In this piece, HBR Consulting focuses on two sources, its 2022 Law Department Survey and its Sounding Board series, which reflects data from more than 200 corporations, to conclude that in-house law departments, which had been sanguine about increases in headcount, spending, and tech investment throughout 2022, are far less optimistic heading into the new year. “As departments have emerged from the pandemic into the ‘new normal’ over the last year, we have seen a continued uptick in activity ranging from growing demand in new areas, expansions of internal teams, new investments in technology, and initiatives to optimize service delivery as part of broader corporate transformations,” says Lauren Chung, chief practice officer and survey editor at HBR. “Only in recent months, as economic uncertainty has grown, have we seen departments start to reassess their position for 2023 and proceed more cautiously. This has led to a more intense focus on law firms’ annual rate review cycle,” says Chung, adding that a more conservative approach is taking hold, with law departments planning to enforce promotion-only and other acceptable increases. Read more at HBR.