Legal Features

AI in the law – The industrialisation of cognition

Richard Tromans

I saw the future of the legal industry in a warehouse in Shoreditch. That perhaps sounds like an unusual thing to say about a $700bn global market, but after visiting a legal tech company recently in London’s most dynamic quarter, the true scale of what could happen to the legal sector was laid bare. What I saw is not the end for all lawyers, but instead an artificial intelligence (AI) whirlwind hitting the current world of paralegals and junior associates, whose working lives may very well be about to turn upside down.

August 1st, 2016

So, you want to list your law firm on the stock market?

Jonathan Thornton

The headlines sound marvellous to hard-pressed law firm partners (don’t all weep tears of sympathy into your beer): “Gateley partners to share £25m”. Wow. An exit route and, what’s more, a means of realising a goodwill value for your practice, as well as the return of your capital. What law firm partner could want more? Well, the substance, of course, is probably far removed from that glossy appearance, or at least a good deal more complicated.

June 12th, 2015

Mapping your contracting process – part two

Martin Brenig-Jones

Process maps can take a number of different forms and, depending on complexity, involve numerous sub-processes. Commonly used forms include swimlane diagrams, value stream maps, organisational process structures and the more comprehensive ‘SIPOC’ models (which details the interplay between Suppliers, Inputs, Process steps, Outputs and Customers).

April 22nd, 2015

Mapping your contracting process – part one

Radiant Law

Not many lawyers would consider themselves masters of process. When lawyers talk about their work, they typically focus on ‘high-value’ activities such as advocacy and counselling. But the truth is process is a massive part of what lawyers actually do on a day-to-day basis.

March 10th, 2015

Beautiful law: how design and visualisation can make law simpler, useful and even fascinating

Why couldn’t law be designed by designers as well? Designers, humans being who love beauty and keep users in mind. It seems we’re getting there. When faced with the inner ugliness of the laws, some designers decided to put design methods to use. With a bold intent: make the existing laws simpler, user friendly and beautiful. And they invented that thing that we’ll be calling legal design from now on.

January 26th, 2015

Thought leadership: does it really have an impact?

Fiona_Czerniawska - Final

Get any group of professional services marketeers together at the moment and the conversation quickly turns to thought leadership, that rather grandiose term some people use for the publications which litter (more of that later) the websites of most major law firms.

October 7th, 2014

Danger: diversity monitoring and data protection

diversity - paperchain people

It’s the hottest summer since the end of the Ice Age and the cold dark misery of winter seems a long way off. Try, if you can, to cast you mind forward to January 2014. A depressing month at any time, we can rely on the SRA to make January just that little bit less endurable – last January it was the COLP and COFA regime, next year it’s diversity monitoring.

August 16th, 2013

The collapse of In-Deed should give hope to conveyancers

for sale sign

It came as a major surprise to many in the industry when In-Deed closed for business. Despite a difficult trading period, with over £1m in cash on its balance sheet the company appeared in better health than many conveyancing practices. The closure marked a swift rise and fall in fortune for one of the poster children of liberalisation of the legal market.

July 9th, 2013

Do small law firms have a brand?

Thayne Forbes lo-res

Brands are not just for big firms. Thayne Forbes argues that they can work for smaller practices as well, explaining how to create one, where the value lies, ensuring it appeals to your target market and the risks of adopting a marketing collective’s brand instead.

April 15th, 2013

Making alternative business structures work

Chemistry Mix

Lawrence Cook, director of marketing and business development at Thesis Asset Management – which was once owned by and is still linked to south-east law firm Thomas Eggar – outlines their experience of joint ventures with solicitors.

September 4th, 2012

File reviews – are they really necessary?

Corinne small

Since the introduction of the SRA Handbook, firms have been asking whether they should introduce or improve a file review system. Corinne Staves, a senior associate at Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP, considers the issues.

July 19th, 2012

Everything you wanted to know about ABS applications but were literally afraid to ask

Samantha Barrass

Seven alternative business structures in more than five months does not seem to be a great achievement on the part of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and increasingly Legal Futures has been hearing complaints about delay and a lack of transparency in the process.

June 22nd, 2012

Actual – Budget = Catastrophe

Andy Ellis

Andy Ellis, the managing director of Practico and the costs lawyer who acted for the defendant News Group Newspapers in the Henry costs management case, highlights the key lessons from the ruling.

May 17th, 2012

Direct public access – a chance for barristers and solicitors to work together, not against each other

inns of court

With more and more barristers capable of serving the public directly, it may seem like public access is only going to lead to greater competition with solicitors. But, argues senior clerk Scott Baldwin, there is actually a business opportunity here that could benefit both sides.

May 16th, 2012

Pass the parcel: should you indemnify your COLP?

ticking bomb

Allison Wooddisse, head of LexisPSL Practice Compliance, looks at the whether and how law firms should indemnify COLPs against adverse consequences from taking on the role. Many COLPs are feeling jumpy but an indemnity is not as straightforward as it may appear.

February 13th, 2012