13 June 2018 at 09:42 BST

French study flags legal departments' digital concerns

French study reveals half of legal departments believe their digital maturity is low and lacks an integrated approach.

Chun-Lin Hsu

In a new study in France, half of legal departments consider their maturity on digital issues is low, 32 per cent consider it average and 18 per cent consider that they are at an advanced level. The report confirms companies rely on digital tools to dematerialize processes, improve collaboration, and ensure compliance, noting that 37 per cent of respondents rely on e-learning solutions as part of GPDR compliance. Mastering new technologies is among the top three skills expected from employees.

Key indicators

The findings from PwC Société d'Avocats in Paris are published in the first edition of its ‘Digital transformation of the legal function’ report. The report states companies see improving access to legal information, streamlining communication, optimising service quality of service, controlling risks and improving performance as key indicators. The report notes maturity appears stronger in respect to corporate activities, where respondents state they use well-established tools. In contract management, only three per cent of respondents have fully dematerialised their contracts and have an electronic signature process, while eight per cent have software deployed at company level. In addition, 67 per cent of respondents do not use a specific tool for litigation.

Digital philosophy

The study concludes legal departments are not necessarily using digital tools to their full potential, particularly in the case of electronic management of documents. Audrey Benguira, Director at PwC Law Firm and the report leader, noted ‘a collaborative digital philosophy is far from being well established in legal departments’ and there is need to understand better how to integrate digital into daily practice. The study highlights the importance of artificial intelligence (AI), especially for legal monitoring, contract management, legal audit or reporting and drafting acts. However, respondents do not plan to integrate AI in the short term.
 

 
   
 
 
 

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