Implications for In-House Counsel in the New Legal Landscape

According to John Knox, Co-Founder of AdventBalance, which has recently merged with the UK’s LOD (Lawyers On Demand), it is now a buyer’s not seller’s market, with in-house counsel having more choice and power than ever before in purchasing legal services.

Speaking at the recent Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association Forum, John Knox outlined a number of emerging trends and what they might mean for in-house counsel over the coming years. He also said the role of in-house counsel has expanded. It has evolved from managing day-to-day legal work and supervising external counsel to also managing regulatory change and compliance, training, special projects and technology platforms.

“General Counsel really are under pressure now to do more with less” he said. “And because of that, we will see the structure of in-house teams change”. According to Knox, in-house teams will be looking to employ more non-lawyers for compliance and project management work, and they will need to develop career paths for these professions.

Knox believes NewLaw providers and LPO’s will also achieve greater scale and become more prominent. “NewLaw is not just limited to those firms who second lawyers to in-house legal teams, but it also includes technology companies and traditional law firms starting up their own alternative legal service offerings”.

Knox welcomes the competition in the region as it will further educate the market. “In-house Counsel now have a responsibility to understand what the options are. One thing is certain over the coming years, success will come from those who are innovating and putting lawyers and client’s needs first”.