Impact of COVID-19 on Corporate Legal Departments

July 2020 | $699

If you are interested in purchasing the results of this survey please contact our Account Executive, Ron Dinkins, at [email protected] or by calling 212-457-7819.

The COVID-19 pandemic generated immediate uncertainty for legal departments and law firms alike, adapting to remote working condition while trying to solve unforeseen problems and deal with regulatory ambiguity.

Responses from more than 130 in-house counsel from a wide array of industries, departments and company sizes provided insights on the outlook of their businesses, departments, budgets and outsourcing needs. The survey results also identified the most valuable COVID-19 resources outside counsel and law firms have provided the past few months.

The survey was conducted in June 2020, just as many states were in the early stages of ”re-opening” and following the initial period of COVID-related quarantines across the globe.  The study reveals the services firms provided during the pandemic that resonated the most with respondents, what may change with outside counsel usage, likelihood of engaging new firms, the practice areas where outside counsel is routinely engaged.

Laura A. Meherg

Partner & Founder,

Wicker Park Group

Headshot of Patrick Fuller Senior Director, ALM Intelligence

Patrick Fuller

Vice President

ALM Intelligence

Nathaniel E Slavin

Partner & Founder,

Wicker Park Group

Tara Weintritt

Wicker Park Group

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 57% of respondents expect their outside counsel spend to stay the same over the next quarter, 28% anticipate a decrease and 16% anticipate an increase.
  • Clients are most often engaging outside counsel for Litigation and Labor & Employment followed by IP, Regulatory and Compliance and Corporate Governance.
  • Fifty-state or multiple-jurisdiction surveys, insights from experience with other clients, easy-to-digest resources in simple formats (checklists, playbooks or toolkits), and staying on top of rapidly changing regulations were consistently named as the best methods to make clients’ lives easier.
  • The top three ways clients say law firms can add value right now are:
    • Thinking and solving problems proactively
    • Understanding the company/industry
    • Keeping the client informed