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Business Reporter: Collaboration and skills – not just technology – will transform corporate legal services
Law firms and their corporate clients have had an entirely understandable fascination with the potentially transformative power of legal technology over the last few years. This is understandable because the challenges they face are myriad, complex and developments in technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing and robotic process automation have seemed to promise quick and easy solutions.
Whether it be sifting through countless documents to conduct due diligence prior to an acquisition or leveraging the already substantial datasets available to law firms and their clients to optimize, accelerate and improve transactions, the promise of an out-of-the-box technology to immediately take uninteresting, repetitive, and low-value tasks out of the hands of lawyers and allow them to focus on business-critical issues has been, and remains, extremely attractive.
There is no doubt that there have been some successful implementations of plug-and-play products which have improved the efficiency of the way in which legal services are provided, reducing cost, improving user experience and speeding up legal processes. However, these successes have not been transformative. Huge challenges remain for both corporate legal departments and the law firms that support them, and they will not be solved by technology alone.
In an environment of ceaselessly increasing regulation and significant business challenges engendered by unforeseen shocks such as Brexit, the global pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine, corporate legal departments find themselves under increasing pressure to provide a much broader range of support to their businesses with little or no uplift in resources or investment. In short, they need to provide more for the same – or less – with, critically, no degradation in the quality of that service.
So if legal technology is not the panacea, then where should we invest effort and money to address these issues?
The answer, we believe, is in the building of multi-disciplinary teams with a broad skillset that work closely in partnership with our clients to generate, assess and develop new ways of delivering legal services to the businesses legal services, ultimately, exist to support . Technology plays an important role in this but it should be developed and implemented to fit the service, not vice versa.
That is why we have invested in our Solutions business and built teams of data-scientists, legal engineers, resourcing experts, project managers, product developers and specialists in the application of legal technology.
Working in multi-disciplinary teams with our lawyers and our clients this approach has allowed us to design the right solutions to complex client problems. These apply all that technology has to offer in terms of accuracy, speed and value for money, while retaining the assurance of our deep legal expertise.
We believe that this approach is where the real transformation will come from. It won’t come from the specific skillsets we have invested in, the processes we have developed, or the tools and technologies we have built. It will come because we are learning how to collaborate effectively across the legal sector to tackle the most intractable problems our businesses are facing today.
Share our experience of driving truly transformative change.
Originally published on Business Reporter