Legal departments hatch expansion plans

By James Barnes

15 May 2013 at 09:18 BST

Around a quarter of legal departments in the EMEA region have ignited expansion plans this year while a further 40 per cent expect to add to their team over the next 12 months, research this week has found.

Legal departments set to expand

A key reason for the increase is that legal departments are increasingly dealing with finance and regulatory issues rather than using external firms.


The EMEA Legal Department Benchmarking Survey 2013 - from international legal recruiter Laurence Simons and the Association of Corporate Counsel – also found that 51 per cent of departments said they would be bringing regulatory issues in-house this year compared with 31 per cent in 2012.
Departments are also increasingly dealing internally with matters from insurance and reinsurance (30 per cent up from 14 per cent in 2012), banking and finance (24 per cent up from 14 per cent) to restructuring and insolvency (17 per cent from 11 per cent) and tax (17 per cent from 8 per cent).

Budget planning

Naveen Tuli, global managing director of Laurence Simons commented: ‘Legal departments bringing more work in-house reflect a desire for greater control and certainty as a fixed workforce allows for better forecasting of budgets
‘Many are making the decision that hiring extra permanent staff is more cost effective in the long run than continuing to outsource the work to law firms. The new regulatory and financial landscape also places these areas at the core of any corporation, where in-house teams can provide extensive internal knowledge which isn’t gained from placing the work externally.’

Economic pressures

Veta Richardson, president and chief executive officer of ACC added: ‘Corporate counsel are increasingly facing an aggressive regulatory and changing business environment. Given the economic pressures facing European companies, however, in-house lawyers in the region report that they must do more with less. These are the kinds of operational issues that keep CLOs up at night.’


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