Everlaw, the cloud-native litigation and investigation platform, partnered with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) to publish a new report today that revealed an increase in budgetary constraints, with corporate law departments prioritizing cost containment through various strategies. In the lead are bringing more matters in-house, shifting work to smaller firms, and leaning more on technology– including AI – to help scale.
The report, “The State of Collaboration in Corporate Legal Departments” was unveiled at the ACC 2023 Annual Meeting, the world's largest gathering of in-house counsel. Respondents included more than 370 chief legal officers, general counsel, other in-house counsel and legal operations professionals from U.S. corporate law departments.
Key findings include:
In facing budgetary constraints, in-house teams will look to cut costs in the next year:
In-house teams look to do more with less regarding their outside counsel:
The desire to collaborate within the corporation exists but legal teams face obstacles:
“In-house counsel want to collaborate with other business departments but they feel hamstrung by a lack of automation,” said Chuck Kellner, strategic discovery advisor at Everlaw. “A true digital transformation of the legal department will get them through this last mile for greater parity with other departments. GenAI may become the killer app to drive the needed cost savings and create the efficiency improvements.”
“In-house legal teams have made great strides to improve internal and external collaboration in their organizations, but there is clearly a long way to go,” said Blake Garcia, senior director of business intelligence at ACC. “Legal teams continue to be seen as roadblocks on projects and nearly half reported they are consulted too late in strategic corporate decisions. With legal teams’ responsibilities increasing, yet continually being asked to do more with less, technology adoption is likely the most efficient way teams can improve communications with every corner of the organization."
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