On 17th January 2023, the industry regulator, the Bar Standards Board decided to hand down an order imposing a ban on a barrister preventing him from continuing to practise after evidence emerged
61% of In-House Lawyers Feel Undervalued
An up-and-coming freelance provider of legal services and SYKE, a market leading firm in the legal tech space, has released the results of a survey it has conducted into the largest hurdles confronting in-house lawyers from a worldwide perspective. It made the startling revelation that an incredible 61 per cent of in-house legal professionals feel undervalued by their respective clients.
Who Did The Survey Approach?
A survey is only as reliable as the sample approached and this investigation was no exception. Around one-hundred-and-seventy-five legal service providers were approached to opine on compliance and risk and some twenty-per cent of those questioned resided in the United Kingdom.
What Challenges Are Facing In-House Lawyers
If the reader takes a deep-dive into the results of the research, they will discover that in the present economic market it is a question of balance. Individual in-house lawyers and their legal teams more broadly in this regard are having to balance on the one hand arranging their large volumes of work to be carried out in order of priority and on the other hand simultaneously carrying out the management of risk.
Our Survey Said…
The investigators sought views from leading thinkers in the legal industry on the biggest issues taxing the in-house sector in the current economic environment. These included but were not limited to the following issues:
- sixty-six per cent of those approached saw the leading hurdle faced from a strategic perspective as managing risk correctly
- a similar figure named the prioritization of large amounts of work as a runner-up
- when the in-house legal team are deciding to allocate work to an appropriately skilled person within the team
- the way growing workloads are managed
- sixty-per cent of in-house legal professionals feel undervalued and
- fifty-five per cent of those managing in-house legal teams perceive their skills as not valued.
The United Kingdom and European Union Perspective
The investigators seemed to have analysed the in-house priorities from the perspectives of both the UK and the Member States of the European Union. Performing a deep-dive into the issues facing the in-house profession In the European Union the hurdles faced do not appear to be too divergent from those of the worldwide view of lawyers in terms of the difficulties faced. From this perspective the following issues appear to be affecting the in-house legal sector:
- identifying matters to prioritise
- handling the amount of work coming through
- the management of risk
- new and out-of-the-ordinary legal problems and
- attempting to avoid investing in issues which are important to third parties.
So, after identifying the issues which appear to be prevalent in the legal profession where does the in-house sector go from here? As the saying goes, we only go up from here and the report put forward some suggestions from a practical perspective as to how the issues could be tackled, including but not limited to:
- getting the basics right in terms of ensuring communication between in-house management and the legal team workforce
- communicating which projects are a priority and which can be afforded the non-urgent status
- emphasising the importance of the in-house legal departments work
- establishing Standard Operating Procedures, Protocols, procedures and Playbooks dealing with issues which arise
- ensuring these steps are enforced and documented in a Report for accountability purposes and
- if appropriate, encourage the client to approach external legal for their expertise in a particular legal area
If in-house legal teams implement this strategy, they will be able to prioritise tasks better, significantly increase department efficiency and make the whole process faster.
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THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES
[SOURCE 1] Fouzder, Monidipa – Work piling up for in-house lawyers - 15 September 2022 – Law Society Gazette - Work piling up for in-house lawyers | News | Law Gazette
[SOURCE 2] Hyde, John – Most in-house lawyers want to work from home – Law Society Gazette – 5 April 2022 - Most in-house lawyers want to work from home | News | Law Gazette
[SOURCE 3] Stanley, Georgina et al – Legal 500 – Firms pile into fast-moving corporate crime sphere but is there enough work to keep all hands busy? – The In-House Lawyer (inhouselawyer.co.uk)