Pier Luigi M. Lucatuorto, General Counsel at Modula S.p.A points out that 2021 was a year of adjustment, professionally and personally, after the pandemic shocked the world in 2020. Reflecting on 2021, he views it as a year of sudden awakening, with Covid-19 forcing the world to revolutionize the way people live and work. "It made us aware of the tools we already had, and we were forced to use them continuously and effectively."
Lucatuorto says the need for remote work and social distancing created by the pandemic allowed people to understand that the digital world is no longer just an accessory. "It must be placed at the center of business dynamics, both in production processes and in organization."
This new mentality saw businesses realize that most legal departments were using outdated technology which, he says, "doesn't create efficiency or a clear picture of the activities under the legal function’s control."
In contrast to ERPs and CRMs, it became apparent that in-house legal needed to up its game. Lucatuorto took it upon himself to upgrade his legal team by introducing an automated contract management tool - to a great reception from his colleagues. "The last couple of years have made us realize how important human relationships are. Within the corporate organization, the legal department acts as a collector, coordinator, and mitigator of other functions."
Despite remote working, Lucatuorto says he is less siloed than ever as a GC, and that in 2021 his colleagues increasingly noticed how "useful, strategic and transversal" the GC role is to all business functions.
People within Modula S.p.A no longer perceive legal to be a handbrake on the business. "They are recognizing the legal team is a function that goes at the same speed as their own and is able to respond to any demand for innovative and fast legal services," says Lucatuorto. In fact, he sees the pandemic as the perfect opportunity to "change the way my function is perceived in its cross-functional role".
Lucatuorto attributes some of this newfound lateral connection within the business to the "need to feel united" that the pandemic created. "In 2021 and in the midst of lockdowns, we took the opportunity to know each other better, realizing that the fast-paced and hectic environment of the pre-pandemic period did not allow this, and for maximum possibilities," he says.
Looking to 2022, Lucatuorto is focusing on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues within a corporation and how they coincide with risk management and compliance. He believes ESG is the space of the future for business. "We are witnessing an unprecedented opportunity for change. If we manage to seize this opportunity, we can really make a difference."