We recently caught up with Anatasia Posokhov, Deloitte Legal Senior Manager at Deloitte Africa to hear more about her experience using the platform and the challenges she faces as legal counsel in Africa more generally.
Afriwise: Anastasia, thank you for joining us today. We were delighted to bring Deloitte Legal onboard as one of our platform subscribers late last year and are interested to hear about your experience so far and the challenges you face more generally as legal counsel in Africa. To start us off, we want to ask you what are the key challenges you face when doing your job across the African jurisdictions that Deloitte Legal operates?
Anastasia: It’s good to chat with you! I believe our biggest challenge is sourcing and managing local counsel when doing work in jurisdictions outside of South Africa where we don’t have our own legal offices. We often don’t know who the experts in a particular subject matter are, and it takes time to find the right counsel, which can often be frustrating, particularly when a matter or response to a request for proposal is time sensitive. In some cases, we only really need a high level response to a client who is looking to enter a particular jurisdiction, or to confirm certain basic compliance requirements, and a delay in response could lose us the bigger piece of work. It also takes a huge amount of effort, particularly on larger multi-jurisdictional projects, to align and harmonise all the different sources of information to read cohesively and have the same tone. This has been a challenge and sourcing and collating the information requires some significant project management – I’m sure Afriwise knows all too well what this sort of information collation work entails!
Afriwise: Thank you for sharing, these are certainly challenges we are familiar with. Alleviating the stress associated with multi-jurisdictional work in Africa is one of our platform’s core objectives. Was this the main reason you subscribed to Afriwise?
Anastasia: Yes, absolutely. For us, the value of the Afriwise platform is its ability to empower us to provide high-level advice on multiple jurisdictions, which would otherwise be too expensive and take too long to source.
Afriwise: It is clear how our platform can assist with the challenges of cross-jurisdictional work; have you got any other examples you would be happy to share with us on how Afriwise has assisted your particular role?
Anastasia: Afriwise has helped me keep abreast of legal developments, particularly amendments in legislation and their practical implications, as well as to brush up on certain areas of law which I may not have as much experience in, for example competition law. The “question and/or clarification” function has also been incredibly useful, and has served as my sounding board over the last few months. I like this interactive element, which provides me with a second opinion to confirm my own thinking, and allows me to pose theoretical questions that can’t be answered from the platform’s content to trusted expert contributors.
Afriwise: That’s great to hear – our clarification and question function certainly had a lot of use over the last few months. In addition to that function, what do you like most about the platform?
Anastasia: I like that various relevant topics are grouped together as themes, so that one can start a search within an area of law and then drill down through the various topics, some which you may not have even considered, to get a more holistic understanding of the area of research. Traditional legal resources are more like libraries – you have to know how to look for what you need, usually as granular as knowing the specific piece of legislation or area of common law that you require, before you can begin to search for the answer. The Afriwise platform allows us to find, within a category of law or topic, much of what relates thereto, and be pointed in the direction of the relevant legislation which we can then further research and interpret using other, more traditional legal tools at our disposal.
About Anastasia: She has over 12 years of experience in legal practice, including corporate and employment expertise. Prior to joining Deloitte, Anastasia worked at Africa’s largest law firm, as well as a leading global law firm. She has considerable experience in advising corporates on all aspects of company law and, in particular, on mergers and acquisitions (including impact on staff) as well as corporate governance.