LegalTech for Corporate Legal Departments – A guide to choosing the right technology

Posted: 10 January 2020
By: Neota Logic

Neota Logic commissioned a research report for legal departments wanting to invest in new technology. Download the full report here.

With so much legal technology on offer, how are legal departments choosing the right technology? This report accesses what is available and in use by legal departments across the globe to deduce the substance from the noise.

70 legal departments across the globe were surveyed, and more than two dozen GCs were interviewed. Here are the key findings from the report into how much progress has been made with legaltech; what is being used and what for; the major barriers to adoption; and expectations for the future.

Here’s a summary of the findings: 

  • Automation of repetitive, low-value work has become more commonplace in-house. Tools for automating non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and self-serve tools are widely provided by GCs as examples of successful recent tech projects. Just over one-third of the in-house legal teams surveyed say they use tools to automate contract and data management, while NDAs and other forms and templates are automated by 8% and 14% respectively.
  • One-third of in-house legal teams surveyed report they have a dedicated annual budget for legal technology but a third are not currently exploring new tools. The conversation is shifting from what is out there to how teams can make use of existing technology and the importance of people, processes and technology.
  • Of the third of survey respondents to report a dedicated budget for legal technology, most were at 10% or less of their overall legal spend. Many GCs say the cost of legal tech has been prohibitively expensive but is now improving.
  • Two-thirds say their company’s IT department is involved in the decision-making process for implementing technology, with procurement and the C-suite involved for a third each as well.
  • For half the survey’s respondents, less than 50% of their legal spend is on outside counsel. They are therefore looking for ways to reduce internal costs.
  • Only 33% of those surveyed have a legal operations role within their team, but many of those achieving tangible results with technology have done so through legal ops.
  • There was a strong emphasis from legal departments interviewed that when looking for new technology it needed to be able to work with their existing technology as well as more bespoke solutions

 

Tech providers need to help legal departments understand the market, especially early on in the solution-finding process. To help navigate the plethora of providers, in-house legal teams should expect potential tech partners to help them establish potential use cases and to understand their business’ needs and requirements.

As tech providers are increasingly expected to be advisers on technology, in-house legal departments will need to identify internal technology champions – often operations legal staff, but just as regularly, legal counsel – and importantly, establish use cases across multiple departments. If a legal team can find a solution that crosses over to HR or procurement, then there is greater scope for adding value as well as cost-saving.

There is undoubted appetite, and need, for in-house legal departments to adopt technology and this report identifies multiple early success stories of automating high-volume work but it’s also important to have the right people doing the right work to run a truly successful and efficient department.

Download the full report here.

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