In-house legal: A force to be reckoned with
2019 In-House Legal Counsel Survey
In February 2019 we partnered with the New Zealand Law Society for in-house lawyers (ILANZ) and invited their members to participate in an in-depth survey examining practices and priority for in-house legal teams. The results of this survey have now been released.
In-house legal is the growth engine of the legal profession in New Zealand and is now very much a force to be reckoned with. There are many factors for this, perhaps some of the most important factors are that we live in an increasingly complex world and the power of regulators and consumers has noticeably increased. Senior managers, their directors and the entities they serve face heavier penalties, whether it be via enforcement action, regulation, civil litigation and/or brands and results negatively affected by reporting in traditional and/or social media, so the demand for skilled lawyers to help navigate through these and other matters has increased. These forces were highlighted by Australia’s Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
The objective of the survey was to understand some of the key drivers in the in-house legal profession. What do in-house lawyers spend their time on, what issues do they see on the horizon, how prepared are they for disruption and what skills, both legal and non-legal, will be required in the future.
The results reflect the views of 544 in-house lawyers of all levels (set out in Part One) including 122 Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) (or equivalents). The CLOs also provided answers at a team level (set out in Part Two). The key themes in the survey were then explored in greater detail with 22 in-person interviews with ILANZ members.