Thomson Reuters Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index report. This report explores the shifting priorities legal departments face amid economic uncertainty and continued global market strains. The data for this report includes real-world legal spend analytics from Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker — with historical data including more than 1,500 corporate legal departments — and a September 2022 Thomson Reuters survey of global legal departments.

As the number of matters handled continues to increase and budgets stay mostly flat, finding increased efficiencies and delivering more work with in-house staff are more important than ever. Yet, the 2022 Index shows a number of gaps between what departments list as their top priorities and how they handle their work.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

Increasing volume of legal matters for the past year reported by most departments

Continued trend to move more work in-house

Substantial rate increases from outside counsel, particularly compared to 2020

Many legal technologies being adopted, with growing concerns about under-utilization

Most departments still primarily rely on billing guidelines to control outside counsel costs

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues are rising in importance, but most departments haven’t even implemented a diversity initiative yet.