The Legal Department of the Future

Research on the future of law is based on interviews with the General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, law firm executives, legal technology leaders and academics, as well as an analysis of Gartner`s proprietary data assets and a literature review. For example, artificial intelligence can speed up the process of creating legal documents using automated search, translation, document creation, and pre-fill tools. Today`s machine-reading algorithms can also review thousands of documents in minutes, freeing lawyers from repetitive, low-value tasks and freeing them up for high-quality analysis and advice. These and other new solutions can help legal counsel overcome capacity constraints. Given the enormous amount and value of data available today from public and private sources, most next-generation legal departments will need data scientists who can leverage it. 1 1. Kevin Buehler, Rachel Dooley, Liz Grennan and Alex Singla, “Getting to know – and manage – your biggest AI risks,” May 2021, Finding the right person for the job, arguably the most important task of an attorney general, is complicated by the aforementioned changes in the legal ecosystem. While legal departments could previously choose from pre-screened law firm boards for help on specific issues, a much wider range of services (e.g. digitally assisted legal services, legal technology, insourcing providers, and litigation finance) is available. Legal advisors need to learn how to use these services (Figure 3). Views on the future of technology and the world of General Counsel.

Enterprise technology continues to extend to legal functions, blurring the line between legal technology providers and pure technology. As in any “information processing” profession, there are considerable opportunities for automation in law: there are many ways to use technology to follow the rules, precedents, and well-defined checklists that make up much of the day-to-day legal activity. While virtual traders and smart contracts are still a long way off, changes are already underway as law firms and general counsel in the industry go beyond eDiscovery tools in litigation and consider the role of predictive analytics in improving market insights. The new model should be to use digitization to become data-driven, to add business context to legal activity. And this is where the in-house team comes out on top: with real-time information on the business impact of provisions in a contract negotiation, for example, an in-house legal team can become a much more valuable business asset. With the business context provided by the ability to combine digitized contract information with transactional, customer, product and risk data, legal advisors can conduct much more informed negotiations that reflect exposure and value, thus becoming much more integrated into the organization. One approach to defining a functional objective is to compare business activities and priorities with how in-house counsel spend their time and where they go. Should the legal department focus more on drafting complex commercial contracts for new projects, managing external lawyers to handle mass litigation, or responding to day-to-day requests? Such factors can force legal functions to improve the way their clients interact with them by building their services around key factors and challenges from across the enterprise. Again, data will be critical to enable this change. Like many of the world`s most successful B2C companies, legal teams will use detailed analytics to constantly refine their processes and improve their service delivery.

The rapid evolution of technology is leading to even more reforms in the profile of the future GC. The pressure mentioned above to deliver value for money to the organization means that the successful GC must be able to spot opportunities when they arise. And technology that continues to reach new heights is an opportunity for internal teams to achieve higher levels of efficiency. A reluctance or inability to take advantage of technological innovation will be a missed opportunity that the future GC will recognize and seize. Around the world, the most resourceful corporate legal departments are expanding their career options with a range of other innovations. Here are some examples: Only 13% of the lawyers surveyed are confident in managing cross-cutting risks. Gartner`s research shows that GC leaders and legal leaders need to drive six changes to the legal operating model – and they need to start identifying and prioritizing the actions needed now. Amid the disruption and uncertainty that characterized 2020, it is difficult to say the long-term outcome of these accelerated changes.

How do these forces shape the legal functions of tomorrow? The following article is based on predictions made by KPMG Legal Operations Transformation Services professionals at member firms around the world regarding the evolution of the legal function from today to 2025. Due to their nature as predictions, they are not intended to provide guarantees of future results. Automating repetitive tasks allows legal teams to increase efficiency. Overall, by 2025, legal functions could transform into true partners of the firm, offering more proactive, evidence-based and strategic advice. Lawyers and their teams will support a growing range of risk, compliance, governance, operational and regulatory issues. At the same time, they will apply new processes, technologies and skills to meet their company`s ongoing need for practical legal advice and support the business with greater efficiency, more user-friendly approaches and a greater focus on value creation. However, some companies are making positions more attractive by opening up career paths and upskilling opportunities. Careers in a corporate legal department typically begin three to five years after graduation and training at a law firm. Because we work closely with general counsel and their teams across industries, they often wonder what structure and processes best prepare the legal department for change. While each situation requires tailored analysis and recommendations, we believe four overarching imperatives should be at the forefront of any general counsel building a next-generation legal department: Many companies with a global presence are facing new waves of litigation triggered by professional litigators who have developed sophisticated strategies to advance their lawsuits.

including the selection of and the use of online marketing to reach potential complainants. This trend is accelerated by the growth of the litigation finance industry, which now has more than $11 billion to fund claims globally (Figure 4). Many litigators welcome funding because it covers their legal costs, allowing for predictability and potentially a fungible business portfolio. Applicants opt for financing solutions because they offer immediate risk relief and legal fees in exchange for certain upward limits. Legal content can be so boring, but the way this podcast focuses on the future of the legal department and new ways to control adoption is so entertaining. Finally a legal podcast that will not put me to sleep! “We have set up a global backdesk for the legal process of our documents. Whenever someone in the company needed help locating, storing, or retrieving a contract, they had someone to turn to. This service found registered contracts, found appropriate templates for new contracts, provided updates on the status of open applications, and processed updates to existing contract entries.