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Legal survey 2020: Technology

Legal survey 2020: Technology

A survey of legal firms saw an increase in the number of firms using technology to improve the client experience from 45% to 55%.

In a challenging legal market, firms should ensure they understand clients’ expectations when it comes to technology or risk becoming outdated and left behind by firms more willing to embrace technology. Client facing technology is about far more than static websites and email bulletins, and we expect firms to invest heavily in the coming years in solutions such as client portals, digital document execution technology, and robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Considering the above, it was of concern that the individual partners surveyed, 43% felt that they did not understand the new developments in upcoming legal technology. Current technological advancements within the legal industry may radically transform how the profession works, so it is vital that partners are aware of opportunities to future proof their firm.

It is critical that partners evaluate whether legal service delivery should continue as is and risk being outdated and inefficient compared to their competitors. For those looking to adopt technology changes and new ways of practising law, firms should ensure they have appropriate processes in place to track the return on investment for the increased spend and time to implement.

With cybercrime now the number one economic crime in Australia, organisations of all sizes, across all industries, are falling victim to data breaches. Cybercrime is a growing risk to all law firms as lawyers and the legal profession are increasingly targeted by cyber criminals due to the commercially sensitive and confidential information held. Not surprisingly, law firms have acted to protect their reputation, businesses and clients. 84% of respondents said they use firewalls and encryption and close to 50% use inhouse IT security and have a disaster recovery plan. Interestingly, the use of outsourced data security has increased to 68% compared to 48% in last year’s survey. This could be due to firms recognising the limitations of their own resources and therefore engaging external expertise.

Amongst the respondents, only 32% said they are using data analytics and insights to drive their firms forward. The main things firms are tracking are incoming referrals, financial performance, customer experience and productivity measures. Time and cost constraints, lack of awareness around data analysis technology and the perception that firms aren’t at a maturity level that warrants the introduction of new technologies are the main reasons why respondents aren’t using data analytics and insights.

Technology impacting law firms

  • Increasing AI
  • Automated document production
  • Offshore resourcing
  • Mobile work and technology platforms

This article was published in Pitcher Partners’ 2020 Legal Survey.

This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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