Lawyers face new challenges with legal tech
31st October 2019
Legal tech has transformed many legal jobs in London in the last few years as the investments in the technology have rocketed, almost tripling in 2018 to £61 million. However, despite the benefits that law tech brings, including an increase in efficiency and auto-documentation, the Financial Times reports the 10 largest firms with headquarters in the UK believe that technology is the most significant challenge currently facing the industry.
Due to the new challenges that come with the rise of legal tech, the desire to invest in technology has now diminished. City AM reports that the amount of law firm leaders would invest in tech projects is down 75% since 2017. HSBC UK head of professional services Chloe Clift comments to CITY AM: “While investment in technology is clearly still a priority, law firms are pulling back from new and innovative technologies to focus on their ‘business as usual’ systems that lie at the heart of operating an efficient modern law firm.
“Products and services that were previously seen as innovative tech are now, in many cases, established and require minimal additional investment. It’s also worth considering that some firms may be delaying investment decisions until the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is clearer.”
City AM also reports, that client collaboration tools take priority for tech spending, followed by systems that prevent cybercrime and artificial intelligence. Clift continues: “While an increase in revenue across law firms means that tech investment has grown in real terms, firms shouldn’t be complacent, particularly around investment in preventing cybercrime.”
The Financial Times continues to share that clients have started to demand too many services for less money and that “there has been an increase in the number of firms offering law tech products in recent years…that rise has not been matched by the rate of take-up by legal practitioners.”
Another challenge is that there are hundreds of law tech companies launching every year, making it difficult for firms to determine the best technology for their business. Andrew Klein, the founder of Reynen Court, a platform for legal technology, tells FT: “The challenge for any firm is that it’s very hard to predict the 10 most important products that are going to win.”
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