15 August 2018 at 15:20 BST

In-House Lawyers share their wants, needs and pain

Survey reports back initial findings from 'legal operations health check' covering in-house counsel on five continents.


LegalTech firm Xakia says their responses provide a quantitative look at the real state of legal operations in departments of all sizes, stating that in terms of technology ‘there are clear desires and stressors, and a mixed approach to planning for and evaluating resources.’

Wants and needs

The key areas where legal departments are looking are fourfold. First, matter management tools. While adoption rates were under 20 percent for all department sizes, matter management is on the radar for 73 percent of teams of two to five lawyers; 50 percent of teams of six to 10 lawyers; 48 percent of teams of 11 to 50 lawyers; and 57 percent of teams with 50 lawyers or more. Second, litigation management and e-discovery tools. More than 40 percent of large departments employ litigation-related legal tech, but implementation is low among small and medium teams. That may be temporary; these tools are being evaluated or developed by 73 percent of teams of two to five lawyers; 65 percent of teams of six to 10 lawyers; and 79 percent of teams of 11 to 50 lawyers. Third, intellectual property management. This is attractive for larger teams; 74 percent of teams with 11 to 50 lawyers feel the need or are exploring options; 57 percent of teams with 50 or more lawyers are exploring options or have a solution in development. Finally, contract automation tools. While use of contract automation tools currently tops out at 18 percent across all teams, 57 percent of large departments are either exploring options or developing a solution; another 14 percent say development is well underway.

Pain points

There are also pain Points. Large departments voiced discontent with their existing document management and knowledge management tools; 43 percent said their current systems don’t meet their needs, and another 14 percent admitted to not using these tools well. Meanwhile, 42 percent of large departments use workflow automation and 'self-help' tools for client requests, but two-thirds of those said their existing tools don’t meet their needs or aren’t being used effectively. Scoping the technology roadmap suggests a clear divide between small and large legal teams. No departments of five lawyers or fewer said they had a technology roadmap; 71 percent of law departments with more than 50 lawyers said they have one in place. A smattering of midsize departments have roadmaps. The survey is still open, takes about 20 minutes to complete, and can be accessed here.


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