How is your legal department performing? According to our latest benchmark, in-house lawyers are focused on managing costs. With smaller budgets and smaller headcounts, in-house legal departments are challenged to show how digitalisation not only results in improved efficiencies for their own departments, but across the whole organisation.
For the second year in a row, Wolters Kluwer and The Lawyer release their benchmark on the place of digitalisation in legal departments and on how legal technologies can help improve efficiency.
The report includes additional questions exploring how involved in-house legal departments are in Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) and activities across their organisation.
Over 100 participants, fulfilling high responsibility functions within legal departments ranging from 1 to +100 employees, were able to give insights about the challenges faced by their department, and the place of digitalisation in the answers to these challenges.
When it comes to driving efficiency and making improvements within their organisation, respondents were very clear about which areas they wanted to address most urgently : 37% of respondents said they were planning to improve their compliance management function with a further 36% saying they were planning to improve their contract management function. 28% of respondents said they were planning to improve their risk management function.
Despite these challenges, the number of participants (39%) that do not have a clear digital strategy remains the same as last year.
As far as the ESG strategy of companies is concerned, legal departments seem to be well involved in this new challenge, since this study showed that 28% of legal teams were responsible for the development of the ESG plan and related activities, and 23% were responsible for their implementation.
The survey was supplemented by interviews with leading in-house professionals from organisations in the wholesale, transport and travel and membership association sectors. These interviews reveal that implementing a digital solution is only part of the jigsaw to becoming more efficient, the final part of a project that includes time and commitment from in-house Counsel to map out their internal processes end to end across the organisation to ensure maximum return on their investment.