Strategies for General Counsel Amid Regulatory Tsunamis and Resource Constraints
January 9, 2024
The General Counsel Report 2024, conducted by FTI Technology and Relativity, highlights the increasing challenges faced by legal departments, as outlined by 60 leaders serving as general counsel or chief legal officers globally. According to an article on JD Supra, a key finding is that 87 percent of respondents anticipate heightened risks for their companies in 2024. The top five concerns identified by over half of the participants include regulatory compliance (92 percent), data privacy (80 percent), data protection (80 percent), implications of advanced technology (55 percent), and ESG (53 percent). The uncertainties in the economy, geopolitical concerns, and the impact of artificial intelligence contribute to what one U.S.-based general counsel describes as a “regulatory tsunami.”
The report sheds light on why legal department leaders are apprehensive, citing factors such as companies consolidating work, overextending employees, and the absence of increased budgets despite globalization efforts. Amid increasing regulatory scrutiny, the role of general counsel becomes critical, necessitating the building of flexible and resilient in-house teams equipped with appropriate technology and external partnerships.
In response to these challenges, the report suggests key initiatives for legal departments to consider in the upcoming year. These include prioritizing legal services based on business impact, strategically diversifying partner support, negotiating alternative fee arrangements, and standardizing high-volume legal workflows through technology and standardized templates. The overarching advice emphasizes working smarter, not harder, and building systems and procedures that can be leveraged when facing inevitable challenges. The report underscores the importance of tailoring these strategies to the unique needs of each organization and legal department.
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