New report reveals key trends in global corporate legal departments in 2024

The report draws on insights from 60 chief legal officers across the globe

New report reveals key trends in global corporate legal departments in 2024

FTI and Relativity have released Part 4 of The General Counsel Report 2024, conducted by Ari Kaplan Advisors.

This report offers a look into the evolving landscape of corporate legal departments worldwide. The latest instalment focuses on how these departments are becoming more technologically savvy, strategically efficient, and resourcefully sharp.

This final segment of the report draws on insights from 60 chief legal officers across the globe, illuminating significant trends and operational changes between 2023 and 2024. According to the findings, general counsel increasingly leverages technology and adopts proactive risk management strategies to enhance their departments' performance.

One of the standout statistics from the report indicates that 53 percent of general counsels now prefer to delegate operational decisions to specialized legal operations teams. This shift underscored a broader trend toward specialization and strategic management within legal departments.

Furthermore, the report highlighted a significant emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, with 55 percent of respondents indicating that these areas are priorities and have dedicated budgets, ownership, and clear objectives. This represents a notable commitment to fostering inclusive workplace cultures within legal departments.

Despite the growing adoption of hybrid work models across industries, the report uncovered that 13 percent of legal departments have not embraced such arrangements or have seen negative impacts, such as employee isolation or disengagement. This finding suggested that transitioning to flexible working conditions might still pose challenges for some legal teams.

Another critical area covered by the report is staffing and retention. While 87 percent of general counsel outside the U.S. describe the retention levels within their departments as stable, the report acknowledged that retention remains both a risk and a concern, highlighting the ongoing need for effective talent management strategies in today’s competitive market.

As legal departments continue to evolve, the insights provided in The General Counsel Report 2024 provide benchmarks for leaders in the field, helping them to navigate the complexities of modern legal operations.

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