This article was originally published on the Australasian Lawyer and has been republished.

In-house legal teams are handling larger volumes and complexity of work and are looking to technology to help.

Rather than outsourcing more work to external law firms, general counsel are focusing on how tech can drive efficiency within their own legal teams according to a new survey.

The research from Konexo, the alternative legal services business of global law firm Eversheds Sutherland, found that 63% of in-house practitioners say they are dealing with increased pressures compared to 12 months ago.

These pressures include demands to reduce costs, while coping with a lack of resources, and a resulting impact on team culture.

“General Counsel today are operating in a rapidly evolving business landscape,” said Graham Richardson, Partner and Head of Konexo. “Despite developments in the sector, legal services have not yet been at the forefront of this evolution. However, as legal teams are increasingly asked to do more with less, technology, new operational processes and big data are rewiring how in-house legal professionals conduct their work.”

The survey shows that just 19% of respondents are planning to ease pressure through greater use of external counsel while increasing their tech usage in areas such as document automation and intelligent data analytics.

“There is significant scope for innovation in the industry and there is a real opportunity for in-house teams to assume a more strategic purpose in their organisations and outsource more, but not back to the traditional law firm model. Technology driven ALSP, with fixed-price models, will be a big part of the solution and we will continue to see the rise of legal managed service providers,” added Richardson.