55% of General Counsel, have, according to a recent survey from Deloitte, taken a full review of their legal services.
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General Counsels search for more than traditional legal advice

Posted by: Laurence Simons 01/07/16

While legal spend continues to grow across a number of key areas, including regulatory compliance, M&A and litigation, a new report from Deloitte indicates that traditional providers of external counsel are no longer meeting the needs of in house professionals, with 55% of those surveyed indicating they have, or are, undertaking significant reviews of their legal suppliers.

According to the new research 49% of in house professionals are seeing legal spend on regulatory compliance increase, while 42% are reporting an increased spend on M&A. The research also indicated that 52% are considering buying legal services from non-traditional law firms, a figure that clearly indicates the extent to which expectations around external legal providers are shifting.

The report also indicated law firms are seen to be trailing other professional services firms in their ability to provide multidisciplinary services, a factor that is now a key consideration of general counsels when reviewing their current suppliers. One in three legal purchasers indicated that they want their external legal partners to have industry, commercial and non-legal expertise, many also indicated that they wanted law firms to be more knowledgeable on digital, data privacy and cyber security issues. Law firms also seem to be trailing behind professional services firms in the use of revenant and integrated technology platforms.

While PwC’s 2015 Annual Law Firms’ Survey indicates that 95% of law firms plan to invest in IT in 2016, Deloitte’s report makes clear that law firms need to implement technological advancements swiftly in order to maintain a competitive advantage over new professional service firms.

While for lawyers in traditional law firms these statistics may be slightly concerning, they do suggest that legal professionals in both professional services firms and traditional practices need to be able to effectively communicate their competitive advantages in order to win, or retain, clients

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