Press Release

FTI Consulting and Blickstein Group Survey Reveals Common Roadblocks and Investments in Corporate Legal Operations

Majority of Respondents Struggle with Technology Adoption and Implementation, Indicate Need for Change Management Support and Expertise
Press release

Washington, D.C., Oct. 13, 2021 — FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN) today announced the findings of its Technology segment’s joint corporate legal operations survey with the Blickstein Group.

The report, Law Department Operations Technology Survey: The Journey to Modernization, covers the changes sought to increase efficiencies through technology and how organizations are progressing through key stages along the path toward transformation. The report is based on interviews and a survey of more than 50 leaders of in-house legal departments.

The importance of change management and training in promoting technology adoption was a key sentiment revealed in the findings. When asked what aspects of technology modernization are the most challenging, 78% of respondents named training and adoption, and 58% pointed to implementation and integration, far exceeding other challenges listed. To manage these difficulties, legal operations teams are seeking outside expertise, with nearly 70% of respondents saying they would invest in external resources to support technology implementation and 33% saying the same for training and adoption.

“Legal teams are continuing to experience tremendous pressure on many fronts,” said Deana Uhl, a Managing Director within the Technology segment at FTI Consulting. “But technology modernization doesn’t have to be a headache. With an actionable roadmap that accounts for common roadblocks and change management needs, legal operations teams can successfully implement and refresh systems to alleviate burdens for both the legal department and the business. What we heard from respondents in this survey reflects what we’re seeing among our clients — that a focused and expert-supported approach is the key to achieving quick wins and sustained transformation.”

Additional key findings in the report include:

  • Legal spend analysis and reporting have emerged as priorities for in-house legal teams, with 72% of respondents ranking these as key technology modernization activities.
  • In addition to legal spend analysis, business process and workflow automation was rated as a technology modernization priority by more than 55% of respondents.
  • More than 70% of respondents also stated they are currently implementing or updating core tools including e-billing, spend management, contract management, matter management and document management.
  • Efficiency and ease of use ranked highest as the core elements used to define technology effectiveness.
  • Despite the proven efficiencies offered by AI and technology assisted review (“TAR”), use of these technologies within corporate legal departments remains light, with nearly 80% of respondents indicating they use TAR in less than 30% of matters, and more than half saying they do not use it in 10% of matters.

Brad Blickstein, Principal at the Blickstein Group, added, “Despite ongoing challenges with technology adoption, these survey findings demonstrate some promising progress within legal departments. We’re seeing an increasing trend toward the use of roadmaps in legal operations programs, indicating a growing understanding that a modern law department requires strategic intent, rather than just a willingness to license tools to solve specific problems. The fact that almost 90% of respondents report that the general counsel is also a stakeholder is recognition that top decision-makers are necessary to bring the road map to life.”

To read the full survey results, download the Law Department Operations Technology Survey: The Journey to Modernization.

About FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political & regulatory, reputational and transactional. With more than 6,400 employees located in 29 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and make the most of opportunities. The Company generated $2.46 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2020. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Blickstein Group

Blickstein Group has two missions: to help legal service providers better understand and serve their clients and to provide information about law departments and legal operations. It launched the Annual Law Department Operations Survey in 2008, when few law departments had legal ops, and has been part of the function’s enormous growth ever since. In addition to its consulting and managed service business, Blickstein Group’s research products also include National Law Journal Trailblazers (launched in 2013), The GDPR Reality Check (2017), The Annual Study of Effective Legal Spend Management (launched in 2017) and Legal Pricing and Project Management (launched in 2020).