Growth of legal operations confirmed

The latest Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index from Thomson Reuters confirms that the volume of legal work continues to increase.

Legal teams are responding by hiring more legal operations specialists with more than 80% of respondents now having staff dedicated to the department’s legal operations function.

In fact, legal ops staff comprise between 5% and 16% of total legal staff, depending on the size of the team. It seems like a good move to have specialists to choose and implement technology rather than entrusting it to the lawyers who don’t have specialist training in technology.

Coping with the growth, the departments’ top 3 concerns manifest as:

  • Spending,
  • Technology
  • Department management.

They listed their high priorities as:

  • Controlling outside counsel costs,
  • Using technology to simplify workflow and manual process,
  • Focus on internal data security, and
  • Focus on legal operations.
  • 52% of departments reported an increase in tech usage. Given that legaltech is advancing so quickly, and given all the publicity surrounding it, one could expect this figure may be higher.

The data for LDO report consists of real-world legal spend analytics available from Thomson Reuters’ Legal Tracker that’s sourced from more than 1,500 corporate legal departments and a June 2021 Thomson Reuters survey to which 100 legal departments responded. It is available on the Thomson Reuters website.

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