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Earlier this year, the Law Society launched the inaugural GC350 Report. Sponsored by LexisNexis, the Report surveyed 100 senior decision makers about the legal needs of their businesses. It shows the growing influence of in-house legal teams and also the pressure that they are under.
Departmental restructuring is one of the key areas covered by the Report. 57% of the legal teams taking part in the study have restructured in the last 12 months or are planning to do so in the year ahead. Respondents don’t put this down to the changing role of in-house lawyers. Rather, the high proportion of departments being reorganised is seen as the result of wider business or industry factors.
The pressure to cut costs and work more efficiently that drives restructures will come as no surprise to any lawyer. But what strategies can general counsel use to cope with these pressures? In-house teams have historically been formed of former private practice lawyers. Is it time to grasp the industry change and take on a bigger role in training and recruiting young lawyers directly and utilising paralegals?
Recruitment and retention
The GC350 Report highlights how budget limitations are putting a strain on resources. This creates a recruitment and retention challenge for general counsel that’s not just about creating career paths, but also finding new potential resource pools. The Report shows that 39% of work is ‘day to day’ legal work and 14% is low level legal process, yet most legal teams are staffed by
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Since joining LexisNexis in 2009 Sophie has worked on developing our legal and business content for the in-house legal community. She also runs various networking and mentoring groups for in-house lawyers and works with schools to promote social mobility within the legal profession.
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