Corporate legal departments are seeing greater value for the legal services they receive from their outside counsel, according to the 2018 State of Corporate Law Departments Report from Thomson Reuters and Acritas.

The average satisfaction rating of outside counsel based on value has increased 9 percent over the last five years showing improvements across all areas of service delivery, according to the report. This is of utmost importance to firms, as legal departments said allocating work to firms that are proactive in showing their value is one of their top priorities.

At the same time, controlling outside counsel costs is the number-one priority for corporate legal departments, and as a result they are moving more work in-house and increasingly turning to technology and a focus on legal operations to drive efficiency.

“Corporate legal departments are adjusting to deal with dynamic businesses and shifting legal landscapes,” said Chris Maguire, managing director of the U.S. Corporate segment, Thomson Reuters. “Rapidly growing global regulatory requirements, new security threats and challenging business goals are causing legal departments to be more operations focused in their approach. Increasingly, they are looking to leverage technology to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and better manage risk and compliance.”

The report analyzed data and research from Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker, Acritas and the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC).

The 2018 State of Corporate Law Departments Report can be downloaded at: www.legalexecutiveinstitute.com/2018-corporate-law-departments-report.