The outbreak of coronavirus has spawned numerous challenges for in-house counsel. New research identifies the more prominent personal ones being tackled.
In the wake of COVID-19, US-headquartered international law firm Morrison & Foerster surveyed 110 in-house general counsel from global corporations to understand how this unanticipated health crisis is impacting their businesses now and over the long-term and what they perceive to be their biggest business challenges over the next 12 to 24 months.
The survey found that the global pandemic is giving rise to a bevy of personal challenges for in-house counsel, impacting upon their day-to-day.
The most commonly-identified such challenge was “providing advice on unprecedented issues”, which is affecting 64.5 per cent of counsel during this time. It was closely followed by “making decisions in an uncertain environment” (55.5 per cent).
Traditional legal priorities normally reported as challenges in their roles are now much lower on their challenge list, M&F reported, with only 22.7 per cent of respondents saying focus on keeping transactions moving forward and 16.4 per cent reporting keeping their teams focused on strategic priorities were their top challenges.
Other prominent challenges identified by survey respondents included: “protecting the company from risk” (39.1 per cent), “supporting the business” (36.4 per cent), “managing a remote team” (27.3 per cent), “resolving issues that could cause reputation/financial damage” (26.4 per cent), and 12.7 per cent also identified “other” concerns.
The report also found that the pandemic is having a “significant impact” upon businesses across the board, and outlined the primary risks being seen by in-house counsel at this juncture.