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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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‘2021 Legal Technology Report for In-House Counsel’ also compares data across job roles, company size and level of legal process optimization

Washington, September 21, 2021 - The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Exterro, the exclusive ACC Alliance Partner for E-Discovery, Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Compliance, today released the ‘2021 Legal Technology Report for In-House Counsel.’ Key findings in the report highlight the increasingly central role that respondents expect from legal technology in today’s corporate legal departments.

Over 50 percent of respondents expressed interest in buying legal software in the next 12 months while 16 percent who categorize their legal department processes as “ad hoc” (defined as “experimental, ever-changing process, with no management and no budget”) will look to technology for improvements.  In an increasingly disruptive and challenging business environment, the most highly regarded legal technologies were those focused on helping organizations’ legal defensibility. Of these, respondents said the top three focus-areas were E-discovery, matter management, and privacy/data inventory technology. The overarching desire across departments and roles is for interoperable software that can be accessed via a single user interface.

“Our report provides a clearer understanding of what the implementation of legal technology actually looks like and needs to achieve in the future, from a range of in-house perspectives,” said Blake Garcia, ACC’s Director of Research. “Despite significant investments by corporate legal departments, the findings show that there remains a tremendous amount of opportunity for technological upgrades. We appreciate Exterro’s partnership on this project and look forward to continuing to track developments that will improve the effectiveness of corporate counsel teams.”

“This report illuminates the wide variety of challenges and differing priorities legal departments have taken on that span beyond litigation to also include compliance, data governance, and risk management priorities,” said Bobby Balachandran, CEO of Exterro. “For legal technology providers, this report also underlines the importance of delivering unified, compressive solutions that orchestrate the unique responsibilities and workflows of corporate counsel teams.”

Additional key findings include:

  • Matter management, e-billing, and contract management are the most effective technologies. Sixty-six percent of those who use matter management tools, 64 percent of e-billing users, and 61 percent of legal operations professionals using contract management tools consider them the most effective technology areas for the legal department from a list of 14 technologies.
  • Legal department roles clearly differentiate priorities when it comes to legal technology. Understandably, individuals gravitate towards technology that directly impacts their role. For lawyers, it is technology predominantly associated with contracts, privacy, and compliance issues. For legal operations professionals however, they look to technology to help processes when it comes to litigation. 
  • The processes and complexity to purchase technology varies greatly by company size. For companies with under $1 billion in revenue, two to five individuals are involved and it normally lasts less than six months. For larger organizations, more than five individuals are involved and can take three to 12 months to complete. 
  • Most departments want to leverage technology to improve contract management (77 percent), data privacy (40 percent), and litigation (25 percent) activities.

Survey responses are from 250 in-house counsel and legal operations professionals across 18 countries.

The report is available here. For complimentary access to the full report, please contact Dan Weber ( or Danielle Kane (


About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through informationeducationnetworking, and advocacy. With more than 45,000 members in 85 countries employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit and follow ACC on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.  

About Exterro: Exterro empowers legal teams to proactively and defensibly manage their Legal Governance, Risk and Compliance (Legal GRC) requirements. Our Legal GRC software is the only comprehensive platform that automates the complex interconnections of privacy, legal operations, digital investigations, cybersecurity response, compliance and information governance. Thousands of legal teams around the world in corporations, law firms, government and law enforcement agencies trust our integrated Legal GRC platform to manage their risks and drive successful outcomes at a lower cost. For more information, visit


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