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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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Non-ACC members may download the report here.

The 2020 Legal Operations Maturity Benchmarking Report, in partnership with Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, assesses in-house legal departments' performances on 15 different core functions and 92 related subfunctions with the purpose to determine where legal departments stand in terms of legal operations maturity, based on the popular ACC Legal Operations Maturity Model.

The report includes:

  • Overall results for the Maturity Model's 15 core functions, with breakdowns by industry, company revenue, size of the legal department, and more.
  • Detailed results for each of the 15 legal operations functions, including implementation rates for 92 specific policies, practices, and tools.
  • An overall legal department maturity score, which aggregates the self-assessment rate of each individual function to provide a general overview of legal operations maturity.
  • The results of the Best in Class: the top 10 percent legal departments, including a checklist of the specific practices that these maturity leaders have in place.



The 2020 ACC Legal Operations Maturity Benchmarking Report — Key Findings and How To Use It to Advance Your Department

Join our expert panel as they discuss the key findings of the report and how to use it in conjunction with ACC's Maturity Model to advocate for better operational practices leading to a more efficient delivery of legal services.


  • Ken Crutchfield, Vice President and General Manager of Legal Markets, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
  • Robert Taylor, Vice President, Senior Corporate Counsel, Liberty Mutual Group
  • Catherine Moynihan, Associate Vice President, Legal Management Services, Association of Corporate Counsel
  • Blake Garcia, Director of Research, Association of Corporate Counsel

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Key Demographics


The 2020 Legal Operations Maturity Benchmarking Report includes self-assessments on legal operations maturity from 316 legal departments across 29 countries and 24 industries. 

Participating legal departments represent companies that range from the millions to the tens of billions of U.S. dollars in annual revenue, and include from one-lawyer departments to legal teams with hundreds of employees.

Legal operations professionals and in-house counsel

Manufacturing, IT, finance and banking, and more

42 percent of departments employ at least one legal operations professional

Report Highlights

  • Takeaways

    1.  Legal operations professionals make a difference

      Departments that employ at least one legal operations professional are more advanced across all 15 functional areas compared to those with no dedicated legal operations professional.

    2. Not all functions are equal

      There is significant variation in maturity levels across functions. Compliance and Financial Management are most advanced on average, while eDiscovery & Litigation Management and Innovation Management are least advanced.

    3.  Company size matters

      Legal departments in large organizations report higher maturity levels on average. This is consistent when examining company revenue, number of staff, and legal spend.

    4.  Departments face diverse challenges in their maturation process

      Budget limitations, leadership skepticism on the added value provided by legal operations, and general resistance to change hinder the efforts of legal operations professionals to advance maturity.

    5.  Best in class are in an advance stage, but they still have room to grow

      The top 10 percent departments showcase an advanced stage of legal operations maturity, but none recorded being advanced across all 15 core functions.

  • Methodology

    Survey instrument: The survey questionnaire was offered through an online survey platform. Personalized survey links were sent by email to the target population, which allowed participants to save their responses and fill out the questionnaire in more than one sitting, if needed.

    Fielding period: The survey opened on October 1, 2019, and closed on January 31, 2020. Reminder emails were sent weekly.

    Target population: We targeted ACC members worldwide who are the leaders of their legal operations in their departments. A screener question was asked to help determine the most relevant population.

    Participation: A total of 316 participants. Apart from targeted email messages, opportunities to participate were also sent through various communications with the ACC legal operations membership.

    Anonymity: Survey responses were completely anonymous. No information is linked in any way to an individual respondent. The results are provided only at the aggregate level, and respondents' quotes from open-ended responses were carefully reviewed and edited, if appropriate, to remove any identifiable information related to respondents or their organizations.

  • Key Chart

    Average Maturity Rate by Legal Operations Professionals

    This chart lists the 15 legal operations functions sorted by their average maturity rate, on a scale from 1 to 6, from highest to lowest. 

    The chart also shows the average maturity for each function for legal departments that have at least one legal operations professional and those who have none. The yellow bars indicate the added value on average that legal operations professionals bring for each function.


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