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Special Report

Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index 2022 (7th Edition): Seeking stability amid uncertainty

New or continuing developments in spending, technology usage, and department management

Thomson Reuters is pleased to release the 7th annual edition of its 2022 Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index. This widely anticipated special report explores the shifting priorities legal departments face in 2022 amid economic uncertainty and continued global market strains.

The data for the LDO report has been collated from both a September 2022 Thomson Reuters survey of global legal departments and real-world legal spend analytics from Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker, with historical data from more than 1,500 corporate legal departments.

Corporate lawyers and legal operations professionals reported on their spend management plans and sophistication, department priorities and maturity of their legal operations, and their staffing and diversity plans. The report also provides a listing of the most commonly used metrics for law department operations and best practices used by leading organizations.

As the number of matters handled continues to increase and budgets stay mostly flat, finding increased efficiencies and delivering more work with in-house staff are more important than ever. Yet, the 2022 LDO Index shows a number of gaps between what departments list as their top priorities and how they handle their work.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • Increasing volume of legal matters for the past year reported by most departments
  • Continued trend to move more work in-house
  • Substantial rate increases from outside counsel, particularly compared to 2020
  • Many legal technologies being adopted, with growing concerns about under-utilization
  • Most departments still primarily rely on billing guidelines to control outside counsel costs
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues are rising in importance, but most departments haven’t even implemented a diversity initiative yet.

To download a copy of the 2022 Legal Department Operations Index report, please complete the form on this page.

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