Transforming Gimv’s legal knowledge management
Recognizing the importance of performant knowledge management, Gimv Legal asked Ask Q to assist in further developing its knowledge management. Gimv’s request was twofold: implement digital tools that make optimal use of the Office 365 context and produce and consolidate (existing tacit) legal knowledge.
Gimv is a European investment company, listed on Euronext Brussels. As a recognized market leader, Gimv partners with entrepreneurial and innovative companies in five forward-looking investment areas. Gimv currently manages a portfolio of around 60 companies with a combined turnover of EUR 3.1 billion and 19.000 employees.
A major role of Gimv’s legal team is to assist the investment teams throughout the entire lifecycle of Gimv investments. Responsibilities of the legal team include the initial due diligence and negotiation of the investment all the way to advising on exits of portfolio companies. The legal department plays a crucial role within Gimv to review the important yet complex transaction documents across multiple jurisdictions (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and France).
Playing such a pivotal role within Gimv’s day-to-day operations, it means that Gimv’s legal team is in high demand and its legal counsels often are required to juggle a handful of transactions at any point in time. Given these workstreams it proved challenging for the legal team to find the time to work on the legal team’s internal organization, and more specifically the management of its internal know-how.
Gimv’s legal team considers knowledge to be one of its core resources and differentiators to achieve its mission: provide an exceptional service level to the investment teams. To achieve this mission, it means that knowledge management is an important strategic exercise for Gimv – and it turned to Ask Q and the head of its Legal Ops offering Rémy for help through its Legal Operations offering.
Ask Q’s offering was truly unique, in the sense that I have not come across any other service provider that can offer both the legal expertise and the technical and operational knowledge in an integrated way. This unique combination guaranteed the successful implementation of this rather complex digital transformation project.
Why we change the game:
Ask Q has been able to rapidly establish itself as an important provider of legal capacity. It is now also extending this capacity to Legal Operations including in the area of knowledge management, legal technology, digital transformation and process optimization.
1. Injecting expertise in your legal department
Gimv is well-known to have an outstanding legal department with excellent hard and soft skills (such as risk assessment, advising, drafting, negotiating). Further increasing the efficiency requires IT-skills, change management and data analytics. Rémy helped to inject these skills in the team by designing a co-creation journey with Gimv’s legal team in order to translate its needs and challenges into concrete solutions.
2. Execution is everything
Many corporate legal departments like Gimv find out that it's generally not the lack of ideas for improvement that are the bottleneck, but rather a lack of time to execute them. With Ask Q, Gimv found the right partner, since Ask Q offered an end-to-end solution: With Ask Q, Gimv found the right partner, since Ask Q offered an end-to-end solution. Ask Q first started with mapping out Gimv’s needs and desires (ideation). Subsequently, Ask Q’s consultants built the digital tools and populated those tools with metadata. Finally, Ask Q also drafted legal templates, playbooks and knowledge articles.
3. Upscaling your team's bandwidth with our flexible capacity
Ask Q’s DNA is to offer flexible legal capacity – and it’s what we do best. Ask Q worked intensively with Gimv to lay the foundations of a modern knowledge management function but did so with the objective to be able to be easily replaced as an internal function. Whatever happens, we stay there for our clients even after the project. We also offer regular check-ins or updates, as well as the ability to structurally take on important tasks such as populating databases and keeping them up-to-date.
4. We know that taking your team along is the most important challenge
For Gimv, Rémy used workshops to clearly define the goal, desires and existing shortcomings. Rémy also spoke to various stakeholders at the outset of our assignment, including investment managers, the IT-team and the financial controllers. That is because one of our core believes when it comes to Legal Operations is that a human-centric approach is key. Processes, tools and ways of working don’t operate in a vacuum and changing these may impact many different teams across an organization. Even though our work can easily be done remotely, this is also the reason we still prefer to work on-site for some time during the project.