The State of Australian Corporate Law Departments Report 2019, produced by Thomson Reuters in collaboration with Acritas, explored themes impacting the role of general counsel that are currently emerging in a changing legal marketplace.
It found that GCs are increasingly exploring new and innovative ways to handle their legal work, with 48 per cent introducing innovative solutions to drive efficiencies and more effective working practices.
Those GC – making up almost half of those surveyed – reported implementing such solutions to handling legal work in the last two years, as well as investing in document and data management systems, contract management and generation software.
Those GCs are also looking at initiatives to better streamline internal restructuring and more formal implementation of legal and supplier project management systems, the report continued.
But, while almost half of corporate departments profess to have implemented innovative approaches internally, only 37 per cent have worked with an external supplier who they view as innovative, the report noted.
“Where in-house clients are working with an innovative supplier, just under half of those (47 per cent) identified a law firm as the one delivering innovation, while 40 per cent pointed to technology or a knowledge provider.”
When asked what offerings general counsel utilise that they consider to be innovative, 66 per cent said new technologies, 17 per cent said resources, 15 per cent said legal advice and 6 per cent said education.