The Legal Operations (legal ops) software market is expected to reach around $3.6 Billion by 2027 at a CAGR of around 14% between 2019 and 2027, says a new market research report by New York-based Zion Market Research.
Legal ops software here refers to tech that is primary being used by, or in connection with, in-house legal functions. The report explored a wide range of tech used across legal functions and concluded that the current market was worth globally around $1bn in 2018, and will grow at a very healthy rate, year on year, for the next eight years.
Areas the report focuses on include:
- Deployment Mode (On-Premises and Cloud-Based),
- by Organization Size (Large Enterprises and SME),
- by Application:
- Matter/Case Management,
- Contract Management,
- Legal Project and Analytics Management,
- Knowledge Management,
- Legal Hold/e-Discovery,
- Document Management,
- Risk Management,
- Intellectual Property Management
They found that, perhaps not surprisingly, given the size of US corporate legal teams and the size of the industry there, that the North American market for this software was the largest by far. Europe is the second leading regional market globally and is expected to show significant growth in the years to come.
The Asia Pacific legal operations software market is likely to register the highest CAGR in the future, they concluded – reflecting a late adopter, but fast-mover scenario.
Latin America and the Middle East and Africa are also important regional markets and are likely to experience moderate growth over the forecast period, the report states.
The researchers noted (among others) the following companies as they did their survey of the market: Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions, Mitratech, Onit, SimpleLegal, Thomson Reuters, BusyLamp, LexisNexis, Elevate, and Acuity Management Solutions.
To get a sample copy of the report you can use this link.
But….does this sound realistic…? The numbers suggest that on a global basis we’ll see a steady uptake of the use of legal tech solutions inside corporates, from cost analysis systems to more complex workflow automation systems. It says that this growth will be rapid in APAC and overall the US will dominate, with Europe second in size of market.
It’s hard to fault the basic logic of this. The exact numbers may turn out to be different, but given the growth of legal ops functions and inhouse teams around the world generally it’s not too unusual to expect a 14% growth rate for the next few years globally.
What does this mean for the legal tech companies? Simply put, this is good news for anyone selling into the corporate legal teams and legal ops functions, as it suggests a growing demand and uptake. And perhaps there is a self-fulfilling prophecy aspect here, i.e. as more GCs and heads of ops start to feel like integrating all this tech is ‘normal’ and that ‘everyone else is doing it’, then it does in turn become ‘normal’ and then everyone really is moving in this direction.
You may not be able to change a department’s corporate culture on the basis that it ‘should do something because it’s a good idea’, but suggesting that this is now the ‘market norm’ that no manager would want to be too far apart from can be a very compelling argument.
Challenges will still remain, no doubt, such as: who do you try and sell to in a corporate legal function? How do you get inhouse lawyers to spare the time to do a pilot? How do you get through the challenges of dealing with a large corporate’s centralised security and risk team that may stop your sales pitch in its tracks?
But, for those who make it through, there appears to be a growing market for ‘legal ops tech’, perhaps growing faster now than ever before. Clearly law firms are not the only targets to aim for now.