Exclusive: 75 per cent of corporate legal departments are over budget
The majority of corporate legal departments are running over budget, with almost a third doing so “substantially”.
Around sixty per cent have seen an increase in their workload over the past year, but they have struggled to cope with budgetary constraints, and are over-spending.
The data was published in the 2022 State of the Corporate Law Department report by Thomson Reuters, exclusively shared with City AM today.
In addition to over spending, it was revealed that two thirds of corporate legal departments want to deal with firms who have strong credentials when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG), with a particular focus on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) .
It was “very important” for 20 per cent of corporates, according to the report, with 21 per cent saying it was particularly significant to focus on inclusivity and diversity.
After improving gender and racial representation, the second most significant factor was the environment and sustainability, as well as climate change, at 15 per cent.
“Law firms are investing heavily in improving their ESG credentials and our research shows that this is supported by their corporate clients”, Jas Sandhu Dade, Head of Corporates Europe at Thomson Reuters said.
“In-house legal departments and corporate clients more broadly want to see their values with regards to ESG reflected in those with whom they do business.”
The report also highlighted that greater use of technology is on the rise, with almost 65 per cent of corporate legal departments now using e-signature tools, and 58 per cent embracing new ways of legal research.
Just 30 per cent used technology for project management, with Dade saying that: “given the pressures corporate legal departments are under, investment in legal project management software would go a considerable way towards easing the administrative burden on personnel. This would free up resources to focus on higher-value, more complex work.”