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The impact of political, economic and technological change on law firms

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A new Answers On video features Gideon Moore, firmwide managing partner of the international law firm Linklaters, and Lucinda Case, managing director for the UK & Ireland Legal business at Thomson Reuters, discussing the impact of political, economic and technological change on law firms.

Facing changes

Moore notes the unparalleled pace of change buffeting the industry and says “business as usual” has not returned in the aftermath of Brexit and the U.S. presidential election.

Case says firms are adapting as their corporate clients push back on historical pricing structures and service models. Law firm partners, she offered, will likely emerge as “team captains” collaborating with alternative legal service providers and others in the quest to deliver cost-effective legal services.

Moore says that Linklaters, for its part, has set up an innovations group to consider its strategy from a holistic perspective by enlisting all employees. It is developing technology to help both the firm and its clients thrive, which provides “a feel-good factor,” he said.

Case says it may sound surprising to hear a lawyer excited about technology, but she underscored that law firms are investing more in this area.  Addressing the persistent speculation regarding how lawyers and machines will share in the division of labor, Case says lawyers will reign supreme in practicing the higher-level legal work, while pieces of the legal workflow increasingly will be automated.

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