Top Issues Facing General Counsel in 2012

A recent survey of more than 100 general counsel at American companies conducted by Corporate Counsel, in partnership with ALM Legal Intelligence, revealed that compliance and cost are the primary issues concerning general counsel in 2012.

According to the survey, 61% of respondents identified the increasing number of regulations and their growing complexity as their biggest issue. At the same time, legal departments have suffered budget cuts. And despite those shrinking budgets, 68% of respondents anticipated an increased workload. In fact, “53 % said the second-biggest issue they face, after regulations, was the pressure to do more with fewer resources.”

Traditionally, legal departments have used manual, labor intensive processes for creating their contracts. Legal staff would copy and paste existing material and then modify the content to meet specific needs or to accommodate customer requirements. To minimize risk, especially when faced with increased regulation, this approach demands the close attention of the general counsel and senior members of the legal team. Plus, the need to manage risk—to ensure the accuracy of the documents and to support regulatory compliance—dictates that organizations rely on subject matter experts at every step of the process.

Confirmation that too much time and resources are spent on each contract, comes from the recent Corporate Counsel Survey Report which found that over 30% of respondents spent more than an entire day to review a single contract. Assuming 8 working hours a day, and 125 contracts per month – these companies are spending 12,000 hours annually on contract review.

If contract creation was automated and contracts were created using pre-approved, compliant templates, much of these review costs could be eliminated while maintaining compliance with increased regulations. The cost savings in review time alone is just one element that helps an investment in contract automation software have a high return on investment.

If you’d like to learn how contract automation software can help you manage compliance and cost this year, please contact us.

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