From the legal department operation index to extreme in-house pressure causing high turnover, we bring you a collation of key updates for October 2023.
Law Image is thrilled to sponsor the 2023 Resolution Institute Annual Lunch
Law Image is excited to announce its sponsorship of the 2023 Resolution Institute Annual Lunch, featuring a special guest speaker, Peter Bartlett, Media Partner at MinterEllison and leader of the Nine Defence Team.
Peter Bartlett will offer invaluable insights into overcoming the complexities of a challenging case, which resulted in a comprehensive victory (currently under appeal) and has been dubbed by the Australian media as ‘The Defamation Trial of the Century.
The 2023 Legal Department Operations Index
The Thomson Reuters Institute, in partnership with the Legal Value Network, has released the latest edition of the Legal Department Operations Index, based on a survey conducted in the U.S. from June to July. This survey involved Legal Department Operations (LDO) professionals from various industries and companies of different sizes, aiming to identify their main challenges and priorities.
Key findings include:
- A significant number of corporate law departments are facing a surge in legal workload, leading them to seek in-house solutions rather than relying on external counsel.
- About two-thirds of law departments report either stagnant or decreasing budgets, putting additional strain on in-house lawyers who are handling the increased workload.
- Despite a desire to focus more on legal operations, budget and headcount constraints make this challenging.
- Many law departments have increased their use of legal technology tools in the past year, even though the adoption of new technology has been relatively slow. These tools are increasingly employed to manage workflows effectively.
Report: Firms less scared of tech, more likely to adopt AI in 2024
A new report suggests that an increasing number of law firms in Australasia are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance talent retention and operational efficiency. The Changing Legal Landscape Industry Report, conducted by Dye & Durham and the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association, surveyed 97 Australian law firms, 23 New Zealand law firms, and eight multinational firms across the region. Key findings include:
- 15% of Australasian law firms plan to implement AI in the next year.
- 72% of legal teams are expected to expand.
- 29% of respondents believe AI technology would be beneficial for their firms.
- Technology adoption is seen as crucial for retaining clients and attracting new business.
The survey, conducted between July 13 and August 4, 2023, primarily included respondents from small and medium-sized firms, with 81% of them crediting technology for improving their work/life balance. Concerns about the fear of change and barriers to technology adoption have significantly decreased in recent years.
‘Extreme’ stress linked to high turnover of in-house counsel at ASX100 companies
A panel of experts in Sydney has raised concerns about the “extreme” pressure faced by in-house counsel and private practice lawyers, leading to unsustainable workloads. This situation is negatively impacting the well-being, productivity, and retention of highly skilled legal professionals. Stress and burnout are considered key drivers for the high turnover rate among the top corporate counsel in ASX100 companies.
Chris Drummer, Director of Policy and Chief Legal Officer Engagement for Australia and Asia Pacific at the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), highlighted that general counsel and chief legal officers in ASX100 companies face increased risks in their roles, including potential prosecution and financial penalties for failing to prevent misconduct within their organisations. This added stress has significant implications for their work.
The legal profession faces challenges in addressing mental well-being issues, with a global survey by the International Bar Association revealing that 41% of lawyers are hesitant to discuss such concerns with their employers due to potential career consequences. Additionally, 35% feel that their work has a “negative” or “extremely negative” impact on their well-being.
Tech Trends 2023: An Australian Perspective and Pulse Check
Deloitte’s 14th annual Tech Trends report delves into the impact of emerging technologies on ground-breaking innovations and essential business areas. It showcases real-world examples of pioneering organisations to illustrate current developments, describe what’s new, and offer insights into future possibilities.
The report highlights six key technology trends:
- Immersive Internet for the enterprise
- Opening Up to AI
- Above the clouds: Taming multi-cloud chaos
- Flexibility: Reimagining the tech workforce
- Decentralized architectures and ecosystems
- Mainframe Modernisation
If these trends resonate with your organisation’s goals and you’re prepared to embrace the challenges while leveraging strategy, technology, and people for sustainable growth, Deloitte is ready to connect with you.
About Law Image: Law Image is a leading document management company. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Melbourne, we have offices in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. Law Image supports law firms and government departments across Australia with end-to-end legal document management solutions.
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