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The Looking Glass Report 2016: Digital Technology and the Enhancement of Legal Services

  • Finland

    02-12-2016

    In-house legal teams want to embrace technology, but face internal barriers to investment

    • Investment in technology a strategic priority for international in-house counsel to improve efficiencies and team performance

    • But two thirds (64%) have difficulty in securing budget and one third are concerned about lack of IT skills in their team

    • Disconnect identified between what law firms are investing in and what clients actually need

    As the role of the in-house legal team across the globe continues to evolve towards being a trusted strategic adviser to business, a new report from Eversheds has found that GCs are facing significant barriers to making the most of the efficiencies and the productivity boost that technological innovation could provide. Lack of company buy-in to secure the required budget, a deficiency in specialist digital knowledge, and a digital skills gap in their team are all identified as obstacles to progression.

    The Looking Glass 2016 report from Eversheds and Winmark assessed the views of more than 200 senior legal leaders from international in-house and private practice teams to find out how digital technologies are transforming the delivery of legal services around the world.

    With the top strategic priority for in-house counsel being to increase team efficiency and impact (68%), they are acutely aware of the benefits investing in digital technology could offer their team and the wider business. 87% want to use it to find better ways of storing and retrieving information, 61% want to automate work to save time so they can focus on high-level strategic work, and 60% see it as instrumental in improving work-flow management. Although this technology will be used to take on some of the day-to-day tasks of the legal team, 90% of GCs surveyed are confident that their staff numbers will either grow or remain stable, as the role of the in-house team changes.

    However, despite being keen to maximise the opportunities technology can offer to help position the legal team as advisers at the very heart of a business, the report identified several major barriers in-house lawyers are facing. As well as the two thirds (64%) that have difficulty securing budget, a further three in five (59%) find it difficult to integrate new technology with existing systems, and 56% lack the time needed to truly harness technology to its full capability.

    And, although many in-house lawyers have the skills needed to use the technology, when it comes to procurement decisions, more than half (51%) feel out of their depth and unable to judge the full potential of digital innovations (or unable to dedicate the time to understanding this) and how they can improve their working processes. Almost half (44%) are concerned about their team or company’s resistance to change, with one third (33%) concerned their team do not have skills required to use the technology appropriately.

    Disclaimer

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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