant: An intake tool for managing data breaches, including a follow-up and categorization module.
- Virtual Legal Assistant: A tool that initiates a workflow for legal requests and provides a database and data view to prioritize and coordinate responses.
- Document Finder: A step-by-step wizard by which users are provided with intranet links to documents.
The increasingly-digital approach to legal
Ritter noted, “Lawyers subsume. They say, ‘it depends.’ But they ask the same questions and come to similar conclusions.” With BRYTER, Telefónica is identifying these repeatable processes, normalizing the questions asked of business colleagues and the processes undertaken, digitally representing that subsumption so their legal team can focus on higher-value work.
As adoption of the legal digital toolchest grows, Telefónica will continue to identify use cases that save their in-house team time and continuously improve the standard for service delivery to the rest of the business.