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ServiceNow transforms its legal operation


Reduction in instruction emails


Of contract requests deflected to sales operations


Average savings in managing counsel instruction

Bringing transparency to legal workflows
No professional services team or sizeable operation can get away with not operating inefficiently. There is too much scrutiny on cost and SLAs. The impact of inefficiencythe allocation of the wrong resource, hazy data, haphazard reporting. 

There is an opportunity to rethink the way legal services are delivered within large, medium, and small organizations. Progressive heads of legal see it. The legal function at ServiceNow certainly see it. ServiceNow’s product team saw it. 

An absence of real-time visibility, the use of ad hoc tools for reporting, manual tracking, and multiple conversations to clarify a legal ask before action is taken are common refrains. Andrew Brereton, Senior Director of Legal Operations says ServiceNow used to be no different from any other large organization in that regard. The way legal functions were carried out was ready for an overhaul. 

“This told us that there was a market demand for legal workflow technology, but we needed to innovate to better meet this demand,” says Nagib Tharani, a Principal Product Manager.

Establishing clarity around operations 
ServiceNow Legal Service Delivery is the first step in streamlining legal operations. It replaces manual email and spreadsheet processes with a high-velocity digital experience. In effect, it creates a ticketing system for legal.  “The foundation for building a successful legal function is understanding some very basic legal data," says Brereton. "For example, what are the types of requests our lawyers are working on? What teams are they serving? What is the true volume? Only when we truly understand the basics can we move onto the more complex solutions.” 

In simple terms, Legal Service Delivery brings clarity to legal operations, and allows managers to allocate the right resource to the right task. Highly paid senior lawyers need no longer be tied up with simple tasks or even moderately complex tasks. 

“It establishes a logical process, with clear visibility over work requests,” Brereton explains. “We can then start to make inroads into working effectively and efficiently.”

Providing quantitative data on demand 
Enterprises are recognizing the need to overhaul their operation. Many companies have even replaced the title of general counsel with that of Chief Legal Officer to signal that position is on equal terms with others in the C-suite.

"Organizations are no longer prepared to throw headcounts at legal without justification. They expect to see ROI,” says Tharani. "We’re giving legal executives the ability to back up their transformation initiatives with data." 

Business transformation requires an agile legal function. Expectations for quality and cost efficiency run high while workloads are increasing. “The regulatory complexities of the world keep getting heavier,” says Brereton. “Legal has to evolve. We can’t avoid it.” 

Inevitably, the operationalization of legal will attract new talent to the profession. The future heads of legal will expect streamlined workflows and mobile access to up-to-the-minute data, the same as the heads of IT, HR, and finance. 

“Legal Service Delivery provides a dashboard and metrics relevant to each stakeholder,” says Brereton. “It shows the pulse of legal.”

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Santa Clara, California

The platform not only provides better visibility into legal operations, but also meaningful results. For example, we have seen 80% improvements in cycle time, and about 25% of those requests will shortly be automated via self-service.

Chris Bedi



Fast-tracking contract commercial deals
Legal Service Delivery enables ServiceNow to automate responses for common legal questions with virtual agents and knowledge base articles. New legal scenarios can be accommodated, deploying out-of-the-box functionality.

And it’s constantly improving, too. Greater automation and self-service options are in the works, with Artificial Intelligence used to prompt or complete tasks. A low-touch approach solves high-volume work, reserving high-cost expertise for non-conventional projects.

ServiceNow implemented Legal Service Delivery in December 2019 and has processed nearly 1,200 commercial legal requests. It has deflected some work away from legal entirely as well as increasing the use of shared services. Commercial contract deals have been categorized, with a clearer process around legal priorities. As a result, small and midsized deals are fast-tracked.

“I believe that Legal Services Delivery has been overdue for modernization for a long time,” says Russ Elmer, SeviceNow’s General Counsel. “We are streamlining the workflow and now have analytics that help us distribute workload and craft solutions that make it easier for customers to do business with us while protecting our business. This truly is a game changer for how we manage legal operations.”

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