Martin explains the complexities of high-value client contracts and how our Legal team is transforming around digital
What was the biggest challenge I faced moving to Accenture? Probably the volume of outsourcing that goes on here, which I wasn’t used to, and the complexity of the contracts themselves. It was a steep learning curve but I feel my skillset has developed significantly.
In a nutshell, my role is to provide contractual and commercial support to help with the negotiation of high-value client contracts across the business. Our remit covers a huge range of bids, deals and opportunities. We’ll review bid contracts and documents, highlight the risks of a deal to leadership teams, and present our comments and responses to the client. There’s a lot of interaction between departments, and we regularly work with legal subject matter experts and, on occasions, we’ll reach out to external legal for additional support.
We negotiate with very large clients, typically represented by partners and City law firms, so your technical competence has to be top notch. You also have to embrace an evolving legal environment. We’ve changed the way we approach contracting by transforming around digital, becoming more agile and flexible in the way we address every conceivable risk, which is required to help us win more opportunities.
It can be a demanding place to work, but our focus on digital means lawyers have a unique chance to develop their skills at the forefront of new technology. When you’re involved in shaping things from a legal perspective, the work is always intellectually stimulating. You also get the opportunity to collaborate with some brilliant minds, although the emphasis is on developing your own network to ensure you get the right support when you need it.
Ultimately, Accenture is its people and I’m proud to work for an organisation that puts inclusion and diversity at its core. I think we probably need to encourage more women into the legal side of the business, but the way Accenture supports working mothers, LGBT employees and members of BAME communities is tangible across everything. I’m involved in the Accenture African Caribbean Network (AACN), which aims to position the firm as an employer of choice for black people, enabling us to recruit, retain and grow talented people.
From my own experiences, Accenture genuinely cares about employees as individuals. I love the flexibility I’m given in how I work and where I work, which means I have time for what’s important to me outside work – I love my wife and family, my cat, a whole range of sports and good food! More than that, however, I’ve had tremendous support in some difficult personal circumstances. I lost my mother and a brother within a year and, on each occasion, I was given all the time I needed to deal with these losses. No rush, no pressure to return to work, just reassurance and a chance to chat when I needed it.