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The Looking Glass Report: Digital Technology and the Enhancement of Legal Services

  • Lithuania

    17-03-2017

    The Looking Glass report investigates trends and developments that impact senior legal leaders, both in-house and in private practice. This edition has a particular focus on how digital technologies are enhancing and transforming the delivery of legal services.

    The past decade has been a tumultuous one for the legal market. Not only did the global financial crisis “change the rules” but increased regulation, globalisation, the proliferation of data, and increased competition from new entrants have all contributed to a highly charged legal landscape, both for in-house counsel and lawyers in private practice.

    When we embarked upon this piece of research, we had every expectation that we would discover more about cutting edge technologies being used across sectors to enhance legal service provision. With the pace of change in digital technology, we felt we needed to take the pulse of the legal market to see if we ourselves were providing our clients with what they needed, and indeed to help them to share their own experiences and best practice with each other. Partnership with Winmark on their highly-regarded annual Looking Glass Report was the perfect medium for us to do so, and we are very grateful for their thorough and impartial approach.

    The research shows that the changing role of in-house lawyers is pushing them further towards the US model. This sees the lawyer becoming a trusted adviser, seated at the right hand of the CEO in strategic decision-making. The legal function’s need for technological support is to maximise efficiencies and productivity and to help it demonstrate its effectiveness at the very heart of the business.

    The top strategic priority for in-house counsel is to increase the efficiency and impact of their team. This key finding has changed little over the past decade. What has changed is that digital technologies are now a very important part of a broader package general counsel need to support them. Carefully selected technologies will allow GCs and their teams to focus on high quality, strategic work and on embedding themselves into the business, fully integrated into all levels of decision-making. Where they need most assistance is in demonstrating the vital role they can, and do, play in the success of the business.

    "In-house counsel increasingly need support with strategic and innovative thinking. Some of that support can and will be provided by digital technologies. In-house teams need to free up the highly-trained individuals within their teams to focus on work of strategic value and, increasingly, on providing business advice. The digital innovations offered by legal services providers can be instrumental in driving efficiencies to achieve this. It’s encouraging that the research results in identifying legal services providers focus on prioritising investment in technology as a strategic target. If we can provide digital services that genuinely add value to in-house lawyers, not only will it help strengthen client relationships, but also help those firms build the case for investment in their own digital technologies and training. This is something established in our business model, so we can look beyond the horizon to foresee the key changes that will effect in-house teams."

    Jonas Saladžius, Managing Partner of Eversheds Saladžius

    We have worked with a number of our clients for over a decade in helping them capture fit for purpose business metrics around legal spend and trends in legal expenditure and in applying that data to help businesses reduce legal spend and/or to make sure their money is spent in the right places. Clearly, the role of technology in allowing us to do this (and to do this in an easily presentable way) is critical and we continue to look at the right systems to enable us to give meaningful data to our clients.

    For us, our clients have always taken centre stage as drivers of change. We have tried not just to react to client need when it arises, but to look ahead beyond the horizon so we can help them to anticipate the key changes that will impact them.

    We hope you find the contents of this report interesting and useful.

     

    Disclaimer

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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