In-house counsel happy with their jobs: survey

The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s latest In-House Counsel Barometer Survey suggests most lawyers are happy with their jobs and the people they work for.

The study, conducted by the CCCA in conjunction with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Vision Critical, reveals the average in-house counsel has been with the same organization for seven years. At the same time, 95 per cent of those polled said they would recommend a career as in-house counsel to their private practice counterparts.

The data also suggests the trend of legal outsourcing will continue to grow, with 97 per cent of respondents revealing that outsourcing legal work is a part of their job. The report also finds that larger companies are more likely to outsource.

Meanwhile, 43 per cent of in-house counsel said they are subject to key performance indicators. However, while 61 per cent said KPIs help highlight the utility of in-house counsel, 59 per cent believed KPIs fail to live up to their promise when utilized.

The study also reveals the importance in-house counsel place on their role of managing or reducing risk. Eighty-five per cent cited risk management as their key contribution to their organization. Ensuring regulatory compliance was cited by 48 per cent as their primary function.

Law firms will be interested to know that most respondents said area of expertise is the key factor when it comes to choosing external counsel. Factors such as billing rate, directory ratings, reputation, and consistent performance were also cited as considerations, albeit for fewer respondents.

The CCCA said 864 in-house counsel filled out the online questionnaire from which the Barometer results flowed. The total sample is considered accurate to within about three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

CCCA chairman Robert Patzelt said the data would be used to help the association create “the most relevant and timely services and products for our members.”

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