SYDNEY, October 20, 2010 – LexisNexis (www.lexisnexis.com.au) a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions, today announced the results of a global survey, which finds that Australian legal firms are risking non-compliance and inaccurate billing as they deal with ever-increasing amounts of information.
Over eight in ten (81%) legal professionals in Australia admitted deleting or discarding work information without fully reading it, perhaps influenced by the sheer volume of information they’re subjected to. The LexisNexis® survey of 600 legal workers in five countries – Australia, the United States, China, South Africa, United Kingdom – also found that 31% of legal professionals declared having trouble recreating how time was spent for billing purposes at least once a week.
Marc K. Peter, Director of Technology and Business Development at LexisNexis Pacific, said that Australian legal companies are beginning to feel the effect of the weight of email, calls and online data they need to manage, leading to concerns about compliance, productivity, employee morale and customer service.
“The huge level of information besieging legal workers is a global issue, though it is noticeable that Australia has seen a higher impact than the rest of the world”, said Mr. Peter. “It’s no surprise that our legal professionals are the least likely in the world to say that email is the best way to reach them with important information, and almost all (94%) say it is difficult to maintain focus when they get distracted by a constant flow of emails and other information.”
“The reason for these alarming statistics is the boom in the amount of data legal professionals have to deal with, placing them under increasing stress that can manifest in so-called ‘information rage’. Nearly a third of Australian legal professionals have argued with colleagues about information management, while a startling 35% believe they will soon reach a breaking point where they can’t handle anymore if the amount of information they receive continues to increase.”
The research also found:
> Legal professionals in Australia estimate they spend, on average, 54% of their day receiving and managing information, but only 46% actually using that information. 87% stated they wished their company would provide more training in information management.
> A quarter (24%) of Australian legal professionals have delivered incomplete documents, email or other communications because they could not find necessary information or materials on time.
> Of the countries surveyed, Australian legal professionals are the most likely to say that finding specific pieces of legal research or information is now more difficult, compared to two years ago.
> Legal professionals in Australia say that on average, 48% of the email that they receive every day at work is actually important to them getting their job done.
> Four in ten Australian legal professionals (43%) agree that many new entrants to the legal system tend to leave the legal sector early in their careers because the amount of information they have to manage is more intensive than they thought it would be.
> Over half of legal professionals in Australia (56%) agree that incorporating comprehensive information management training into legal teaching would improve the quality and productivity of new entrants to the legal system.
“Despite these challenges, there is a great opportunity here for legal organisations to differentiate themselves and provide great internal and external service”, continued Mr. Peter. “By investing in information management tools, such as search or workflow technologies, or by focusing on better education and training for new entrants to the legal system, Australian organisations can optimise their productivity, compliance and, ultimately, their service to clients.”
LexisNexis provides solutions to organisations across Australia designed to streamline working practices, supply relevant research data at the right times and manage complex information flows.
About the report
The multi-national survey was conducted by WorldOne among 1,700 white collar workers across five countries: Australia, China, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. The study was fielded from June 2010 - July 2010. The baseline wave of the study was conducted in the U.S. among 650 white collar workers in November 2007. To view the report in full or for more information, visit http://www.multivu.com/players/English/46619-LexisNexis-International-Workplace-Productivity-Survey/
LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting, and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 15,000 employees worldwide.
LexisNexis® Australia (www.lexisnexis.com.au) is the leading provider of Australian and international news, business, tax and legal information, using leading-edge technology, tools, and online solutions.
Brand Marketing Manager, LexisNexis Pacific
Tel: +61 2 9422 2317
Marc K Peter
Director of Marketing, Technology & Business Development, LexisNexis Pacific
Tel: +61 2 9422 2438