Why Legal transformation fails


When benchmarked against their friends in other strategic functions, Legal is late to the party when it comes to implementing technology.

The good news is that they're keen to catch up. In fact, our research suggests that, on average, General Counsel have increased their investment in technology by 252% across the next two years. They'll spend majority of that, around about 75%, on automated self-service solutions for the business and the remainder on productivity tools to help their Lawyers get the job done.

Now, the good news is that those functions who've successfully introduced this report seven times higher client satisfaction than their peers and, indeed, are more likely to be first quartile in terms of productivity.

The bad news is that, as a result of most General Counsel not having much experience in vendor selection, solution design, change management, etc., a lot of them are setting themselves up for failure.

So, what we've found is we could share some of the key insights we've learned in helping hundreds of Legal functions around the world lead a transformation through adopting automation and technology.

Trying to DIY

One of the most extraordinary things we see when we speak to General Counsel around the world about their technology strategy is the amount of them that have either attempted, or about to attempt, to build something themselves.

Now, what drives them to do this is pretty simple, is when they go to the IT function, there's two biases the IT function have. One is they want to drive everyone to the enterprise tool, enterprise-wide solutions, whether that be an ERP system or platforms like Microsoft provide.

Secondly, members of the IT team naturally want to try, and build something. They've got friends in technology startups who are building cool things, and they want to add something to their CV.

Unfortunately, we have yet to see anyone succeed. In fact, many of our clients lament that they spend hundreds, if not millions, of dollars to try, and build a DIY solution for their function.

The reason behind these failures are multiple, one of which that the Legal function doesn't have a huge amount of competency in building or managing the development of the software. The second is that even if you could build a CRM system yourself now, for example, in a Sales function, why would you when Salesforce not only has a thousand times the budget to spend on R&D that you have now, in the future, they will continue to spend that? So, while your system remains the same and, in fact, decays over time while the support costs grow, their solution grows and improves every day.

Our advice is to find the vendor who knows your function well and has a fit-for-purpose solution to support you.

The world's top GCs work with Plexus

As the global economy moves faster and becomes increasingly volatile, organisations must radically evolve their operating models to more dynamically identify and respond to opportunities and threats. Plexus helps leading GCs shift their organisational design, evolve their talent competencies and digitise their functions to deliver faster, most cost-effective and more agile legal support.

More resources


Get weekly legal transformation best practices, benchmarks and trend analysis in your inbox:

Thanks for subscribing

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience and improve our services. By using our website, we assume you're ok with this. View our privacy policy for details.

Get your free eBook!

Modernise your legal function with the Digital Transformation Guide for General Counsels.

Digital Transformation Guide