According to a new report from EY Law, “Reimagining the Legal Function: How legal functions are approaching a seismic operational shift,” necessity really is the mother of invention. Billed as one of the most comprehensive legal ops surveys ever, the report, conducted on behalf of EY Law by Euromoney Thought Leadership Consulting and involving more than 1,000 senior legal practitioners in 25 countries, paints a dire picture of corporate law departments squeezed by competing necessities. First, they face increased demands from management for more information, more transparency and . . . just plain more. Second, they face simultaneous demands to sharply cut costs over the next 24 months. Given the additional challenges uncovered by EY – the challenges they face in attracting, deploying and compensating talent, and the challenges posed by their sluggishness in capitalizing on technology as they lag behind other corporate functions, it’s hard to find the silver lining, but EY gamely squeezes a few drops of lemonade – all the challenges law departments face are forcing them to reevaluate their operating models, especially when it comes to outsourcing and procurement – from the many lemons the survey details. “In light of the responses we received and the trends that emerged,” says Cornelius Grossman, EY Global Law Leader, “we believe that the legal function has a unique opportunity to respond to challenges it faces while increasing strategic value to the wider business at the same time.” Talk about the mother of invention.
Published December 30, 2019.