Singapore legal departments weigh up pandemic


The Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA) and Dazychain Legal Operations Software jointly published a survey on the impact, challenges and post-pandemic future of in-house legal teams.

The study of legal departments in Singapore was conducted from 28 April 2020 to 15 May 2020. Some key findings are highlighted below:

  • In-house counsel foresee work-life changing significantly, ranging from a permanent change (43%) to a higher uptake of remote working and flexible working (24%) post-COVID-19.
  • Organizations across Singapore are providing access to paid and unpaid leave (42%), in addition to activating work-from-home protocols (96%) and providing personal protective equipment (86%).
  • Almost all the respondents predict that COVID-19 will have either a moderate-term impact or devastating and long-term impact on the economy. Although some were more optimistic about their organizations’ survival, a significant number felt the financial future for their organizations was very challenging.
  • The majority (72%) indicated that COVID-19 had increased their legal teams’ workload. Interestingly, this compares to 41% of respondents who indicated that their legal department budgets had decreased.

Some themes that came through from the interviews were the importance of constant communication with internal and external stakeholders, and the formation of a crisis management team to coordinate organization responses to the pandemic.

Having a business continuity plan also helped ease the transitions at respondents’ organizations, as they implemented their plans in accordance with government advice.