find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
In-house roles to take on greater strategic focus

In-house roles to take on greater strategic focus

The operational successes of legal business units will change the profile of in-house teams, a new report has predicted.

The latest report from the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) suggests that the role of in-house lawyers will transform as legal teams meet and exceed operational goals for their companies. Specifically, the transformation will see in-house counsel “come full circle” and be given a seat at the strategic table more often.

“According to the data, today a robust 65 per cent of law departments are strategic partners, inextricably woven into every function that feeds the organisational bloodstream,” the 2016 ACC Law Department Management Report said.

The report said the role of general counsel is morphing towards “strategic integration”, incrementally and by “degrees of power”.

The ACC said the trend is a change for the better, as it can offer businesses the benefit of the “enterprise-wide” knowledge that naturally sits in legal teams.

The report went on to imply that by fostering better relationships between in-house legal teams and other specialist units within a company, a door is opened to provide strategic planning advice to the board.  

The legal teams with greater “organisational influence” are those that nurture their relationships with other business units such as IT, human resources and corporate communications, the report said.

“The beneficial goal of full corporate integration will entail or directly lead to intensified relations with the board as well as C-suite [to] work indissolubly with directors to ensure that their oversight is comprehensive and that the questions asked, and the recommendations made, speak advisedly to the future of the enterprise,” the report said.

The ACC identified three operational strengths that empower legal teams to “define and deliver” maximum value for their companies, in turn elevating their strategic profile.

According to the report, strategic advice is most sought from legal teams that maintain consistent budgets, apply innovation to their work and utilise management practices to drive efficiency.

Three quarters of in-house respondents surveyed for the report said their legal departments “almost always” meet with business leaders to discuss risk.

Fifty-four per cent of respondents said their departments come within 5 per cent of their budget. The data also showed that spending within the budget was easier for smaller legal departments, as a result of less litigation and smaller regulatory workloads.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

In-house roles to take on greater strategic focus
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
06:04
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
06:00
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
recognised for human rights work
06:00
LexisNexis executive recognised for human rights work
A LexisNexis executive has been announced as a finalist in a global awards program for women in busi...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...