Legal industry leaders revealed some of their top challenges in a recent report released by the U.K.-based Corporate Counsel Exchange.

The report included two parts—a series of interviews with senior legal executives from global companies Deutsche Bank, Coca-Cola, Eaten and Covidien, as well as a survey of 60 high level legal department leaders about which solutions and services legal leaders plan to invest in during the next 12 to 18 months. 

Based on the results, the top investment priority—according to 73 percent of survey respondents—will be in antitrust and competition law firms. Sixty-four percent of survey respondents said contract and document management are also high on their list of priorities.

According to the interview portion of the research, the goal of these priorities is to drive departmental efficiencies and cost savings, while managing legal and compliance risks in a global marketplace.

Dr. Susanne Marston, general counsel of Eaton, said that driving legal department efficiencies relies on identifying areas on which highly paid and well qualified lawyers should not be spending their time, and instead finding alternatives to managing this work. Marston added that these lawyers should begin delegating to paralegals and streamlining processes through automation or offshoring.

To read the full report or listen to interviews with these global marketplace GCs, visit the Corporate Counsel Exchange.

For more InsideCounsel stories on department management, see:

U.S. legal system most costly, according to report

In-House Compensation Report offers insight into legal department pay

61% of GCs unsatisfied with law firm rates

Can legal project management succeed in the unpredictable world of litigation and transactions?

2013 could see record number of U.S. law firm mergers