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When will General Counsels benefit from legal tech? 

Mary Catherine DiNunzioMary Catherine DiNunzio
Last updated on:
February 11, 2022
Published on:
February 11, 2022

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Statistca valued the revenue of the legal tech market at  $17.32 billion dollars in 2019 and concluded that the market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 6% until 2025 when revenues are expected to reach $25.17 billion.

At present, the legal tech industry is largely marketed towards law firms and developed to streamline their processes. Such products may therefore not make sense for in-house counsel who are left with little tools and resources to boost productivity. For legal tech to filter down into companies with in-house teams, the views of general counsels, who will ultimately give the green light for their use, is paramount.

An open, collaborative approach needs to be adopted to optimise the use of legal tech in companies. As OneNDA has shown, certain, low risk documents can and should be standardised to allow business teams to work faster and allow legal teams to focus on more strategic legal documents. A collaborative approach between business and legal is crucial for the smooth running of any company and whilst contracts hold the key to new opportunities, existing contract data is an important source of information. Shutting business teams out of the contracting process, with little access to contracts post-signature, prohibits the effective use of contract data. For example, finance teams need to set up payroll and pensions by reference to the information, such as salary, that is locked in contracts. 

Curious about automated data extraction from documents?

The development of legal technology that standardises low-risk agreements with sufficient flexibility is one way that legal technology can transform legal processes for in-house teams. For the development of such products, the opinions of general counsels on the use of such technologies is paramount. General counsels need to feel confident that delegation of contracting is safe and appropriate. This would involve investigations into the sorts of contracts that would be appropriate for delegation and those that would not. It would also require input from general counsels about what specifications such a product must have for them to be comfortable with the flexibility it allows their team. 

Legislate is drafting a General Counsel Legal Tech Report to pioneer development in this area and is calling for input from General Counsels on the use of such technologies. 

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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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