general counsel spend 51 percent of their time on
urgent high importance/highly strategic work,
followed by 25 percent of their time on high importance/highly strategic work that is not urgent.
As corporations rein in legal spend by
increasingly bringing work in-house, the
ranks of corporate legal departments have also
increased. Greater legal and business alignment
is also achieved when the legal function influences the business, contributes to the overall
success of the organisation (89 percent), and
increases the value of the legal function inside
the organisation. A positive shift is underway
in organisations, as the legal function is not
viewed by the organisation as a cost centre.
In-house counsel can facilitate this change by
measuring and reporting on its operations in
the organisation. CEO and/or business unit
satisfaction/appraisals also elevate the in-house
legal function’s visibility internally.
The 2017 ACC Australia Benchmarks and
Leading Practices Report is available for purchase
from the ACC Australia website: acla.acc.com.
How will these findings impact
What we are seeing is a continuation of some
key themes that we have seen over the last
number of years being:
1. An increase in influence of general
counsel within businesses, with more
GCs represented in the C-suite and being
involved in strategic issues;
2. Continued pressure on external legal costs,
which in turn drives more legal departments
to consider alternative “Newlaw” suppliers,
such as contract lawyers, utilize direct briefing,
and incorporate practice management systems
or workflow management systems to drive
3. GCs are increasingly being required to be
responsible for other non-legal functions
such as compliance and governance.
How can members get involved
with the chapter?
There are many ways members can be involved in our chapter, including attending
our CPD events and conferences, participating in our mentoring program, joining one of
our state committees, writing articles for our
magazine, joining our LinkedIn discussion
group, and providing input into our advocacy