For General Counsels and the legal departments of financial firms, they face important challenges and an expanded role. Today’s General Counsels are compelled to provide the strategic leadership and vision to transform their departments and bring them in step with the transformation efforts undertaken by their business clients. The time for Future Law might be now.
Accenture’s 2019 Legal Risk Study, surveyed 50 General Counsel professionals from North American financial firms for their insights into where their function is headed. Our study, Future Law … Balancing More with Less, finds General Counsels becoming trusted partners to the enterprise—managing business, technology, regulatory and legal needs. But filling all these roles means doing more with less resources, as budgets are fixed or declining and demands are expanding.
With their increased stature and increased scope, the challenges facing General Counsels today include:
Guiding the function itself, sustaining its core legal competence while keeping pace with transformation
Cultivating a nimble staff of lawyers and paralegals, and supporting them with efficient workflow
Identifying core versus non-core work, and outsourcing non-core activities to skilled but less costly resources
Investing in the right technology to boost productivity
Can a Future Law approach help General Counsels maintain their seat at the table?
Build a legal risk function of the future—today
A Future Law approach helps General Counsels better support the business by shifting non-core functions to third-party providers, employing new organizational structures and processes, helping build a better technology infrastructure, and adopting a culture of continual change.
The transition need not instantly uproot existing legal functions. Moving toward Future Law can be evolutionary— General Counsels can begin their journey by building a multi-year transformation program. A critical first step is cultivating an openness to change. Many businesses already have a head start: Three in four (76 percent) of Legal Risk Study respondents say their employees are receptive to new legal technology solutions.
What are the other steps to a Future Law transformation?
General Counsel can fill its expanded role and keep pace with accelerated business demand if General Counsel leaders are willing to apply fresh thinking and new approaches. By moving towards a Future Law operating model, General Counsels should be able to balance more responsibilities and demands using fewer resources.
Ready to begin your journey to Future Law? Download our report today.