Press Release

Survey Finds Ohio General Counsel Cautious on Economy, More Focused on Cost Control Than Nation at Large

Survey Finds Ohio General Counsel Cautious on Economy, More Focused on Cost Control Than Nation at Large

NEW YORK – May 1, 2014 – Two-thirds of the general counsel of Ohio companies are concerned about a negative change in business conditions this year. As a group, they are more focused than other U.S. senior legal officers on cost-cutting and “doing more with fewer resources.”

These are among the key findings of,  “Corporate Counsel Agenda 2014: Ohio,” a white paper on challenges facing the state’s corporate legal departments, based on a survey conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence and sponsored by the Benesch law firm.

About 30 percent of respondents said cost savings and expense reductions are the factors most critical to their organization’s growth and strategy, with more than the national average expecting to cut legal staff in the face of reduced budgets in 2014.

Among the other findings of the white paper were:

  • Minimizing legal liability and creating a culture of compliance topped the 2014 agenda for many general counsel in the state, with almost one in five worried about compliance risks arising from global operations.
  • Many of Ohio’s senior legal officers are looking to improve efficiency through task automation and project management improvements, as well as enhanced records retention and e-discovery technology.
  • In particular, 21 percent of the state’s general counsel are implementing legal project management techniques in day-to-day matters, citing the importance of project management skills of external counsel at a frequency above the national average.

The results of the white paper were presented at the Corporate Counsel Agenda: Ohio Breakfast Briefing on April 10 in Cleveland to an audience of more than four dozen in-house counsel. In-house counsel panelists who shared their firsthand insight and reactions to the survey results during the event included David Goldston (Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.); Steven Miller (Vice-President & General Counsel, The Proctor & Gamble Company); Janet Miller (Chief Legal Officer, University Hospitals); Ken James (GC and Corporate Secretary, Associated Materials, LLC); and James Graham (Vice President and General Counsel, Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc.).

The white paper is available now at http://almlegalintel.com/Surveys/CCAOhio.

ALM Legal Intelligence offers detailed business information for and about the legal industry, focused on the top U.S. and international law firms. The division’s online research service, www.almlegalintelligence.com, provides subscribers with direct, on-demand access to ALM Legal Intelligence’s extensive database of surveys, rankings and lists related to law firms and the legal industry. ALM Legal Intelligence is a division of ALM.

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