Legal departments face rising tide of challenges in their transformation efforts, EY Law and Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession survey finds
- 75% do not expect budgets to keep pace with growing workloads
- 57% of business development leaders say inefficiencies in the contracting process have slowed revenue recognition
- Few General Counsel are "very confident" in their department's ability to identify, measure and manage complex risk
LONDON, April 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Legal departments across the globe are facing a mounting list of operational challenges as they look to transform in the wake of complex digital and regulatory change, according to the 2021 EY Law Survey, which was conducted in collaboration with the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession. The results come as workloads are expected to rise by 25% over the next three years, with anxieties surrounding revenue growth, cost cutting and difficulties securing C-suite support for investment in data and technology cited as key concerns impacting their transformation efforts.
More than 2,000 business leaders were interviewed during the first two months of 2021 – including more than 1,000 law department leaders from businesses representing 17 industries across 22 countries.
The research comes at a time when economic and fiscal pressures abound, and as law departments face heightened risk, rising workloads and low morale from low-value, routine-work. Yet, many continue to use traditional delivery methods, despite reporting significant challenges with managing outside counsel and insourcing. Meanwhile, automated self-service options, co-sourcing relationships and centers of excellence appear underused. The most innovative are using a portfolio approach, combining strategies as part of a comprehensive and transparent effort to improve risk management, cost control and business enablement.
Risk management is a top priority, but confidence levels are low
The survey shows that a large proportion of General Counsel lack confidence in their department's ability to identify, measure and handle the complex risks facing their organizations. Almost two-thirds (65%) say they do not have the data and technology to respond to a data breach. More than three-quarters (78%) say they do not systemically track contractual obligations, and 68% note that they do not have access to accurate, up-to-date information on their legal entities.