Login to MyACC
ACC Members

Not a Member?

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.

Join ACC

June 19, 2023 07:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (BUSINESS WIRE)—  Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting (TAA) and ACC Australia (Association of Corporate Counsel Australia) have published their annual In-house Counsel Trends Survey Report for 2023, examining the key practices, areas of concern, and challenges for in-house legal counsel from the past year that will shape the future of the profession. 

Conducted in March and April 2023, the survey was completed by more than 200 respondents across various corporate, government, and not-for-profit organisations. Chief Legal Officers (CLOs), General Counsels, and Heads of Legal accounted for 43% of respondents, with Senior Lawyers making up an additional 41%. Over 50% of respondents report directly to the CEO, highlighting the continuing importance of in-house counsel. Furthermore, 53% attend all board meetings and 65% said their opinion on business decisions is sought all or most of the time. 

The survey report reflects insights from senior leaders and legal professionals throughout Australia on key areas including the latest internal and external trends, outsourcing practices, existing and emerging threats to in-house teams, and the effect of the pandemic on the profession, such as workload, job satisfaction, upskilling plans, and work-life balance. Key findings from the report include:  

  • Technology was cited as the top disrupter to the traditional in-house counsel role, followed by the regulatory landscape and data security. Notably, 47% of respondents highlighted implementation of new tools and software solutions to stay competitive and serve their business effectively as a key challenge. 
  • Protecting organisations from cyber-attacks and security breaches was anticipated to be the top regulatory challenge over the next 12 months, more than doubling to 78% in 2023 from 30% in 2021. Only 25% consider themselves fully prepared for future breaches, but a supermajority (75%) are stepping up efforts to manage risk by improving approaches to collecting, processing, and storing personal data. 
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) compliance and reporting continue to trend as a growing area of concern for business, with the largest percentage (36%) of respondents falling in the middle of the scale when asked to rate how prepared their organisations were in regard to ESG compliance and reporting. Another 12% considered their organisations very prepared, while only 8% said they were not prepared. 
  • Following the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible working has gained broader acceptance (68%) in the profession, increasing 6 percentage points from the 2021 survey, with the trend likely to continue in the future. Meanwhile, concerns about losing flexible workplace gains remain a key area of concern.
  • The considerable value of gaining experience in private practice before pursuing a career as an in-house counsel is a strongly held belief among many survey participants. Nevertheless, there’s an equally clear sentiment that lawyers can excel in in-house roles without prior law firm experience, especially in larger, well-supported legal teams where training and mentorship are prioritised. 
  • In-house legal teams continue to rely on external help from temporary contractors and law firm panels to fill staffing shortfalls and gain expertise, with over a half hiring temporary contractors through a lawyer replacement agency or a law firm, and a quarter directly briefing barristers to get advice. Across the board, specialised skills ranked high on the list of reasons for seeking third-party help. 

“Wolters Kluwer has been a Corporate Alliance Program Partner of ACC Australia for seven years, and we are proud to support in-house counsel and legal professionals with our digital-first technology solutions, including our award-winning legal research platform, all written and curated by our team of in-house legal experts,” said Izzy Silva, Managing Director of Wolters Kluwer TAA, Asia Pacific. “As in-house counsel navigate the ever-evolving landscapes facing organisations and industries today, we want to keep providing tools and insights they can trust and rely upon to empower their legal advice to management teams and inform the decision-making process in legal, risk, and compliance matters.”  

The 2023 In-house Counsel Trends Report is distributed to 4,000 ACC members who serve as in-house counsel across Australia. A webinar presenting key findings from the report is also available to watch on-demand. For more information, please find the full report here.   

About Wolters Kluwer  

Wolters Kluwer (EURONEXT: WKL) is a global leader in information, software, and services for professionals in healthcare, tax and accounting, financial and corporate compliance, legal and regulatory, and corporate performance and ESG. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. 

Wolters Kluwer reported 2022 annual revenues of €5.5 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. 

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 organisations through information, education, networking and advocacy.

With more than 45,000 members in 85 countries employed by over 10,000 organisations, 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 LinkedIn