Transforming corporate legal departments

From cost center to valuable business partner

Philipp Rosenauer
Partner Legal, PwC Switzerland

Traditionally, corporate legal departments have long been viewed only as cost centers, which provide essential legal services but do not directly contribute towards an organisation's revenue generation. However, as businesses face increasingly complex legal and regulatory landscapes, there is a growing opportunity for legal departments to transform into valuable business partners and profit centers. In this blog post, we will explore potential opportunities for corporate legal functions to monetise some of their areas, generate revenue and become more strategically integrated within the organisation.

Opportunities for monetising legal services

Legal services outsourcing:
Legal departments can offer legal services to external clients, leveraging their internal expertise and resources to generate revenue. This may include providing contract drafting, reviews, negotiation as well as other legal support services to companies that do not have a dedicated legal team or which require additional legal resources. By offering these services at competitive rates, legal departments can attract new clients and create profitable revenue streams.

Intellectual property monetisation:
Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable asset for many organisations, and legal departments play a critical role in protecting and managing these assets. Legal departments can work closely with business units to identify and monetise IP assets, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights, by licensing them to third parties, selling them or forming strategic partnerships. By capitalising on the organisation's IP portfolio, legal departments can help drive revenue growth and contribute to the company's bottom line.

Legal technology solutions:
As legal departments increasingly embrace technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency, there is an opportunity to develop and monetise proprietary legal technology solutions. This may include creating software tools, platforms or applications that automate routine tasks, facilitate collaboration or provide data-driven insights. Legal departments can license or sell these solutions to other organisations, generating additional revenue and establishing themselves as leaders in the legal technology space.

Compliance and regulatory consulting:
With extensive knowledge of laws, regulations and best practices, corporate legal departments are well positioned to offer compliance and regulatory consulting services to other organisations. This may include providing guidance on new or changing regulations, conducting compliance audits or developing customised compliance programmes. By offering these services, legal departments can help organisations navigate complex regulatory environments while generating revenue for their own company.

Legal training and education:
Corporate legal departments can leverage their expertise to offer training and education programs to other organisations or individuals. This may include providing workshops, seminars or online courses on legal topics such as contract law, IP protection or regulatory compliance. By offering legal training and education services, legal departments can generate revenue and enhance their reputation as trusted legal experts.

Strategies for transforming legal departments into valuable business partners

Align legal services with business objectives:
To become a valuable business partner, legal departments must align their services and initiatives with the organisation’s overall strategic objectives. This may involve working closely with other departments to identify areas of opportunity, collaborating on cross-functional projects or providing proactive legal guidance in order to help drive business growth.

Foster a business-minded culture:
Encourage a culture of business-minded thinking within the legal department, where team members are encouraged to identify revenue-generating opportunities and adopt a more entrepreneurial mindset. This may involve providing training and resources to help legal professionals develop their business acumen and understand the organisation's financial goals and strategies.

Invest in technology and innovation:
Embrace technology and innovation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal services, reduce costs and unlock new revenue-generating opportunities. This may involve investing in legal technology solutions, exploring new service delivery models or adopting innovative approaches to legal problem-solving.

Measure and communicate success:
Develop metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of revenue-generating initiatives and demonstrate the value of the legal department to the organisation. By tracking and reporting on these metrics, legal departments can showcase their contributions to the company's bottom line and reinforce their role as valuable business partners.

Build strong relationships with stakeholders:
Foster strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to better understand their needs, challenges and opportunities for collaboration. By engaging with stakeholders and maintaining open lines of communication, legal departments can identify potential revenue-generating opportunities and contribute more effectively to the organisation's strategic goals.


The transformation of corporate legal departments from cost centers to valuable business partners and profit centers is not only possible, but increasingly necessary in today's complex business environment. By identifying opportunities to monetise legal services, investing in technology and innovation and aligning their efforts with the organisation's strategic objectives, legal departments can play a more significant role in driving business growth and success. If you are interested in learning more about this transformation process, please join our webinar on Monday, 25 September. 


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