Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions General Counsel Barometer Reveals Major Expansion of Legal Operations in Europe

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#legalops–The corporate legal operations role in Europe has seen tremendous growth
over the past two years, and General Counsel (GCs) rely more on
technology for productivity gains as they focus on strategic business
goals. That’s according to the General
Counsel Barometer 2019
, released by Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions,
the market-leading provider of enterprise legal spend and matter
management, contract lifecycle management, and legal analytics solutions.

The General Counsel Barometer 2019, published with The Lawyer,
shows that GCs are expected to play a more strategic role in their
organizations, a trend that has increased since it was reported in the General
Counsel Barometer 2017
. The study explores how the role of a GC has
changed to adapt to the evolving complexities of the legal and economic
environment while embracing new technologies that offer enhanced
capabilities, analytics and opportunities for significant cost
management. Highlights include the following:

  • Legal Operations: 35% of companies said that they have at least
    one legal operations professional, compared to 4% in 2017. 73% of
    companies with over 150 legal professionals now have a dedicated legal
    operations professional.
  • Strategic Focus: 78% of respondents stated that their role has
    become increasingly strategic, a significant rise from 38% in 2017. As
    company size increases, the law department is more likely to have a
    strategic focus over a functional one.
  • Adding Value: 48% of respondents reported that the top priority
    for their legal department over the next 12 months is adding value to
    the business and becoming a more strategic business partner. While in
    2017, improving internal efficiency was seen as the top priority for
    general counsel.
  • Technology Investment: 72% of respondents expect to see
    investments in technology increase over the next 12 months. According
    to 70% of respondents, the main reason for investing in technology is
    to increase the productivity of the legal team. When asked what areas
    of technology were expected to deliver efficiency gains to lawyers,
    64% said contract lifecycle management.
  • Shifting Resources: The survey revealed corporations have moved
    less specialized work from law firms to in-house counsel. 42% of
    respondents said they conduct 61-80% of work in-house, a 27% increase
    since 2017. Specialized work is still often outsourced to traditional
    law firms – 73% of respondents send highly technical work like patent
    services and due diligence to an outside provider.

“This year’s survey demonstrates that as GCs in Europe are expected to
play increasingly strategic roles within their businesses, legal
operations professionals have emerged and are demanding technology that
drives efficiency,” says Barry Ader, Vice President of Marketing and
Product Management for Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions. “According to the
survey, GCs will seek technology solutions that help reduce the cost of
legal operations and increase efficiency within the organization. This
will allow them to not only dedicate time toward strategic business
initiatives, but also arm them with key business intelligence through
enhanced reporting and analytics.”

Enabling the legal department to think strategically, as opposed to
reactively, can impact the entire business. According to respondents,
GCs insist on being involved in transaction and other business decisions
early on so their strategic advice can have an impact on the bottom-line.

Legal technology has enabled GCs to focus on strategic issues which is
critical given the trading and political challenges in today’s global
economy. One major technological development is the use of AI for legal
operations to automate routine tasks. “We leverage technology to engage
and manage outside counsel and legal service providers,” said Maurus
Schreyvogel, Chief Legal Innovation Officer at Swiss-based Novartis
International AG said.

Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions is the market-leading global provider of
enterprise legal spend and matter management, contract lifecycle
management and legal analytics solutions. We provide a comprehensive
suite of tools that address the growing needs of corporate legal
operations departments to increase operational efficiency and reduce
costs. Corporate legal and insurance claims departments trust our
innovative technology and end-to-end customer experience to drive
world-class business outcomes. Our award winning products include Passport®,
the highest rated ELM solution in the latest Hyperion Marketview™ Legal
Market Intelligence Report; TyMetrix®
, the industry’s leading SaaS-based e-billing and matter
management solution; CLM
, named a “strong performer” in the 2019 Q1 CLM Forrester Wave
report; and the LegalVIEW® portfolio
of legal analytics solutions based upon the industry’s largest and most
comprehensive legal spend database, with more than $128 billion in

About Wolters Kluwer Governance, Risk & Compliance

Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) is a division of Wolters
, which provides legal and banking professionals with
solutions to ensure compliance with ever-changing regulatory and legal
obligations, manage risk, increase efficiency, and produce better
business outcomes. GRC offers a portfolio of technology-enabled expert
services and solutions focused on legal entity compliance, legal
operations management, banking product compliance, and banking
regulatory compliance.

Wolters Kluwer (AEX: WKL) is a global leader in information services and
solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and
compliance, finance and legal sectors. Wolters Kluwer reported 2018
annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen
aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries,
maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people

Notes to Editors:

The survey sought responses from organizations divided into three
groups according to annual turnover. These were as follows: less than $5
billion (35%), $5-$25 billion (41%) and in excess of $25 billion (23%).
In terms of location, the companies were headquartered in a range of
European nations, with the majority in the U.K., and a sizeable
proportion in the Nordics, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany,
Belgium and Italy.

Regarding industry sector, 28% of respondents came from banking,
financial institutions and insurance, 15% from telecommunications and
11% each from energy and utilities. The organizations tended to have mid
to large sized legal departments, with the majority (30%) featuring a
headcount of more than 150 and a further 22% numbering between 25-100


Erica Glass
Director, Global Corporate Communications – Legal
Wolters Kluwer
Governance, Risk & Compliance

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