FINNISH IN-HOUSE LAWYERS & LEGAL TECH: EXPECTATIONS ARE HIGH, OUR SURVEY FINDS
Welcome to our blog section!
Here at Wiidare we provide cost-effective, reliable and flexible legal services for companies and their in-house legal teams. In addition, we provide advisory services aimed to support the operations of in-house legal teams.
We would like to begin our blog section by focusing on the latter. We call it Legal Management Consulting. We are all former in-house counsels and have gained ample experience from international legal teams of various sizes. We are committed to offering our legal operations know-how, insights and experiences for the benefit of our clients.
Legal Operations on the Rise
In short and simple terms, “legal operations” means the processes, technology and people that enable legal departments to serve their respective organizations more effectively. Legal operations thinking has been on the rise globally, particularly in the US and in the UK. In the Nordics, General Counsels are also increasingly interested in and focusing on the legal operations side of their function.
Our law company is based in Finland, and we thought it would be interesting and useful to survey the thoughts of Finnish in-house lawyers specifically on matters related to legal operations. We decided to start a series of surveys, the first one of them being focused on legal departments and digitalization. We are the first ones to gather comprehensive information about legal operations in the local market.
Our 2020 Survey and Report on Legal Departments & Digitalization
Altogether 84 Finnish in-house lawyers participated in our survey on legal departments and digitalization, half of them representing corporations with net sales of more than €1 billion.
We received some very interesting answers and results. Based on our survey, we have written a report to facilitate the dialogue between the buyers of legal tech (i.e. legal departments and the corporations they serve) and legal tech vendors. As an independent law company, we want to develop this dialogue so that in the future in-house legal departments could benefit from the best possible tech solutions in the market.
Our survey shows that the expectations of Finnish in-house lawyers are high in terms of legal tech solutions, even if the respondents may not have that much user experience of legal tech. The main driver for the respondents to adopt legal tech is to free up time for more meaningful work (78% of respondents stated this). 25% of respondents said that they had not reached the intended benefits with the tech tools they had adopted or tested.
For legal tech vendors, the local market seems interesting. 59% of respondents plan to adopt new technologies within the next 12-24 months. Only 6% of respondents were certain that they would not be adopting new technologies within that timeframe. One third of respondents were still undecided.
The three most relevant categories for which Finnish in-house lawyers expect to receive assistance from legal tech are: 1) “High volume, low risk” contracts, 2) knowledge management and 3) routine tasks / repetitive questions.
As many as 85% of Finnish in-house lawyers consider that during the next 2 to 5 years, digitalization will improve the quality and speed of the services that they provide. In terms of maturity for using tech tools, on a scale from 1-5, 50% of respondents identified their legal team at an average (3) and 21% below that.
Internal Resources are a Challenge for Wider Adoption, Lawyers’ Attitudes Not
Legal tech solutions cannot be successfully implemented unless the legal team and its internal stakeholders are committed to a long-term development project. 24% of Finnish in-house lawyers are of the view that the principal challenge for their legal department’s digitalization is inadequate resources of the organization that they represent.
Resistance to change from the lawyers’ side does not seem to be an issue. Only 1% of the respondents thought that resistance among the lawyers in their team would be the main obstacle. 20% of Finnish in-house lawyers do not see any obstacles for the digitalization of the legal department.
As many as 75% of respondents felt that they could benefit from advice and consulting by an external consultant in terms of legal department digitalization efforts.
Get the Report and Join Our Webinar on 20 October 2020
Our full report is available here (in Finnish):
We will be organizing a webinar on this topic together with interesting guests on 20 October 2020. The webinar will be held in Finnish. To register, please go to https://www.crowdcast.io/e/wiidarelive/register.
If you would like to discuss the findings of the survey, please get in touch with us. We would be delighted to exchange views with you!
Johanna, Jonathan & Olli