13 October 2020

What are the main barriers faced by in-house lawyers regarding innovation?

Are you an in-house lawyer and don't know how to make your work and services more innovative? Allen & Overy has published a report in which they surveyed 92 senior lawyers from corporate legal departments about the barriers that corporate lawyers face in becoming more innovative in their offices.

Below we show some relevant data related to this topic:

- Main circumstances that drive innovation at work

o Better data to drive decisions and reporting (53%)

o Better quality and consistency of service (53%)

o Improvement of risk management (37%)

o Improved customer/user experience (34%)

o Cost cutting (33%)

- Main barriers that prevent or limit the promotion of innovation in legal work

o Lack of training for lawyers (61%)

o Lack of funding for legal work (49%)

o Lawyers' habits and roots (in particular resistance to change) (48%)

o Lack of knowledge and skills to implement innovation techniques (47%)

o Limitations on access to in-house technological support within companies (37%)

The authors of the report publish three pieces of advice to overcome the barriers to innovation faced by every in-house lawyer

- Our survey shows that there are many possible drivers for embracing innovation within the legal profession. It is important to clarify the purpose of your innovation activity both within the legal function and to your broader group of stakeholders. Is there a shared vision and set of drivers around which your team can shape its efforts?

- Do you understand what culture, organisational and financial barriers actually inhibit your innovation activity? It is important to separate perception from reality. Encourage your team to identify and share their pain points. This can focus minds on the positive changes needed to overcome barriers in the future.

- Managing change is difficult, especially in an environment where the team's capacity has been stretched, and budgets are likely to face greater scrutiny. Innovation leaders must not let adverse circumstances derail their efforts. Now is the time to make carefully considered decisions and trade-offs to direct funding towards projects and activities that will deliver results in their areas of interest.

Attached to this article is a PDF of the report made by Allen & Overy to complement this article.

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