ACC's Chief Legal Officers 2014 Survey Results Are Here

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on March 19, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In the March issue of ACC Docket, the Association of Corporate Counsel released its findings of its "largest global survey of CLOs and GCs," the Chief Legal Officers 2014 Survey.


In comparison to other surveys, this particular survey has an "international flavour" with attorneys from 41 countries responding. The ACC notes that they received 1,220 responses, which reflects a 17.65% increase over last year's response rate, and a 23% increase in non-U.S. responses. Aside from the U.S. and Canada, other countries with high response rates included Spain, France, Germany, Singapore, Argentina, Israel, Switzerland, Brazil Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Survey Findings

A review of the global concerns of CLOs tracks the concerns of GCs in the United States. There are no real surprises in the findings -- here's a summary of some the main factual findings of the survey.

Strategy -- Quite similarly to the trend in the United States where GCs also have to be mindful of the business, the ACC is seeing the same trend worldwide, with "76 percent of CLOs reporting a greater level of involvement in corporate strategy development." Another trend similar to the U.S. is the delegation of the management of the legal department's operations -- it seems LDOs are the new black worldwide.

Mitigating Risk -- The top three worries for CLOs are: "ethics and compliance (88%), regulatory or government changes (83%) and information privacy (79%)," according to the survey. With increasing compliance responsibilities, the effects of non-compliance a huge risk for companies, as well as the threat of cyber security violations, these issues don't come as any surprise.

Cost -- Outside legal spend is also an issue -- globally -- for CLOs. The survey found that "75% of respondents reported using some type of alternative fee arrangement," while 63% of CLOs are "insourcing" their work.

If this study conclusively shows anything, it's that CLOs and GCs, globally, are dealing with the same sets of issues. Especially in an increasingly global economy, when companies have a multinational presence, an overlap of legal issues is to be expected. It may be wise to keep up to date with how CLOs in other countries deal with issues -- they may have novel approaches to ordinary problems.

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