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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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Maturity Benchmarking report

ACC in conjunction with Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory have used the ACC Legal Operations Maturity Model, which comprehensively captures all of the functional areas that a legal department will have and used it to analyse legal department maturity across each of these functional areas and as a whole. The results will allow legal departments to benchmark their own level of maturity against the broader population, not only across 15 functional areas but also across 92 subfunctions. 

The three big takeaways:

  1. There are many factors that influence a legal department’s level of maturity (e.g., how big the company is, the size of the legal department, how much legal spends, what industry the company is in, etc.) However, out of all the factors we measured, the single most influential factor is whether or not a department employs a legal operations professional. Departments that employ at least one legal ops professional are significantly more advanced across all 15 functional areas compared to departments that do not. What is even more interesting is that the two areas where they have the greatest impact are areas traditionally considered to be strictly lawyer-specific work areas: Compliance and Litigation Management.
  2. A serious challenge to advancing in each of the functional areas is buy-in from the top. Many organizations do not understand the enormous value that legal brings to the table and it can be incredibly difficult to demonstrate that value and show how legal contributes to the overall strategic mission of the organization. Therefore, leadership is often unwilling to invest in the development of their legal function, preventing legal from advancing in each of these areas. Without advancing, they cannot demonstrate their value. It’s a vicious cycle.
  3. Even the most advanced departments still have room to improve. Not a single department that participated is advanced in all 15 functional areas. The average department is approximately “Intermediate Stage 1”, which is equivalent to rating oneself a “3” out of a 6-point maturity scale.

ACC Australia members are invited to login to the ACC Australia website and download your copy of the report now. 


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