The number of in-house corporate lawyers in Canada tripled between 1997 and 2017. Data is becoming a liability for corporations, and global regulations are increasingly affecting how we do business domestically. How can technology help to transform the future of delivering legal services within the corporate law department?
A report by McCarthy,Tetrault, one of Canada’s leading legal firms, asserts that new legal service delivery models and technology innovation are requirements for success for in-house legal departments.
The New Business World, New Legal Models report states that the new risk landscape for data regulations has made it necessary not just to modernize corporate legal departments, but to reinvent how they operate. The difference between the regulatory risk landscape in 2003 and 2018 is massive. In 2003, there were 2,000 regulations worldwide that could affect Canadian business. In 2018, that number is 16,000.
In addition, the potential fines for violating data privacy regulations are very high. Fines could be as much as four percent of a company’s annual revenues for violating the General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR). Even if your company has no data on EU citizens, it costs $10 million to violate Canada’s anti-spam law.
Number of in-house corporate lawyers tripled between 1997 and 2017
The number of in-house corporate lawyers tripled between 1997 and 2017, with a huge spike after the housing crisis of 2008. While risk profiles and the need to comply with global data regulations increase, the growth of corporate law departments will stagnate. New global and domestic regulations require more compliance work and there are no extra pairs of hands to take it on. The report suggests turning to technological innovation to drive efficiencies and reimagine service delivery.
In-house legal counsel is increasingly turning to alternative legal service providers to provide technological innovations. Responsiveness and innovation are both top of mind for corporate law departments when looking for outside help. However, it is possible for the corporate legal department to innovate its internal processes by implementing the right digital tools. While this will not eliminate the need for external vendors, it will simplify workflow and make working both internally and with external stakeholders much easier.
Eliminating repetitive work and driving efficiencies with the right legal tech
Data analytics, e-discovery, and eliminating repetitive work are three big items that firms need to adopt the technology to address. The report authors argue that innovation and automation can perform repetitive and minor tasks, freeing up valuable time for lawyers to do more meaningful things. However, the report does not offer specific technological solutions to achieve this goal.
But you can also innovate in your own department. Implementing legal governance software in-house can enable your firm by streamlining internal processes such as file access and document management. While there is a place for outsourcing, paying more attention to your internal technology use is also important as this kind of innovation has immediate and lasting results.
DiliTrust Governance can streamline workflow and document management
Solutions such as DiliTrust Governance give your legal counsel an analytics-rich dashboard which allows them to easily view holdings, subsidiaries, and everything pertaining to your corporate law department. It allows you to drill down on specific items, such as who accessed a file. You can also get a big picture idea of things like the value of real estate holdings and intellectual property.
This converts contract management and e-discovery from being a challenge to being relatively easy. Above all, it frees up staff time by making documents easy to find and collaborate on -. It automates processes that usually are performed by junior staff, and in some cases even by management. If you want to find out more about how it can innovate your in-house counsel’s office, contact us today.