Embracing technology has been named the most important non-legal skill needed by in-house legal professionals, according to new ACC data

As 56% of corporate law professionals expect technical needs to increase,
The survey points to a future partner for legal teams: the CIO

LAS VEGAS, October 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Everlawcloud-based investigative and litigation platform, today released a new report in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) that reveals that nearly half of corporate law professionals (47%) believe that adopting technology is the best a non-legal skill needed for the next generation of in-house legal professionals.

The State of Corporate Litigation Today the report was issued today in 2022 ACC Annual Meeting, the world’s largest gathering of in-house counsel. More than 200 in-house attorneys and legal operations professionals were surveyed about their department’s approach to litigation, technology needs, criteria for selecting outside attorneys and the biggest costs of litigation.

Key findings include:

  • Moving more work in-house was the most cited strategy to contain litigation costs, used by 59% of respondents, with the energy, healthcare and insurance industries providing the highest percentage of in-house work.
  • The ability to embrace new technology is the top non-legal skill needed for the next generation of in-house legal professionals
  • Almost half of all legal departments report spending more than 400 dollars per hour for outside counsel, while the average cost per case now surpasses that 100,000 dollars and nearly one-third (31%) of departments reported increased litigation.
  • Almost half (46%) report that the average length of a typical lawsuit is increasing, with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, insurance and construction reporting the largest increases.

The technology is valued and desired internally, but still underutilized
A majority (85%) say in-house legal professionals need to understand how new technology affects legal work, and 56% expect their department’s technology needs to increase in a year. However, the firm’s use of innovative technology was the least common selection criterion when considering external counsel, with industry expertise and knowledge emerging as the most common. Most respondents (56%) believe there should be stronger collaboration between the legal department and the CIO, but only 4% indicated that their legal department works most closely with their CIO.

“In one of the survey’s most surprising findings, technological prowess ranked as the top next-generation skill for in-house counsel,” said Blake Garcia, senior director of business intelligence at ACC. “Large-scale adoption of legal technology has been slower than expected due to a number of factors, but we continue to see evidence like this that legal innovation continues to gain momentum by increasing efficiency and reducing costs – impacting the workflows of legal departments and practices for hire in the coming years.”

It was proven that spending a little on technology saves a lot in the long run, but lawyers are still not implementing technology to reduce costs to the full extent. Only 12% of respondents ranked the use of technology or artificial intelligence as one of the top three methods for saving money, with offshoring the top cost-saving strategy on the list. Corporate legal departments, however, report a strong desire to expand their use of technology. Sixty-five percent of respondents reported that they would like to use automated redaction tools for personally identifiable information, for example, while 39% said they would like to use legal custody, early case assessment and concept clustering technology in workplaces. their processes in court disputes.

“Moving legal work in-house is inherently a technology effort,” said Chuck Kellner, Strategic Discovery Counsel at Everlaw. “And since overall cost is the primary factor used to determine whether to settle a matter, reducing costs by bringing technology-driven work in-house can have a significant impact on a company’s litigation standing.”

The litigation is being extended
Another compelling feature driving technology adoption is the increasing length of litigation, with 46% reporting an increase in typical litigation. As the amount of discoverable data grows exponentially, in-house legal teams need advanced technology to help them sort through documents that once lived in filing cabinets but now encapsulate every email, Slack, text message or social media message sent. The ability to act quickly can be key to both controlling costs and improving outcomes, particularly in protracted, high-stakes litigation. Class actions last the longest, with 75% of participants reporting an average duration of at least two years, with 44% reporting an average duration of at least three years.

In terms of the type of litigation legal teams face, the most common are labor issues, followed by breach of contract. About a quarter (27%) reported an increase in regulatory issues, and 22% said the number of internal investigations had increased compared to the previous year.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Breach of contract and employment are the most common legal disputes faced by legal departments
  • The most important rationale for engaging an outside consultant in the first place is the firm’s expertise in addressing subject matter, jurisdictional and geographic needs (88%), followed by the ability to complement the capabilities of the corporate team (50%).
  • The most cited risk is monetary and reputational risk to the business (38%), followed by unpredictability of litigation outcomes (18%), unpredictability of litigation costs (18%) and staffing limitations when managing outside counsel (12 %) .

Click here to read the full report, “The State of Corporate Litigation Today.”

Learn more about it in our blog post.

Visit Everlaw at the ACC Annual Meeting this week at booth #303

Methodology: The survey card was offered through an online survey platform. Personalized links to the survey were emailed to the target group, allowing participants to save their responses and complete the questionnaire in more than one sitting if needed. The poll is open on June 22, 2022and closed on July 15, 2022. We targeted ACC members located in United States. A total of 202 in-house lawyers and legal operations professionals participated in the survey.

About ACC
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networkingand advocacy. With more than 45,000 members in 85 countries working in more than 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members with the people and resources needed for both personal and professional growth. By an insider, for an insider.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on LinkedIn, Twitterand Facebook.

About Everlaw
Everlaw helps legal teams navigate the increasingly complex e-discovery landscape to chart a straighter path to the truth. Trusted by corporate counsel on the Fortune 100, 91 of the Am Law 200, and all 50 state attorneys general, Everlaw’s combination of intuitive expertise, advanced technology, and partnership with clients empowers organizations to address their most pressing technology challenges—and to transform their approach to discovery and trial litigation. Founded in 2010 and based in Oakland, CaliforniaEverlaw is funded by top tier investors including Andreessen Horowitz, CapitalG, HIG Growth Partners, K9 Ventures, Menlo Ventures and TPG Growth.

Media contact:
Dan Weber
[email protected]

Colleen Hykes
[email protected]

SOURCE Everlaw

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