Corporate Legal Market Trends for August 2021

Welcome to the August edition of our monthly look into corporate legal market trends. In this edition, we share some thought-provoking articles covering innovative GCs, the digital transformation of BT’s legal operations and how AI and contract lifecycle management help legal departments run like a business. We hope you find some practical takeaways in the following articles.

1. Examples of Operational Excellence from Legal Teams Running the Department like a Business

Running corporate in-house legal departments like a business is quickly gaining traction in legal departments around the globe. The age-old complaint that lawyers are holding up critical processes is rapidly turning into a thing of the past. Technology solutions have significantly contributed to alleviating this problem, providing faster processes and newfound collaborative abilities at unforeseen levels. Of particular note: Lenovo’s contract management transformation, which happened thanks to a strong vision and the adoption of contract lifecycle management technology and AI.

According to the article:

Lenovo has recently digitised its contracting processes and is now able to measure how much time is spent on a contract, how many lawyers worked on it, and how much a template has been modified. “Data analytics has enabled insights we never had before,” says [Marcelo] Peviani [legal director at the centre of excellence for Lenovo].

Source: Financial Times

2. The Next Legal Market Trend to Put on Your Radar: Running the Post-Award Phase of Contract Management

According to a World Commerce & Contracting Association and Deloitte survey, contract professionals are shifting their focus to the post-signature phase of contract management. The results show a growing emphasis on the post-award stage of contract management. According to the survey, “less than 30% of organizations currently have centralized or center-led post-award contract management resources” and “only a little over 20% attempt to monitor or calculate the costs or overall benefits associated with contract management.” It also discovered that nearly 40% of the participants are looking to improve post-award processes, and more than one-third are striving to introduce more “robust approaches to obligation management.”

Source: World Commerce & Contracting Association

3. Hear BT Discuss Its Award-Winning Legal Operations Digital Transformation  

David Griffin, head of legal technology and change at BT, joined the Onit podcast recently to discuss his company’s award-winning legal operations transformation. He shared how the company led legal market trends by replacing manual and disconnected process and management tools. The change helped the department handle workload and matters across the teams from inception to closure.

Judges for the Legal Innovation Awards took note, sharing with that BT stood out “not only due to the speed of their roll-out of the platform but by taking an existing process and migrating it into a streamlined, efficient platform.”

BT won the Legal Innovation Award for “Future of Legal Services Innovation – In-House Legal Operations” and was named a finalist for the Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law Awards. You can hear David’s story here.

Source: Onit

4. Thinking outside of the Box Reaches New Level among In-House Lawyers

The Financial Times has featured 20 highly experienced GCs who are directly challenging traditional legal roles. By redefining themselves as strategic thinkers, they are making market-leading headway when it comes to sustainability and digital transformation. Companies are now operating in ways that require lawyers to use their skills and experience in new ways. The continuing proliferation of implementing legal technology gives these lawyers more time to focus on high-impact legal work.

Source: Financial Times

5. AI and Contract Lifecycle Management: What Should You Expect?

If you’re following legal market trends, you’ve probably already heard how contract management software can drastically streamline contract creation, review, execution and management. But now that AI is in the mix, how does that affect contract lifecycle management? A new visual guide tackles this topic to get you up to speed in no time. It explores questions such as:

  • Should you look for pre-trained AI?
  • What redlining capabilities should contract AI offer?
  • Can AI offer interactive checklists to accelerate review?
  • How can AI repaper contracts for regulatory, policy and commercial changes?
  • Can AI help you analyze legacy contract data for better contract management?

Source: Onit resources

Bonus Resources: The Latest on CLM and AI

Year after year, legal market trends have pointed to lawyers and legal departments finding ways to be more efficient while controlling costs. Adopting cutting-edge technology, thinking outside of the box and running the department like a business are important ways to achieve these objectives.

Combining contract lifecycle management tools with AI is a prime example of working toward those means. When paired, they offer streamlined processes, a decrease in friction for employees across the enterprise and deliver more business value. If you’d like to learn more about legal market trends for contract lifecycle management tools, check out some of our recent blog posts:

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