Organisational strategy: prohibit horizontal escalations to legal from other business, risk or operational functions below a certain rank (or, if your organisation is foresighted enough to have done away with ranks, below a certain role: say “team leader”.)
The idea is to condition junior people in other organizational units to escalate up their formal command chain. The theory is that if it is BAU, a more experienced person in the function should know, and should be responsible for knowing, and should give the guidance, making this a teachable moment within the silo. Only if that team leader doesn’t know, have you met the threshold for a horizontal escalation into legal.
If a continued proliferation of stupid questions from the team leader, you can manage that with performance management.
- Reduce horizontal escalations as they are intrinsically wasteful
- BAU legal knowledge lives in the operational function, not in legal.
- The responsibility for training staff on the BAU lies with management of the operational function, not with the legal department
- The legal purpose is more limited than you think it is: Legal is an escalation point for edge cases and emergencies. Just as you don’t consult a solicitor every day in your personal life, nor should you consult legal every day in your professional one.