How HP Legal Became Antifragile

Moving from simple risk management to antifragility is a critical new capability that legal teams worldwide are striving to attain.

Antifragility has become key in sustaining organizational objectives in a time where performance and security are critical attributes for business survival.

The rationale is simple. Fragile systems break when unexpected things happen. Robust systems remain stable in the face of crisis and uncertainty.

‘Unpredictable’ remains the watchword for the near and mid-term economic landscape, which means becoming antifragile should be the mindset and a primary objective for high-performing legal departments.

Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better. — Nassim Taleb

But what does it take to make an antifragile model for supporting legal business?

In the new eBook by LawGeex, How Legal Teams Become Antifragile, Suzanne Miller, Director and Managing Counsel at HP explores a structural approach to selecting the right set of principles and practices for legal teams.

Read on for a taste of some of the principles she discusses.

Teams Need Solid Personnel Backup Plans

HP Legal use The Four-Box Business Model and agile scrum technique to assess the relative value of the legal team’s various responsibilities.

Its purpose is to determine the most efficient and resilient way to allocate tasks during times of calm, and how to prioritize responsibilities in times of tumult.

The regular work undertaken by legal departments is often a matter separate from the team available to do it during a crisis. The discussion on succession planning and cross-training raises some uncomfortable questions that legal teams need to ask in order to build trust among team members.

‘Unpredictable’ remains the watchword for the near and mid-term economic landscape

But with clarity on where team expertise lies, and what backup plans are in place to ensure continued access to that expertise, crisis decision-making comes from a foundation of experience, not fear.

Tech-Fluent Teams Accelerate Success

HP has shifted its legal operations from country-based units to developing centers of excellence that operate globally.

For legal teams to succeed, they need to make the shift and create a legal department across a distributed, collaborative network, which can easily transfer work away from areas experiencing disruption without sacrificing service quality.

In addition, leveraging the right tools can play a critical role in enabling global collaboration and continuity. “Partnering with LawGeex has been extremely helpful by pushing us to roll out global contract approval policies on standard contracts,” Miller says.

Employee Wellbeing Is Not a Luxury

The aforementioned principles, when practiced in tandem, develop multiple points of contact and service delivery models for internal clients.

Preparing for a world where global-impact events are to be expected requires teams to have more than one way to provide legal services. One of the advantages of building an antifragile legal department is that organizations can then focus on people when the crisis hits. People are a company’s greatest asset.



Being structurally prepared to continue operations amidst a crisis allows leaders to lean into personal values around empathy and flexibility.

Critically, having the ability to take actions that support the wellbeing of employees during a crisis cannot be a luxury in the process of navigating through difficulties.

What Are You Doing to Become Antifragile?

One recurring thread through these principles is the necessity of addressing them before the emergencies occur. There’s no time to dive into them when the storm has already hit, and teams should act now to ensure stability in its aftermath.

The impact of the ongoing global crisis is putting a finger on the need for insight, transparency, and agility. Its unprecedented challenges have stretched legal operational wherewithal to its limits, but the highest performing teams continue to deliver results, and remain agile in this contentious environment.

Learn the 6 best practices HP used during Covid-19 and the critical lessons learned on the journey to becoming antifragile. Download the eBook here.

Judi Crimmins

Judi Crimmins is a regulatory compliance specialist and Director, Professional Services at LawGeex. Previous companies include BSI Group and British Water. Judi holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of London.