A typical law firm in the future will accommodate a new generation of disruptive technologies, such as virtual assistants, machine learning and automation, but legal services must not lose their human touch, a major Law Society report on technological innovation has urged.
The global legal market is small by comparison with other markets and this is deterring some technology companies from investing in it, but only technology can service the “vast unmet legal need” in the future, according to a leading lawtech commentator.
Free2Convey, the conveyancing portal designed as a free rival to the Law Society’s failed portal Veyo, is to relaunch itself to conveyancers, estate agents and the public “within weeks”, it has emerged. Matt Lancaster, who has led work on the portal, said he hoped it would be used by most conveyancing firms by the end of this year.
The Legal Software Suppliers Association has ended its agreement with conveyancing portal Free2Convey, it has emerged. Free2Convey was set up by the LSSA last autumn as a rival to the Law Society’s failed conveyancing portal Veyo.
The spread of virtual assistants will not remove the need for lawyers but it will reduce their number, the chief executive of Riverview Law has predicted. Karl Chapman said he was “amazed” by the number of lawyers doing things they did not need to do.
There is a big gap in the way partners and fee-earners at medium-sized law firms view where they work, including “an exaggerated sense of progressiveness among decision-makers”, a new report has found. Partners were far more confident than fee-earners that their firm had a “clear strategy for the future”.
Law firms that fail to prepare for change are likely to become “no longer sustainable” beyond a “tipping point” around the year 2020, a report by accountants Deloitte has predicted. It said fewer “traditional lawyers” would be needed in the future, but there would be more sales executives, project managers and technology experts.
A City solicitor who qualified at Ashurst has set up a contract lawyer and paralegal matching service designed particularly for firms needing help with e-discovery. Toby Gascoyne said the web platform was currently working with three law firms and around 100 lawyers and paralegals.
Pekama, a legal tech company with investment from law firm Taylor Vinters, has launched a mobile app which it believes will trigger a “big change” in the way lawyers communicate. Zeev Fisher, the chief executive of Pekama and a solicitor, said the app had been tested by three law firms.
Free2Convey, which began as a free rival to failed conveyancing portal Veyo, is to formally launch to all conveyancers at the start of next month. Matt Lancaster, chair of Legal Software Suppliers Association, said the aim was to “create a trusted community”.