Victor Dorado, Head of Legal, Santander
What are the 3 biggest challenges for in-house teams in FS firms today?
Although it is quite difficult to highlight only 3 challenges, I believe in-house teams have to work quite hard on: (i) providing proper legal support on the business transformation of financial entities, (ii) thinking globally when providing local legal advice, and (iii) looking for more efficient ways to work using available technology.
What key steps can legal teams take, to create a higher value proposition for the business and for customers?
In-house lawyers are a key element in creating business value, and as such, the most essential step we can take is to better understand the business’ needs. By opening up this communication, we can more effectively protect our companies from legal risks.
What hurdles do legal teams face, in terms of implementing and delivering value from new technology solutions? How can these be overcome?
The main hurdle to technology implementation is our own professional experience. We have learnt to carry out our jobs in a specific way: by reading manuals, laws, regulations, etc., all bound in paper. It should not be a major challenge to implement professionally what we have already changed in our personal life, i.e. using technology every day for reading newspapers, watching television, communicating on social media, and many other things. Technology solutions will only enhance the value provided by in-house lawyers, and will allow for greater efficiency by delivering better and more agile legal services.
How do you view the current level of interaction / collaboration between in-house teams across the FS industry, and how could this develop in the future?
In my experience, I see a productive level of interaction between in-house legal teams today, thanks to solutions already implemented. We are now doing things that, just few years ago, were absolutely impossible to do. There are many tools already in place effectively working for the FS industry, making it quite easy to interact and collaborate with other in-house teams.
Which pain points for in-house teams most lend themselves to automation, and which pain points will be the most difficult for technology to fix?
In my view, some tasks, such as taking minutes of a meeting or filing physical legal documentation, are pain points technology is already able to solve. Tasks requiring human understanding and engagement with facts are still too far advanced for technology to automate.
Why will you be speaking at Finance Edge’s Next Generation In-House Summit, and what do you hope to get out of the event?
I will be speaking at the summit because I believe we are living in a remarkable time for in-house lawyers - especially for those who work in the financial industry. No one knows where all these new solutions will take us, or how the industry will evolve in five years, but participating in such an interesting event like this one will allow me to exchange opinions and thoughts with other colleagues that have to face similar challenges.