New Report Shows How Corporate Law Departments in Hong Kong Are Dealing with Asian Market Growth & Regulatory Pressure

Legal Executive Institute September 17, 2018

Corporate law departments in Hong Kong are dealing with increasing work-flow due mostly to the strong growth in many Asian markets and more international activity. These law departments are feeling great pressure, however, as they seek to comply and with not only domestic regulations in Hong Kong, but with a complex web of international rules as well.

Those are among the conclusions of a new report, The 2018 State of Corporate Law Departments in Hong Kong — the first annual report for legal departments in that region produced by Thomson Reuters and UK research firm Acritas.

The report also shows that, along with the rest of the world, corporate law departments in Hong Kong want to be seen as “modern” and to that end are taking a far more proactive stance on innovation, technology, and partnership in order to add greater value to its organization rather than being seen as a cost-center that act reactively to the organization’s legal needs.

Indeed, the report concludes that those modern law departments that embrace innovation and data-driven decision-making and work collaboratively with other parties will see improvement over the next five years.

As the report further details, modern corporate law departments are leveraging efficiency gains and better information management through innovative use of new systems and technology, which enable departments to gain control of legal activity. This allows them to better understand both demand and legal spend in much more detail.

To that end, the use of metrics and measurement techniques that allow for more effective workflow management and decision-making have become a critical resource for these modern law departments as they become more data-driven. (The last section of this report defines a toolkit of 21 metrics that corporate law departments should consider tracking in order to develop a leaner, more effective legal function.)

The report also emphasizes that the key to staying modern will be constant innovation. And modern law departments can learn innovation practices and techniques not just from their more adventurous peers, but also from alternative legal services providers and other disrupters on the supply side. By observing the innovation of others, modern law departments will better understand how innovative approaches and technologies are creating new and different legal solutions.

The report also examines how modern corporate law departments are increasingly focusing on firing external legal advisors who understand their organization’s business and industry. In fact, these departments often are selecting a smaller number of legal advisors, investing time in helping those advisors learn about the organization’s business, encouraging feedback, and rewarding proactive service.

By doing this, these modern corporate law departments are most likely to reap the benefits of more business savvy advice and gain a more optimal result, the report concludes.

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Get Involved:

Acritas can provide further benchmarking data on other topics such as, legal spend and remuneration on its online platform for legal departments. We provide this for free as an incentive to participate in our global research in return for participating in a 25-minute Sharplegal telephone interview discussing your perspectives of the legal services market. The Analytics tool also provides access to a database of exceptional Star Lawyers, as recommended by other survey participants, across more than 50 countries worldwide. You can see why the Star is recommended and the demographics of the client making the nomination.

To participate and access Acritas Analytics, please email with your preferred time and phone number. You must fit our qualifying criteria to gain free access which includes a minimum revenue of $50m and being a decision-maker when it comes to procurement of legal services. Paid access is available for $995 per annum.

For further information on how Acritas can help you and your organization, please contact Lizzy Duffy on or +1 646 480 5738 or Jo Summers on or +44 808 178 3020.

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