General Counsel Report from FTI Consulting and Relativity Illustrates Corporate Legal Challenges and Successes Across Risk, Culture and Technology
In Part 1 of the report, the majority of respondents spoke at length about their concerns over intensifying corporate risk. Roughly 60% indicated that their risk landscape is expanding or becoming more difficult to navigate in areas spanning compliance, regulatory enforcement, data privacy, information security, emerging data sources and ongoing effects from the pandemic. Feelings of preparedness dropped from the previous year in every major category discussed. The report shares detailed insights from study participants, their strategies for responding to increased risk and year-over-year comparisons against responses from the General Counsel Report’s 2020 and 2021 editions.
“A resounding theme of endurance was unmistakable in this year’s General Counsel Report,” said
Key findings covered in Part 1 include:
- Data protection is a clear and rising threat for 46% of respondents, while more than one-third are concerned over increased regulation and antitrust enforcement. When asked about the most concerning risk, one respondent said, “It has to be the increased regulatory scrutiny over the past couple of years…everywhere we turn regulators are emboldened. It is that increased regulatory scrutiny combined with a hyper-vigilance around reputational risk that everyone seems to have.”
- While general counsel felt relatively well prepared (4.02 on a scale of 1 to 5) for data privacy obligations and regulations such as GDPR and CCPA in 2020, that confidence slipped notably (to 3.27) for 2022.
- While the use of collaboration platforms and cloud file sharing was not a focus in previous years’ interviews, this year more than one-third of general counsel indicated increasing risk stemming from the accelerating growth of emerging data sources across costs, efficiencies, data privacy, information governance, compliance monitoring, security and e-discovery processes.
- In parallel with the rising concern over the effects of emerging data sources, legal teams are feeling far less prepared to handle them, with the average preparedness rating for this area dropping from 3.77 in 2020 to 2.9 this year.
- General counsel also listed environmental, social and governance requirements and their impending impact on business, reputation and regulatory compliance as a new area of risk.
- Preparedness for the impacts of advanced technologies such as AI and blockchain were also low, but steady when compared to previous years, hovering around an average rating of 2 on the 1 to 5 scale.
“Given the data trends and new risks we’re seeing among corporate clients, it’s not surprising that general counsel are reporting a lack of preparedness in responding to the impacts of emerging data sources,” said
Part 1 of The General Counsel Report 2022: Leading with Endurance Through Risk, Culture and Technology Challenges is available for download here, and the findings will be discussed at length during a joint webcast on
Demographics and Methodology
During July and
Relativity makes software to help users organize data, discover the truth and act on it. Its SaaS product RelativityOne manages large volumes of data and quickly identifies key issues during litigation and internal investigations. The AI-powered communication surveillance product, Relativity Trace proactively detects regulatory misconduct like insider trading, collusion and other non-compliant behavior. Relativity has more than 300,000 users in approximately 40 countries serving thousands of organizations globally primarily in legal, financial services and government sectors, including the
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