Law Department Administration

Bethany Lukitsch of McGuireWoods runs down what the new regulations mean for companies based in California and beyond.

CCBJ: The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect January 1, placing new data protection and user requirements on businesses that collect or sell consumers’ personal information. What do the new regulations mean for companies doing business in California?

Bethany Gayle Lukitsch: It’s important to keep in mind that this statute doesn’t just affect companies that are physically present in California but a much broader, more universal group of companies. In fact, any company that touches or does business with a California consumer is likely going to be covered by the act. The act has broad definitions and will have significant impact on the way companies in the United States and even foreign companies do business with California residents. If companies haven’t started to pay attention to the CCPA and what it means for their business, they need to immediately turn their attention and do so.

Remarks as recent as late September from the California attorney general’s office suggest they are ramping up their enforcement team. While they are not able bring enforcement actions until summer of next year, they have said


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When you think of enterprise legal management (ELM) systems, you probably think about the ways they can make spend and matter management more efficient. But ELM systems are quickly evolving, becoming more comprehensive all the time, and today they can help optimize contract management, NDA creation and distribution, legal holds, legal service requests and much more.
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Late last year, CLOC, the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium, released the results of its first annual State of the Industry Survey, looking at such metrics as legal spend; legal department and legal ops headcounts; commonly used e-billing vendors, contract management systems and alternative service providers; and law firm evaluation priorities.

The respondents represented 156 companies in 32 industries, spanning 30 U.S. states and 11 countries. With a median company revenue of $7 billion, they claimed an average external spend of $60 million per company.
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There is an undisputable tension in the legal ecosystem. How do you explain it? Is it a natural tension that flares up every other decade? Is this the last industry to finally embrace technology? Is it a perfectly normal cycle that occurs from a macroeconomic perspective when innovation forces change? Or a combination of them all? There is obvious change evident in the pace of legal technology advancements, but that is only one part of the broader ecosystem. Here’s where that evolution is happening.

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Outside counsel guidelines have become increasingly complex, requiring companies to pay special attention to both details and trends in billing. Our editors sat down with Linda Hovanec and Matt Kivlin of Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions, to talk about building a strong spend management program and how artificial intelligence can help identify irregularities and errors in billing, and therefore increase efficiencies within legal spend management. Their remarks have been edited for length and style.
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By Jason Mark Anderman / American Express Company

What if you and your counterparty possessed 100 percent certainty that every word and every signature in every contract you’ve negotiated were perfectly accurate? What if every payment obligation could be automatically enforced without human involvement? What if you could stack contractual duties in condition-precedent dominoes so that you automatically paid a supplier fee only after valid confirmation of goods delivery?

This is no fantasy. It’s the world offered by smart contracts today.


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Interview with A. Carter Arey / McGuireWoods

A. Carter Arey is a senior counsel at McGuireWoods who co-leads the firm’s ClientSync team. Her focus is on legal project management (LPM), which is designed to help the lawyers deliver what their corporate clients want: quality legal services, pricing and predictability that they can understand and plan around. The interview has been edited for length and style.


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