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In-House Law Teams Having To Deliver More-for-Less, Says Law Firm Survey

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Simpson Grierson’s NZ In-House legal team survey shows that in-house lawyers are working harder but having to deliver ‘more for less’.

The survey of over 45 in-house lawyers across the country, representing sole corporate lawyers to large corporate teams and demonstrates their continued drive to deliver legal services via new technology and – as befits the COVID age – working more remotely.

The survey found that workloads had increased for 78 per cent of respondents with COVID-related matters taking less than 10 per cent of the time of over 60 per cent of the teams surveyed.

Thirty per cent of respondents had their budgets reduced since lockdown.

Almost three-quarters of teams are working remotely more frequently and roughly two-thirds are continuing their quest to develop new legal tech processes over the coming year, including document management, case matter management and digital signing technology.

“Compared to pre-Covid levels, the three main areas in-house teams are seeing more work are Contracts (48%), Employment/Health & Safety (35%) and Compliance/Corporate Governance (35%). These areas align with
international research recently completed by Acritas, a legal research company, on what in-house teams globally are focusing on,” the report found.

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The survey also found that lockdown had driven most organisations to shift to remote working models, which resulted in a “huge jump” almost overnight, according to the results.

“Recent research shows we may have even vaulted forward five years in consumer and business adoption of tech. 88% of respondents said how they work internally has changed, or will change, as a result of Covid-19.

“Over 70% of respondents specifically noted that their teams are working remotely more frequently and 30% highlighted that they have reduced work-related travel.”

However the survey also found that the ‘more for less’ demands had seen 69 per cent of teams finding time constraints the greatest obstacle while the vast majority said the drive for efficiency was what drove the activity.

See the full report here

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