The legal IT landscape is constantly changing. Law firms must embrace innovation and new technology, or face being left behind.
Leading legal management publication Briefing spoke to leaders in finance, IT, operations, KM, innovation and marketing/BD at legal firms to gain an understanding of where the intersection lies of law firm business strategy and technology.
Creating client-facing products and services
Creating better service delivery through automation, process, etc.
We don’t have any dedicated innovation investment
Another focus entirely
When it comes to 'innovation' teams or initiatives, in your firm what is innovation investment focused more on:
In comparison to previous years, there’s been a shift in terms of money expenditure within innovation tasks. 2018 saw a perfect balance between ‘client-facing products and services’ and ‘creating better service delivery through automation and process improvement’, both at 37%. However, of the two, ‘creating client-facing products and services’ has shot ahead to become the main priority.
This survey has shown that firms are increasingly shifting the focus of their innovation efforts towards being client-facing. The growth in innovation spending is highlighted by the fact that just 11% of firms had no dedicated innovation investment, compared to 20% in the previous year.
Are you seeing an increase in the number of clients performing security audits on you?
There’s been an increase in recent years of clients auditing law firms in order to reassure themselves that their data is secure. This is because vulnerabilities exist throughout the chain of processes that clients and firms interact through.
But, is the perception of the threats that are out there changing?
This research highlights a distinct concern from respondents, as 87% stated they had seen an increase in the number of clients performing security audits on them. The previous years’ number at 72% was already high, but the rise in auditing suggests that clients are more concerned now.
Other law firms like mine (‘standard competition’)
Bigger firms than mine
Big Four or other large consulting businesses
In-house / client
Businesses that sell a combo of technology and contract lawyering
Legal technology-based / online new businesses
Smaller legal businesses taking particular areas of work
Accountancy firms generally (excluding Big Four)
Pure-play contract / freelance lawyer businesses
Which kinds of competitor are the most threatening to your firm's future?
For businesses service leaders, ‘standard competition’ (similar law firms) is considered the most threatening to their firms’ futures. This ‘standard competition’ is those firms who operate a similar business model with relatively familiar ground and with 29% of respondents, it marks a small increase from last year’s figure of 26%.
Stuart Whittle, business services and innovation director at Weightmans, defined it as “firms who operate in our version of the legal market, where we have expertise and they have similar expertise, looking to work for similar clients.”