Written by: Sumer Jafri

As the new year rings in, many in-house legal counsel are increasing spend on innovative legal resources, enhancing security and privacy practices, and keeping up with the remnants of the pandemic’s new workspace systems. LawyersInHouse.com has compiled a list of in-house legal trends for 2023 that legal departments can expect and implement for the new year:

1. Moving Away from Traditional Law Firms

One of the fastest growing shifts in the legal landscape is the move towards flexible and innovative legal services, and for good reason. In-house legal departments are increasingly realizing the benefits of moving away from the traditional large law firm model; from reducing spend and maximizing budgets, to garnering exceptional growth. A recent study by Thomson Reuters Institute found that 71% of corporations are using legal services from modern, flexible firms. This allows in-house legal departments to outsource high-demand legal services such as IT contracts, lease work, employment matters, and legal research.

As a modern day law firm, comprised of former in-house counsel, we know this to be true! We understand the importance of working in partnership with in-house legal teams to ensure pragmatic, high-quality work is produced at an efficient (and foreseeable) cost. This may be done through bulk-rate billing, project rates. ad hoc services and secondments. Our lawyers, law clerks and articling students are here to make sure that you, the client, obtain the high standard of in-house work your team provides at rates you can afford.

2. Legal Operations

Legal operations has seen a massive growth in volume and impact recently and continues to gain adoption within legal departments. The number of legal departments hiring legal operations professionals is steadily growing, with a 39% increase since 2015. Legal operations assists legal departments in running smoothly, from project management, financial management and matter management, to strategic planning and process streamlining. Legal operations continues to go hand in hand with evolving technology, compliance standards and overall business growth. Many legal operations consultants, including LawyersinHouse Legal Operations Consultant, Amy Grubb, are here to help in-house counsel scale and optimize through custom solutions that help them achieve their goals and objectives.

3. Legal Tech and AI

From contract management systems to matter management systems, a lot of legal processes are being automated with AI tools and technology that are producing faster turnaround times and cost efficiency. By 2025, it is expected that in-house legal departments will spend three times as much on legal software and technology as they did in 2020. Let’s hope we can all get the budge approval for that! Legal tech is becoming increasingly available and accessible to legal departments of all sizes and provide custom legal solutions that are worth the investment and produce a high ROI. Here is a list of legal tech and AI solutions that are available for in-house legal departments: · SimpleLegal – Legal Spend Management & Matter Management Solution · iManage – Matter/Information Management Solution · ContractSafe – Contract Management Solution

4. Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

Cybersecurity and data privacy remains a top priority in the legal sector and continues to grow on the radar of in-house legal departments. Unfortunately, data and security breaches are becoming more prevalent, especially in the legal sector. As hackers become more sophisticated, legal departments are implementing more protection measures such as cloud-based storage solutions, e-mail and data encryption, and enhanced privacy policies, guidelines and reviews. For legal assistance with privacy guidelines, processes, policies and/or reviews in Canada, the US or the EU, contact us at reception@lawyersinhouse.com.

5. Hybrid Workplace Systems

In the aftermath of COVID-19, roughly 63% of in-house counsel currently work in a hybrid model, with many others actively seeking positions that allow them the flexibility of working remotely in some capacity. Studies have shown that a majority of Canadians feel that a hybrid workplace system makes them happier, healthier, more productive and even wealthier. The benefits of a hybrid workplace system are endless and are important to keep in mind.

For more information on the top in-house legal trends this year, check out some of the sources that were referenced in this blog post: