GC: In-House Technology - North America Edition

Here at World Services Group, it is our pleasure to introduce you to the fourth in our series of GC special reports examining the present state of technology use by in-house legal departments around the globe... More >



World Services Group Sponsored GC Magazine Survey Results Show General Counsel Leaders in North America are Positive About Disruptive Technology in the Legal Sector

October 2021

World Services Group (WSG), in partnership with GC Magazine, recently published survey results that provide key insights on legal sector technologies, and how in-house counsel departments are adapting and pivoting in these ever-changing times.

More than 200 General Counsel leaders from across North America participated in the extensive survey, which also included in-depth interviews with select general counsel and recognized thought leaders from the sector. The detailed results and featured articles can be found in this latest special report, GC: In-House Technology in North America, the fourth special edition in a series in partnership with WSG focused on technology for in-house legal departments globally.

"WSG is proud to partner with GC Magazine on this important North America edition examining the impact and influence that technology continues to have on the legal sector. The past two years have seen the legal profession impacted by technology more than any other period in history, and by all accounts both in-house and private practice teams alike have thrived, as our collective work environments, habits and processes have shifted, in almost every case, literally overnight," Ramon Moyano, WSG Chairman and Partner at Beccar Varela.

Survey Highlights:

Technology Use & Disruption:

How has your use of technology changed within the legal team over the past five years?

  • 58% - Significantly Increased
  • 39% - Moderately Increased
  • 3% - No change

To what extent has technology disrupted the legal profession in the past five years?

  • 43% - To some extent
  • 31% - To a great extent
  • 16% - To a small extent
  • 10% - Not at all

How will technology disrupt the legal profession in the next five years?

  • 64% - To a great extent
  • 26% - To some extent
  • 8% - To a small extent
  • 3% - Not at all

Will this disruption be positive or negative?

  • 42% - Entirely positive
  • 34% - Somewhat positive
  • 19% - Somewhat negative
  • 5% - Entirely negative

To what extent do you think AI will be a disruptor for the legal industry?

  • 47% - to a significant extent
  • 23% - to a moderate extent
  • 21% - to a small extent
  • 9% - not at all

Covid-19 and Technology Impacts:

Has your company increased its investment in technology in response to Covid-19?

  • 67% - Yes
  • 16% - No
  • 17% - Unsure

How has the legal team's use of technology changed in response to Covid-19? (*percent of respondents reporting their working practiced had changed)

  • 78% - Greater use of team communications to keep department functioning
  • 48% - Common software platforms now shared with rest of business
  • 24% - Redesigning & automating processes that were formally done by lawyers

Cybersecurity Trends:

Are you aware of your organization's cybersecurity efforts?

  • 91% - Yes
  • 9% - No

To what extent is your legal team involved in your organization's cybersecurity efforts?

  • 39% - Not at all
  • 24% - To some extent
  • 19% - To a moderate extent
  • 18% - A lot

What are legal teams doing to support cybersecurity? (*percent of organizations in which the legal team oversees or plays a significant role in the following)

  • 84% - Ensuring the security of the legal team's own communications, data and files
  • 47% - Ensuring compliance with legislation and regulations
  • 19% - Building/assisting the cyber threat response plan
  • 7% - Monitoring internal cyber threats

Which of the following do you consider the largest cyber-threat to your organization?

  • 39% - Theft of employee/customer personal data
  • 28% - Theft of confidential business information
  • 22% - Lapses in service to customers
  • 9% - Damage to company infrastructure
  • 2% - Monetary theft

Importance of Technology Use by Law Firms:

Are you satisfied with the use of technology demonstrated by your external law firms?

  • 74% - No
  • 26% - Yes

How important is it for external law firms keep abreast of new technologies?

  • 41% - Very important
  • 32% - Crucial
  • 16% - Somewhat important
  • 12% - Not important at all

Does the question of technology arise when undertaking a panel review with your external law firms?

  • 56% - No
  • 44% - Yes

Has the use of technology within your own department had an impact on your relationship with your external law firms?

  • 53% - No
  • 47% - Yes

In-House Technology Needs & Organizational Support:

What is the biggest barrier preventing you from using more technology in the legal team?

  • 52% - Budget constraints
  • 21% - Lack of organizational support
  • 16% - Lack of time to research and/or implement technology
  • 11% - No solutions on the market meet our needs

When considering implementing a new technological solution in your department, what factors do you consider the most important?

  • 52% - Increased efficiency
  • 27% - Value for money
  • 12% - Ease of use
  • 7% - Customizability
  • 2% - Integration with legacy systems

For further results of the study and to access the full digital special report, visit GC Magazine's website here.

About World Services Group

World Services Group (WSG) is the leading global network comprised of elite top ranked global practice firms. With over 120 member firms in 150 jurisdictions and 23,000 individual members, WSG provides a proprietary platform for members to create relationships, expertise, and new business opportunities to better serve their practice and clients. Through innovation, cutting-edge technology and best in class service, WSG continues to grow and expand globally as the premier network for clients. For additional information, visit www.worldservicesgroup.com.

Media Contact

Carly Norausky
World Services Group
[email protected]