LOD and SYKE’s latest global survey of 169 legal, risk and compliance professionals reveals the main strategic and management challenges being faced by in-house teams today.
The key theme of the report is the dual-pronged challenge of managing risk as workloads continue to increase. Ensuring risk is tackled appropriately was cited by 68% of legal leaders as their top strategic focus. This statistic has risen consistently over recent years, compounded by the need to prioritise large volumes of work, which was highlighted by 60% of survey participants.
Tom Hartley, writes: “Astute GCs are meeting this dual-pronged challenge by ensuring that their team’s service delivery is fit-for-purpose, not gold-plated. This isn’t to suggest the balancing act of mitigating risk and getting your work done is easy – it’s a tightrope that requires both legal and commercial experience to know where to focus your efforts.”
Team management issues are also at the front of legal leaders’ minds. Against the backdrop of a tightening legal recruitment market, 51% mention the need to provide career development and training opportunities to their teams. Effective structuring of workloads, so the right type of work goes to the right people, came in a close second at 50%.
The key theme of managing risk while workloads increase is reflected by the top-4 areas of investment. Unsurprisingly, the biggest focus of investment is lawyers, highlighted by 66% of respondents. Risk and compliance expertise comes in second (25%), with self-serve tools (24%) and both legal operations and outsourcing workstreams (23%).
In-house leaders were also asked to gauge their teams’ reputation within their organisation, with 45% stating that they were highly valued. Interestingly, this figure increased to 55% for those legal leaders with a clear tech strategy and to nearly 67% for those that strongly agreed with the use of data to boost their value.
Tom Hartley, concludes: “Three hallmarks of a successful legal team emerge from this year’s survey: visibility, flexibility, and vision. Visibility in two ways – the team is visible across your organisation as a vital department, and also visibility in the form of objective data about the contracts, risk levels and matters being run by the legal team. Flexibility in how the team is resourced – armed with data the team can scale up and down with the right blend of specialities and seniority. Finally, vision in having a strategy that underpins its operations. This combination of characteristics creates a legal function that is agile, effective and able to prove its value to the business.”
A full version of the report is available here.
- In-house leaders navigate risk as workloads continue to rise, Lawyers Weekly
- In-house teams face twin challenge of increased workloads and managing risk, survey finds, Global Legal Post
- Work piling up for in-house lawyers, Law Society Gazette
- ‘Just give us the data’, in-house lawyers are told, Edward Fennells Legal Diary
- Risk management, workload ‘dual-pronged’ problem for in-house legal: study, Australasian Lawyer
- How law departments are managing and boosting value in 2022, Lexology
- The Corporate Counsel Show: Why risk management is the #1 concern for law departments, Lawyers Weekly
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