Vincent Schoeters – A Hardworking Leader Determined to Make Legislation Accessible Through Smarter Use of Technology

The Most Influential People in Legal Services to Watch in 2023

As a legal professional and inspiring leader, Vincent Schoeters, Managing Partner at LEGILE, aims to change the legal industry by providing alternative, smart and more agile ways to do legal work.

Vincent hopes to inspire the next gen of legal professionals, his team members, stakeholders, clients and even their biggest critics to work smarter.

Vincent’s idea of success is dual:

– Make legislation accessible by means of technology; and

– Help future legal professionals embrace the technological progress in legal and       compliance services.

By doing so, he believes that access to legal support will eventually become a commodity.

The beginning of Vincent’s professional journey

For more than 10 years, Vincent was an M&A lawyer at one of the leading firms in the Benelux.

In the last years of his private practice, he was increasingly involved in digitalization projects in order to organize his own practice more efficiently (e.g., for onboarding new clients) and also increase the client’s experience by creating a platform which grants them interconnected insights in their digital files but also empowers them in terms of document management, legal entity management, and document automation.

“This might have been the start with Legile and now we see that it grows bigger by changing the way legal services are and will be delivered,” Vincent says.

Valuable lessons Vincent has learned and implemented as an entrepreneur

Schoeters notices that: “There are three dominating problems faced by legal counsels and compliance officers:

  1. The need to accommodate various factors that affect the business; European firms, specifically smaller ones, already weakened by the COVID-19 crisis, are struggling today to recover since the Ukraine war began, with the inflation estimation ratcheting up. My question here: who knows what the future holds? The reality is ever-changing, and each episode brings different challenges that demand certain agility in adapting new solutions.
  2. The higher complexity of the regulatory framework; (specifically in companies with a data-driven business model and/or businesses whose core activities process a lot of (personal) data).

I consider that compliance is a journey with different pitstops. The first, and hardest being when the business implements a new regulation. At this stage, legal counsels and compliance officers have to do their own homework to understand the regulation and its requirements and apply it within the context of the business’s industry.

The second pitstop, although not as burdensome as the first, consists of maintaining this level of compliance, which may involve investing in new technologies, staying ahead of the regulative updates, and staying on the safe side of regulatory inspections. Of course, outsourcing your compliance work would be ideal, but is it really an option for small and micro businesses?

  1. Lack of resources;

Without sufficient funds and resources, accommodating various factors of the market, or attaining high levels of compliance will seem like an impossible task.

The solution? As a legal counsel myself, with a decade of experience within the Big 4 consultancy groups in the market, I saw in the traditional out-sourcing legal services, a one-dimensional vision that does not fit all business models.

An agile management methodology is called for to stay ahead of the increasing demand and accommodate changes in the operations of the teams accordingly. And that’s how the idea of LEGILE sparked to life. It represents the perfect fusion between Agile Methodologies and Legal workflows, offering:

  1. Staffing and interim management
  2. Outsourcing of certain legal/compliance work streams (such as privacy management, procurement contract automation and management); and
  3. Automation (whether tailored end-to-end legal process design/automation or implementation of off-the-shelf tooling).”

An agile management methodology is called for to stay ahead of the increasing demand and accommodate changes in the operations of the teams accordingly. And that’s how the idea of LEGILE sparked to life. It represents the perfect fusion between Agile Methodologies and Legal workflows

Schoeters, alongside a multi-disciplinary team of legal experts, curated a solution for each of these mentioned issues which he prefers to address as ‘opportunities to enhance their legal and compliance operations’:

  1. Spikes in workload can be covered by their legal staffing and interim management solutions,
  2. Workflows the legal/compliance team doesn’t feel a fit with or lacks expertise in, can be outsourced and taken care of by means of their different managed service modules (such as DPOaaS, Contract Management aaS, Legal team on demand); and
  3. Processes that are repetitive, represent a certain volume of work, and require too much manual interventions, can be automated by their development or implementation teams.

Employee Testimony

Legal Engineer Lennert Govaerts, working on a legal digital transformation project for one of the leading healthcare groups in the region states that “Our work revolves around helping the legal department get up-to-speed with other business units of the company, and technology goes a long way helping us achieve that result. However, as the needs of the business keep changing, implementing agile methodologies in the way we operate promotes the continuous iteration of development and testing throughout the software development lifecycle of the project.”

Responsibilities as Managing Partner at LEGILE

Vincent is the founder and managing partner at LEGILE. His scope of work includes maintaining positive client relationships and driving the business development aspects of the company.

“It is the thrill of creating new business opportunities every day that makes me love what I do. In my opinion, a managing partner’s top priority should be to shape and inspire:

    • By shape, I mean to identify the business’s true potential and bring it to life by strategically shaping the vision of the company in a way that answers the market’s top needs and ensuring excellence in all client interactions.
    • By inspire, I mean to employ innovative technology and bring significant thought leadership to consult on complicated issues in order to get the best-in-class outcome.”

Schoeters’ vision is to make the legislation accessible through technology, and LEGILE is doing just that.

make the legislation accessible through technology

The growth of LEGILE under Vincent’s leadership

LEGILE was launched exactly 2 months before the first lockdown in Belgium. “You can imagine that this was not the most preferable economic climate, but nonetheless we succeeded in quickly adapting to the new ways of collaboration ‘from home’,” says Schoeters.

“As an upscale, we try to give every team member (and not only management) his/her own skin in the game, allowing them to have the freedom to run their own projects and come up with new ideas to better serve their clients. We stay away from micro-management by stimulating our employees’ entrepreneurial spirit. By doing so we guide them to lead by their own personal values to create trustworthy and timeless bonds with clients, and that’s what LEGILE is all about!” Vincent adds that he sincerely trusts that everyone has good ideas and those ideas simply need to be discovered.

“We stay away from micro-management by stimulating our employees’ entrepreneurial spirit. By doing so we guide them to lead by their own personal values to create trustworthy and timeless bonds with clients, and that’s what LEGILE is all about!”

Maintaining a work-life balance as a legal professional

“I love my job; however, I also prioritise family moments, and that’s why I am committed to providing an environment that endorses a healthy work-life balance for me and my employees”, states Schoeters.

Vincent adds that the best way to achieve a balance at work and personal life and boost productivity levels is by enjoying both equally. “And that is what we aim to achieve!”

“I believe that the development of a company lies within the collective development of the team!”

“If we can make work time more enjoyable, we will do it! And that’s why we attribute a great deal of importance to employee self-development and flexible working hours. We thought out a system that encourages each employee in developing his/her soft skills, culture and well-being.

    • Small example: LEGILE organizes yearly trips and monthly team events that aim to reinforce team bonds and increase communication and motivation. They also encourage their employees financially to take up self-development courses and participate in conferences that can boost their expertise, and hence, the expertise of LEGILE.

“I believe that the development of a company lies within the collective development of the team!”

Future plans for LEGILE

Schoeters strongly feels that LEGILE is just at the beginning of something bigger.

“I am confident that by collaborating with us, legal professionals will become masters of their daily practice (again), by creating more time for strategic and intellectually triggering work instead of repetitive low-value tasks.”

Apart from that, he says that they want to create more awareness and inspire young professionals enabling them to integrate technology into their future practices. “However, the above still requires some ‘evangelism work’,” states Schoeters.

Schedule your call with LEGILE today and start accelerating your legal & compliance operations!