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The Inside Track: In-House Legal Budgets 2024

The Inside Track: In-House Legal Budgets 2024

Issue 10.12
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In The Inside Track, General Counsels across CEE share the nuances of their roles, challenges, and strategies for success. Since now is the time when plans for next year are made (and budgeted for) this time we asked GCs: Is your in-house legal function’s budget increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same in 2024?

Eleni Stathaki, Head of Legal, Upstream: As all in-house lawyers know, the only certainty when creating the annual budget for the legal function is uncertainty.

In our case, the budget for in-house legal functions for 2024 remains largely the same, although any savings we can achieve would be appreciated.

Looking at historical trends, we have observed that for the last few years, our legal spending has not greatly varied year on year. One factor for this is that there are some recurring costs that are relatively easy to calculate. Further, we have done our homework, identifying any tasks that may come up as well as any cost items that we could do without or bring in-house. In addition, keeping track of spending and cash flow on a monthly basis enhances visibility. Last but not least, solid relationships with outside counsel certainly help in keeping the budget stable from year to year, despite any unforeseen events that may come along.

Wioletta Kaloska, General Counsel, Symfonia: The IT industry is known for its dynamic nature, characterized by continuous change and innovation. At present, Symfonia is undergoing a phase of rapid development, marked by both organic growth and acquisitions of other companies. To stay aligned with the evolving business landscape, all back-office teams must either automate processes or engage additional personnel and external experts. The legal team at Symfonia is expanding alongside the business to ensure seamless support for the company’s evolving needs. Consequently – much to my satisfaction – there is a growing budget. The more companies we acquire at once, the greater the need for resources to engage external law firms. Following such acquisitions, the number of individuals in the organization grows, and each of them may potentially approach the legal team for advice, problem resolution, or recommendations. However, every organization has its limits, and over time, we will increasingly focus on automating certain processes and leveraging new technologies, such as AI, to handle some of the more straightforward tasks. We must be ready for that.

This article was originally published in Issue 10.12 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.

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