Data, data everywhere: The LegalWeek Intelligence Report

15 June 2015 by Hitesh Chowdhry

A unique market study

Kroll Ontrack, in conjunction with LegalWeek Intelligence, recently launched a study to investigate how corporations are coping with the twin challenges of big data and regulatory scrutiny.

We created an in-depth and detailed survey which was completed by 101 in-house lawyers from companies operating in the U.K. The responses were then analysed by our consultants, commented upon by legal experts and incorporated into a full market study.

The backdrop to the survey

In recent years we have witnessed an unprecedented level of regulatory scrutiny and sanctions on multinational companies; most notoriously in the banking sector. The resource drain on companies brought about by this increased level of regulatory activity has been compounded by the gargantuan levels of electronic data that are now held; which must be organised and inspected appropriately. Often, companies are threatened as much by the cost of complying with the disclosure requirements of regulators, as they are by the prospective sanctions.

As a technology and related services provider, Kroll Ontrack has been inundated with requests to assist clients throughout the investigation process. The most pertinent observation we have made is that companies who have a better handle on their data are able to deal with such investigations far more successfully than others.

In light of this, Kroll Ontrack is determined to equip in-house counsel with as much practical knowledge as is necessary so that they may deal with their data in a strategic, cost-effective manner; both on a pre-emptive and after-the-event basis. To that end, working with LegalWeek’s Intelligence unit, we conducted the survey.

What did the survey reveal?

Whilst planning the study, many of our consultants made predictions about the outcomes, based on their experience of working on regulatory matters with in-house counsel. Indeed, some of the results did meet these expectations. For example, the survey confirmed that the top challenges facing legal departments are:

  • working within an increasingly-regulated environment
  • straddling the need to act as both legal and commercial advisors
  • controlling legal costs

However, there were some surprises to be had, in particular the high percentage of participants who said they reduce and control legal spend by carrying out more ediscovery work internally, using their own technology.

We have made the full report available on our company website, which you can download here.

Why do the results matter?

For in-house counsel, understanding how peers are responding to regulatory scrutiny and managing big data can help benchmark their own strategies and perhaps inspire new approaches.

For Kroll Ontrack, this study has been a valuable exercise in gaining a greater understanding of the challenges faced by our corporate clients. Our aim is to use this information to shape  solutions that better serve the needs of in-house counsel.

For the full report, click here.