Inaugural General Counsel Up-at-Night Report Highlights Key Challenges and Concerns

ALM Intelligence and Morrison & Foerster reveal survey results; find disconnect in GC priorities and resource allocation

06/22/2017

Larren M. Nashelsky

Privacy + Data Security and Global Risk + Crisis Management

Press Release

New York, NYJune 22, 2017 – Today, ALM Intelligence and Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, announced the inaugural results of the General Counsel Up-at-Night Report at ALM’s SuperConference in Chicago, IL. This ongoing semi-annual research initiative was built to understand the primary issues that concern General Counsel (GC) and senior law firm leaders – and how they are tackling those concerns.

To view the GC Up-at-Night Report results, visit: www.mofo.com/special-content/gc-up-at-night/. Additional findings will be released in July.  

The survey results are categorized into five critical areas identified through ongoing discussions with GCs: privacy and data security, risk and crisis management, regulations and enforcement, litigation, and intellectual property. Within each category, participants were asked to identify particular areas of concern:

  1. Privacy and Data Security: hacking/phishing/malware/ransomware (87%), employee mistakes (62%) and risks of breaches via non-law firm vendors (50%)
  2. Risk and Crisis Management: cybersecurity threats (57%), potential cost/impact on budget (55%) and government/ regulatory investigations (55%)
  3. Regulations and Enforcement: changes in regulation (65%) and differences in regulations across jurisdictions (64%)  
  4. Litigation: labor and employment (59%), potential cost/impact on budget (57%) and commercial disputes (54%)
  5. Intellectual Property: enforcing IP rights (67%) and trademark/copyright infringement (60%)

“Our goal with the GC Up-at-Night Report is to create a longitudinal view of the evolving priorities of GCs, with an eye toward identifying trends, assessing gaps between priorities and resource allocation, and helping GCs benchmark their priorities versus their peers,” said Andrew Neblett, President of ALM Intelligence.

“We conducted this survey to gain additional insights on the critical challenges facing GCs,” said Larren Nashelsky, Chair of Morrison & Foerster. “Given the demands of the role, it is not surprising that the report shows that many GCs are looking at how best to allocate resources to meet relatively new business needs, like privacy and data security and risk and crisis management. The report highlights opportunities for GCs to prepare more robustly for real-world situations in these areas.”

In addition to these areas, the report looks at how GCs are sourcing work. The research was conducted from April to June 2017 polling over 200 U.S.-based in-house counsel decision makers at Fortune 1000 corporations, including: General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, Head of Legal, or titles of similar seniority. 

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