Case Study: How a Global Bio-Pharma Giant Transformed its Legal Department


A world-class biotechnology and pharmaceutical conglomerate, our client has seen multiple mergers and acquisitions over time, leading to a fragmented legal department. The team consisted of about 20 personnel, but the lack of cohesion hindered knowledge-sharing and big-picture thinking. Leaders from the legal department felt that the team was reacting to situations, rather than initiating strategic moves. They called on us with a clear brief: to conduct a lecture section to take the team through industry best practices. They hoped that such a session would spark inspiration within the team to work on new initiatives. 


Instead of offering just a one-off motivational session, we suggested diving deeper to diagnose the root of the issue. We conducted one-on-one sessions with the General Counsel and other leaders in the team. We also conducted a focused group interview with the others. What we found was a critical issue: a lack of shared purpose and team unity.  We realised that team members could benefit from some shepherding in communicating clearly with each other about the interesting ideas they all had for the legal department.  So instead of a traditional lecture session, we designed an off-site workshop that was meant to be interactive and innovative. The goal was to bring the team together, build a shared vision, and carve out a strategic path for the department.

Action Plan & Execution

We designed the workshop around our pioneering Legal Department 3.0 framework. Legal Department 3.0 represents a new iteration of the in-house legal team, one which is proactive about enabling business growth and not just reactive with respect to legal issues. It’s a leap from what we call Legal Department 2.0, which was good at providing legal support to the business but stopped short of leveraging business acumen, data and technology tools to integrate itself into the overall plans of the organisation. 

In the workshop, participants were guided through the transition from Legal Department 2.0 to 3.0. They learnt about new operational paradigms and mindsets through interactive activities that reinforced concepts of strategic thinking, data-driven decision-making, technological adoption, and shared ownership. The defining moment was the co-creation of a shared mission for the department, with everyone from rookies to senior members contributing.  In the backdrop of the Legal Department 3.0 framework—developed by us after extensive research, interactions and exposure to global best practices—we shared our thoughts on strategic approaches to running the department, keeping in mind the business objectives of the client and also the regulatory environment in which it operates. 


During the Workshop: The hands-on approach prompted valuable self-discovery among the participants, who identified and collectively committed to addressing key concerns. It also improved camaraderie between team members, who could form deeper connections with each other away from the pressures of the office environment. 

Two Months After: Top management noticed a massive transformation in the working of the department. Communication lines and work streams opened up between units that were previously working in silos. Knowledge-sharing had markedly improved across the board. They’re now well on their path to becoming a Legal Department 3.0. Not only did the workshop have an impact on the department’s operational style, it also refreshed the self-identity of the team. The discussions on working smarter, developing interconnectedness and creating a culture of continuous improvement ignited new vigour and purpose in the team.  

Are you facing similar challenges? Want to bring about a revolutionary change in your legal team and transform it into a Legal 3.0 department? Vahura Consulting’s experts specialise in diagnosing your specific needs and crafting a tailored approach. Our solutions go beyond mere inspiration and deliver transformation. With the economic and technology landscape changing as rapidly as it is, don’t settle for business as usual when you can redefine your team’s capabilities and operations. Let’s shape the future together.

Our Consultants

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    Balanand Menon

    Bala is a solution architect, data analyst, and an MBA, who loves painting a picture using data. He leads a consulting practice that is at the cutting edge of legal market data, legal operating models, legal technology and innovation. Bala co-conceptualised and led the Vahura Best Law Firms to Work studies (2018 and 2022), and is a sought-after advisor on change management and innovation.

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    Arun Chauhan

    As a part of Vahura Consulting, Arun specialises in providing strategic advisory services for the in-house legal departments. With a focus on simplifying processes and improving operational efficiency, Arun helps transform legal teams into goal-oriented units.

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