Risk, technology, and the evolution of the legal industry
A new study of corporate legal departments shows that it is an industry in transition. Based on a detailed survey and interviews with chief legal officers at corporations of all sizes, The General Counsel Report: Corporate Legal Departments in 2020, outlines changes in the general counsel’s role over the past decade, how and why in-house legal teams are implementing advanced technology for legal use cases, key areas the general counsel identified for enterprise risk, and their advice for the next generation of lawyers.
Based on a survey and interviews with chief legal officers at corporations of all sizes, the report outlines changes in the general counsel’s role over the past decade, how and why in-house legal teams are implementing advanced technology for legal use cases, key areas the general counsel identified for enterprise risk, and their advice for the next generation of lawyers. The research by FTI Consulting was conducted in partnership with Relativity.
Key findings include the following:
- Pervasive enterprise risk is driving general counsel toward expanded roles as business strategists, according to 97% of respondents
- 40% of respondents said they currently use or soon plan to use AI to fulfill legal tasks, such as managing and reviewing business contracts
- 75% of respondents use SaaS or cloud-based applications to perform legal tasks
- 38% of general counsel believe legal work will be more technology-driven in the future
- 69% of general counsel modified their companies’ data privacy policies to adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)
Many participants acknowledged the increasing pervasiveness of enterprise risk, citing difficulties with complying with the patchwork of regulations on data privacy and security. Some expanded on the issue, claiming that many lawyers still lack understanding of complex data privacy requirements. In parallel, reputational risk caused by an increasingly vocal public emerged as a new area of concern.
“The legal industry is at a crossroads, and counsel must now contend with growing responsibilities, expectations and external threats,” said David Horrigan, discovery counsel and legal content director at Relativity. “Successful legal teams of the future will need a combination of business experience and technology aptitude in order to maintain a valued seat at the table among executive leadership.”
For more information, go to www.relativity.com and www.ftitechnology.com.