Each year the Chief Legal Officer Survey provides insights into the state of inhouse law departments from the perspective of their leaders and chief lawyers. In 2016 the survey shows an incremental strengthening of trends that we have seen emerging since the recession.
Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) report that their departments are most valued for their ability to advise the CEO and corporate board, support the organization’s business objectives and manage legal risk. They are buffeted by market forces that include the challenges of new technologies, an increasingly complex regulatory environment, a profoundly unsettled relationship between law, risk, and compliance, and a chronically slow-growth economy with powerful global trade volatility.
They’re also concerned about persistent cost pressures, the lack of innovation in service delivery by law firms, and the career expectations of millennials coupled with the retirement of senior lawyers.
In this demanding environment, many Chief Legal Officers are embracing the role of change agents, wielding their buying power, leveraging technology and process efficiency, and outsourcing to alternative providers, all to build a more effective and flexible legal function.