Wednesday, 03 July 2019 10:53

Efficiency drive

Toyota Mexico’s general counsel Luis F. Lozano Olivares wants external lawyers to continuously work at becoming more efficient and he gets frustrated when they lie about their expertise

The legal team at Toyota Mexico is a big believer in the value of using external legal advisers. The company’s philosophy involves outsourcing pretty much all of its legal work. This is, of course, good news for law firms – however, Toyota demands that all the external lawyers it uses continually innovate to ensure the services they provide are as efficent as possible. It’s a strategy that seems to be working, with the Toyota Mexico legal department widely considered to be one of the most sophisticated in-house legal teams in the country. The team works with 12 external law firms. Toyota Mexico’s legal government and industry affairs senior director and general counsel and compliance Luis F. Lozano Olivares says that it is vital that the members of the in-house team have an in-depth understanding of the business – in order to facilitate such an understanding, members of the team are sent to the company’s factories to discover how the manufacturing processes work. He also expects him team to work to improve their communication skills so they can have better relationships with the other parts of the company. Iberian Lawyer spoke to Lozano Olivares, who was formerly an associate at Baker McKenzie, to find out what the company wants from its external legal advisers, how the legal department has changed since he first joined Toyota, and what his biggest frustrations are when dealing with legal advisers.

What do you expect from the external law firms you use?
Toyota’s legal team is focused on serving the business, which is where innovation is needed. We expect the law firms that provide us with a service to ensure they keep modernising and making their service more efficient. How are you using technology to improve your legal team? In North America we are systematising processes and modernising the systems to make the service more efficient. Toyota also uses technology for product innovation in order to better meet the needs of our customers worldwide.

What was the legal team like when you joined Toyota? How has it changed?

There was no legal department at Toyota Mexico. I was rendering my legal services to Toyota from an external firm. However, 15 years ago I founded the legal team and structured the practice. How big is your legal team? Now we have four people, but we have a dozen law firms working for us. Toyota has very light structures and relies heavily on strategic partners, including law firms.

When choosing a law firm, what factors do you take into consideration?

Everything depends on the matter in question. We do not believe in ‘one-stop-shopping’, we select the firms depending on the project and the firm’s expertise. We have sometimes used up to five firms for a single project, with each firm having expertise in a particular area.

What is your biggest frustration with outside attorneys?

When they lie about their experience or area of specialism. Some firms that offer services in several practice areas are guilty of this.

To read the article in full please download issue N.86 here

More in this category: « Managing change Expanding workload »

The Latin American Lawyer
N.12 • March 23, 2019

LAL12 cover EN

Iberian Lawyer
N.92 • March 2020

IL92 cover SP IL92 cover EN

IL LLabourAwardsPortugal 300x250 Finalists

Lexpo20 webbanner 300x100px v2

IL Cea 300x100

IBLLabourAwardsSpain Banner 300x250 Finalists 4

IL Lawit 300X100 October

IL LatamAwards STD 300x100 1

IL ExpertOpinionPodcast 1 300x250

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the IberianLawyer website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more

I agree

What do I need to know about cookies?

A cookie is a small text file that’s stored on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. We use them to:

  • Remember your preferences
  • Tailor our sites to your interests.

There are different types of cookies

First party cookies

These are set by the website you’re visiting. And only that website can read them.  In addition, a website might use a separate company to analyse how people are using their site. And this separate company will set their own cookie to do this.

Third party cookies

These are set by someone other than the owner of the website you’re visiting. 

Some IberianLawyer web pages may also contain content from other sites like Vimeo or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. Also, if you Share a link to a IberianLawyer page, the service you share it on (e.g. Facebook) may set a cookie on your browser.

The IberianLawyer has no control over third party cookies.

Advertising cookies

Some websites use advertising networks to show you specially targeted adverts when you visit. These networks may also be able to track your browsing across different sites.

IberianLawyer site do use advertising cookies but they won’t track your browsing outside the IberianLawyer.

Session cookies

These are stored while you’re browsing. They get deleted from your device when you close your browser e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari.

Persistent cookies

These are saved on your computer. So they don’t get deleted when you close your browser.

We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.

Other tracking technologies

Some sites use things like web beacons, clear GIFs, page tags and web bugs to understand how people are using them and target advertising at people.

They usually take the form of a small, transparent image, which is embedded in a web page or email. They work with cookies and capture data like your IP address, when you viewed the page or email, what device you were using and where you were.

How does the Iberian Lawyer use cookies?

We use different types of cookies for different things, such as:

  • Analysing how you use the IberianLawyer
  • Giving you a better, more personalised experience
  • Recognising when you’ve signed in

Strictly Necessary cookies

These cookies let you use all the different parts of Iberian Lawyer. Without them services that you have asked for cannot be provided.

Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • Signing into the IberianLawyer
  • Remembering previous actions such as text entered into a registration form when navigating back to a page in the same session
  • Remembering security settings which restrict access to certain content.

Performance cookies

These help us understand how people are using the IberianLawyer online, so we can make it better. And they let us try out different ideas.
We sometimes get other companies to analyse how people are using the IberianLawyer online. These companies may set their own performance cookies You can opt out of these cookies here.Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • To collect information about which web pages visitors go to most often so we can improve the online experience
  • Error management to make sure that the website is working properly
  • Testing designs to help improve the look and feel of the website.
Cookie nameWhat it's for
Google DoubleClick The IberianLawyer uses Google DoubleClick to measure the effectiveness of its online marketing campaigns.Opt-out of DoubleClick cookies
Google Analytics From time to time some IberianLawyer online services, including mobile apps, use Google Analytics. This is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a cookie in order to evaluate use of those services and compile a report for us.Opt-out of Google Analytics cookies