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Automation

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic sent tidal waves of business disruptions flooding across industries, automation had emerged as one of the great life rafts of corporate legal departments looking to cut spend by insourcing processes such as e-discovery. But the growth in the volume of work continues to outpace in-house hiring. And more automated processes likely won’t be able to prevent a reversal of the move towards corporate legal insourcing that began with the 2007 financial crisis. 

“We think the trend is already broken,” said Cornelius Grossmann, co-leader of EY Global Law. 

This could largely stem from the enhanced workloads in-house teams are anticipating. According to the 2021 EY Law Survey, published earlier this week in conjunction with the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, general counsel expect workloads to increase by 25% over the next three years, with only a 3% increase in headcount expected to occur within that same time.

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Frank Ready

Frank Ready is a reporter on the tech desk at ALM Media. He can be reached at [email protected]

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