汤森路透近日发布了《2021企业法律部门状况报告》(2021 State of Corporate Law Departments),该报告指出:全球企业法务部门在2020年经历的变化,都可能成为加速未来变革的催化剂。

报告指出,2020年,58%的受访企业法务部门经历了工作量猛增,与此同时许多机构却在精简成本,29%的法务部门经历了法律预算/费用的削减。

2020年,全球收入额高于10亿美元的商业机构平均将0.18%的收入花费在法律服务上。在亚太地区,这一数字则为0.12%

在企业内部,法律支出额仍旧是对法务部门进行评价的最重要标准,不过,部分公司也开始用多元标准评价法务部分所带来的价值,例如法律事务的启动与结案量、诉讼风险,以及法律事务处理结果的质量。

过去一年,为企业保驾护航成为了法务部门的第一要务。40%的受访法务部门采取了进一步预防纠纷发生的措施,最常见的预防措施包括重新评估或协商合同、采取强有力措施确保在疫情相关法律法规下合规,以及执行新的诉讼政策。

40%的受访法务部门预计在未来六个月中,诉讼费用要高于疫情前水平。

在聘请外部律师方面,2020年,企业法务部门对外部律所的需求降低了2.5%,在亚太地区,法务部门平均划拨给外部法律服务的费用占总预算的约50%

不过,由于外部律所大多在年初就实施涨价,并且法务部门在危机情况中更倾向于寻求高级别合伙人的服务,因此律所在过去一年的整体收入并未下降。

谈到“未来型法务部门”的能力,该报告指出:法务部门当下对技术工具的使用、建立的工作习惯(例如是否能够适应远程办公)以及部门文化,对于该部门是否能够掌控危机至关重要。

在技术层面,30%的受访法务部门未来将加大在技术工具上的支出,目前法务部门认为最重要的五种技术工具是:电子账单系统、合同管理工具、法律搜索工具、文件管理工具,以及法定保留平台(legal hold)。

此外,在2020年,还有81%的受访法务团队招聘了专门进行法律运营的人才。

 

Thomson Reuters launches new report, showing in-house depts’ state

Thomson Reuters has launched its annual report of the State of Corporate Law Departments, indicating that the global COVID-19 pandemic might become a catalyst for accelerating the change agenda.

As a result of the pandemic crisis, 58% of corporate law departments experienced a surge in workload, this came at the same time as rapid-fire budget cuts across many organizations, with 29% of law depts indicating decreased legal budgets/spending.

In 2020, an organization with $1 billion or more in global revenue typically spent 0.18% of this revenue on legal services. In Asia Pacific, the number falls to 0.12%.

In the past year, safeguarding became a much higher priority for law departments. 40% of these departments are taking additional steps to prevent disputes and the most common preventative measures cited included reviewing or renegotiating contracts, taking a robust approach to ensuring compliance with pandemic-related regulations, and implementing new policies.

In total, 40% of law departments predicted that spend on disputes would be higher over the next six months than pre-pandemic levels.

Corporate law departments’ demand for external counsel at law firms fell by 2.5% in 2020. The average proportion of a corporate law department’s overall legal budget allocated externally is closer to 50% in the Asia Pacific region.

However, rate increases put in place by law firms at the start of the year along with a shift to using more senior partner-level contacts for crisis support meant that revenue for most law firms still grew overall in 2020.

The report also shows that within a law department, its existing technology, established working practices, and culture made a big difference in how ‘fit’ the department was to handle the crisis.

It also indicates that 30% of law departments are increasing their spend on technology, with the top five most important technologies cited being eBilling/spend and matter management, contract management, legal research, document management, and legal hold.

another major development in 2020 was the huge increase in law departments’ hiring of legal operations roles, with 81% of departments saying they were making such hirings.

 

To contact the editorial team, please email ALBEditor@thomsonreuters.com.