New Study Uncovers Fractured Dynamic Between Legal Departments and Their Enterprises Undermines More Than Business Growth and Efficiency — It Undercuts Legal’s Charter

78% of enterprise employees view the legal department as protectors of the business, yet 65% knowingly bypass legal and their policies due to inefficiency and poor responsiveness

 

LONDON, 9 May, 2022 — BusyLamp’s parent company Onit, the leading provider of enterprise workflow solutions including enterprise legal management and contract lifecycle management, today released its Enterprise Legal Reputation (ELR) Report, a multinational study spotlighting the image enterprise employees have of their legal departments and the effects their relationship has on their businesses from revenue generation and operational efficiency to innovation and corporate culture.


In January, Onit commissioned Provoke Insights, a New York City-based market research firm, to conduct a study of 4,000 enterprise employees and 500 corporate legal professionals across the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States. The study helps corporate legal teams understand their brand image through the eyes of their internal clients so they can improve working relationships, accelerate workflows and more effectively impact topline revenue and operational efficiency. 


The ELR Report’s findings shed light on the urgency for improving today’s corporate legal environment, revealing a somewhat fractured dynamic between Legal and its internal clients, particularly in public-facing, revenue-impacting functions such as sales, marketing and procurement.


While the majority (78%) of the globally interviewed enterprise employees view the legal department as protectors of the business, two in three (65%) admit avoiding engaging Legal, bypassing its policies because of perceived bureaucracy, inefficiency, poor responsiveness and a belief that Legal doesn’t understand their specific business needs. However, those same enterprise employees acknowledge the legal department’s critical role in driving growth for the company – three out of four (77%) believe Legal is great at negotiating on behalf of their companies and nearly half (48%) say Legal accelerates their sales cycles.


The ELR Report also revealed that only 19% of enterprise employees believe Legal considers client service a priority, while eight out of ten (79%) do not see Legal as a modern operation. These findings spotlight an enormous opportunity for legal departments to foster internal relationships by improving their responsiveness and operational efficiency, with respondents noting that the reassessment of policies and technology – specifically workflow automation and intelligent functionality – is needed for legal processes to be more efficient.


“The ELR Report reveals a glaring reality check on the full spectrum of how Legal is perceived by their enterprise organisations,” said Onit CEO Eric Elfman. “The findings beg obvious questions – how aware are corporate legal departments of their brand image, what is the material effect and how strong is their impetus to change? While the ELR Report sheds light on these concerns, it ultimately pinpoints opportunities for Legal to evolve their working relationships, accelerate critical workflows and become more active partners in business growth and efficiency. There is a desire right now for Legal to evolve in impactful ways – their businesses are counting on them.”


Other key findings, particularly for the United Kingdom, included:

  • 41% of the respondents located in the United Kingdom perceive the legal team as protectors of the business.
  • The legal team’s relationship varies by department – 64% of UK based employees from HR and 62% from Finance report positive relationships versus only 35% from Sales, IT and Marketing.  
  • In companies where teams are remote, 40% of the respondents in the UK say Legal was more responsive prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  • 45% of white-collar employees interviewed in the UK believe Legal is a trusted advisor, but only 28% say Legal is a good business partner.

Read ELR Report Chapter 1 here or view the Chapter 1 summary at the Onit blog.

Additional resources

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About Onit

Onit is a global leader in artificial intelligence platforms and enterprise workflow solutions for legal, compliance, sales, IT, HR and finance departments. With Onit, companies can transform best practices into smarter workflows, better processes and operational efficiencies. With a focus on enterprise legal management, matter management, spend management, contract lifecycle management and legal holds, the company operates globally and helps transform the way Fortune 500 companies and billion-dollar corporate legal departments bridge the gap between systems of record and systems of engagement. Onit helps customers find gains in efficiency, reduce costs and automate transactions faster. For more information, visit www.onit.com or call 1-800-281-1330.

Media contacts

Eileen Policarpio, eileen.policarpio@onit.com 

Archie Group, onit@archiegroup.com 

 

About BusyLamp

BusyLamp was founded by a team of innovative lawyers passionate about optimizing the existing legal operations of large companies and enabling collaboration both within and beyond the legal departments. It offers users a modern, intuitive and more efficient solution that overcomes the challenges with existing processes. BusyLamp continues to work closely with customers to constantly improve the software, which enables legal departments to save time, control legal spend and build stronger relationships with outside counsel. For more information, visit www.busylamp.com or contact us at info@busylamp.com.

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