In a recent stat-filled infographic, General Counsel: From Lawyers to Strategic Partners (released by Raconteur with data from Walters Kluwer), large shifts with in-house corporate legal teams are showing from as recently as two years ago.
One of the main changes is in-house legal departments are becoming valued partners within large enterprises and are increasingly being called upon for their input on business decisions. From data privacy management to regulatory risk mitigation, general counsels now provide a host of vital services for companies to compete in today’s uncertain business environment.
For example, in 2017 the biggest priority for corporate legal departments was improving internal efficiency. This year’s respondents overwhelmingly said that adding to the business and becoming a strategic business partner was their main priority. This is probably a result of the C-Suite seeing the legal department’s ability to bring significant strategic and economic impact to the company as a whole through the use of technology.
Another big arena of change was the priority of data security and data privacy shifting away from in-house legal teams in 2019. This isn’t to say that data management is no longer a priority for companies as a whole but could be a result of more and more corporations creating separate departments focused solely on data, allowing legal to focus on risk mitigation, internal investigations, and compliance.
But even with the growth of in-house legal, only 14% of eDiscovery work was done internally, with the rest being outsourced to traditional or specialist law firms or to alternative legal services providers (ALSP). As companies continue putting a focus on how legal teams can contribute more to business needs overall, this could be a significant area of savings. However, in order to do this, in-house teams will have to develop mature eDiscovery processes and workflows as well as invest in eDiscovery technology.
To read even more statistics regarding corporate in-house legal teams,
Download the Full Infographic!