State of Australian Corporate Law Departments 2019 [Report]

Corporate law departments are facing an array of challenges in 2019. It’s easy to see why, with in-house legal teams operating in the aftermath of the Banking Royal Commission and at a time when corporate governance is key. Not to mention, there’s economic uncertainty, shrinking legal budgets and the ever-increasing need for big businesses to stay competitive.

In this joint report brought to you by Thomson Reuters and legal research firm Acritas, you’ll gain insights on the most pertinent issues Australian General Counsel are facing today.

What is in store for General Counsel this year?

Financial constraints: Corporate in-house legal professionals are projected to bear the brunt of heavier department budget cuts in the next 12 months.

Legal budget cuts to dominate


Base: Australia 73, Global average 1703, US 408, UK 182, China 56 Source: Acritas Sharplegal 2018

Commercial focus: As organisations demand a more strategic, proactive approach from their legal departments, General Counsel are expecting more from their law firms.

Innovation drivers: General Counsel are exploring new ways to innovate their work, with 48% introducing legal solutions to drive efficiencies.

Technology barriers: Despite a desire to introduce effective working practices, the adoption rate of legal technologies to support automation and process efficiency among Australian in-house legal teams lags behind major legal markets.

International markets: 38% of foreign multinationals have legal needs in Australia and 71% of Australian organisations have a need for advice outside of the country. Law firms increasingly need to be able to support the needs of their clients with a consistent and coordinated approach.

Australian corporate legal departments have a challenging year ahead of them. But with the right know-how and legal solutions, General Counsel can maintain their organisations’ resilience in years to come.

From tips on building a robust evidence base, reviewing technology processes and addressing the barrier to developing more commercial relationships, our data-driven report is indeed the best place for corporate law departments to start.

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