The legal industry has reached a tipping point. It is more complex and competitive today than ever before and is only set to become more so with the continued evolution of business models, pricing structures and rapidly evolving client expectations. Very soon there will be a clear distinction between firms that are prepared for the future and those that will be left behind.
To stay competitive, firms need to optimise existing processes to make them much more efficient and create new legal products and services that make full use of the latest technology and drive innovative solutions specific to the needs of clients.
Recently, Thomson Reuters hosted a webinar that resulted in a lively discussion as they considered the use of technology in both law firms and in-house legal departments. The panellists considered that technology is becoming vital to both law firms and corporate legal departments—and offered their insights from both perspectives as they discussed:
- What are innovative firms currently doing in the market?
- Where should law firms look to understand more about automation and what can be automated?
- How are firms leveraging their services as products and how can “commoditisation” work in practice?
- How can you go about exploring new possible use-cases for your technology?
- What are “design-thinking principles” and how can I leverage this way of working to explore new technology?
- What skills and resources do we need in order to make a success of new technology?
- Samantha Steer, Director Large Law Strategy, Thomson Reuters
- Stuart Barr, Chief Product and Strategy Officer—HighQ, Thomson Reuters
- April Brousseau, Global Lead, Clifford Chance Create and Innovate, Clifford Chance
- Saran Kaur, Legal Technology Engagement Senior Manager, Allen & Overy LLP
- Kenny Robertson, Head of Outsourcing, Technology and IP, Legal, Governance and Regulatory Affairs, The Royal Bank of Scotland
The webinar begins with an introduction from Samantha Steer, Director Large Law Strategy at Thomson Reuters. Steer noted the set of three webinars focused on culture, client and technology. This third webinar focused on the intelligent use of technology in law firms and in-house departments.
To begin the discussion Stuart Barr, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Thomson Reuters, talked through the trends he has observed in dive efficiency with technology and how those have accelerated/decelerated by COVID-19. The panel joined in at this point to share their own experience of how technology in their world has been affected.
April Brousseau, Clifford Chance, explored how firms are leveraging their technology use-cases to commoditise work in practice and how that in turn leads to productisation. Kenny Robertson, The Royal Bank of Scotland, provided the in-house perspective and what he sees regarding new requests for technology internally and from firms.
Saran Kaur, Allen & Overy, talked about how one resources and evaluates new ideas and new technology. The panel noting the newfound desire from colleagues for technology and increasing attention to budget. Key to working with this enhanced enthusiasm for technology is the education piece: what is it that you are trying to achieve/what problem would you like to solve?
It was noted there is a lot of interest in how in-house legal team experiences are changing, and what are they looking for now that has not been a priority before. Robertson explores some of this area as the discussion closes.
Our final instalment of webinar finishes with the on-going question: What behaviours would you like to see continue post COVID-19? Similarly, to the other two webinars, the theme of identifying and bringing forward some of the new behaviours promoted by COVID-19 is key.
To listen to the webinar, click here.
Samantha Steer, Direct Large Law Strategy, Thomson Reuters
Stuart Barr, Chief Product and Strategy Officer—HighQ, Thomson Reuters
April Brousseau, Global Lead, Clifford Chance Create and Innovate, Clifford Chance
Saran Kaur, Legal Technology Engagement Senior Manager, Allen & Overy LLP
Kenny Robertson, Head of Outsourcing, Technology and IP, Legal, Governance and Regulatory Affairs, The Royal Bank of Scotland
This webinar is part of HighQ’s SmartLaw Series. To find out more about SmartLaw, click here.