By Legal Futures’ Associate DPS Software
Various trends are impacting law firms in 2019 and there is one common theme – technology. PWC’s Law Firms’ Survey 2018 reported that “100% of Top 10 and 40% of Top 11–25 firms view technology as the key challenge facing the legal sector over the next 2 years.”
Traditional law firms admit to not being the leaders when it comes to digital and technological advancements. However, the industry is not going to be able to hold back from being disrupted by them if legal organisations want to future-proof themselves and meet clients’ demands.
Cybersecurity and data protection
Cyber attacks are more prevalent today than ever before. The PWC Information Security Breaches Survey 2015 report states that 90% of large organisations and 74% of small organisations have encountered a security breach.
The results of PWC’s Law Firms’ Survey 2018, found that 86% of Top 10 firms, 80% of Top 11–25, 92% of Top 26–50 and 86% of Top 51–100 firms are either extremely concerned or somewhat concerned about this threat.
Cloud-based practice management software is the answer to concerns over cybersecurity and data protection, with features such as certified file storage, secure sharing portals and essential backup and recovery. Many law firms have transferred over to DPS Cloud for these exact reasons.
Agile working is becoming paramount for the law industry. Lawyers want to be working on their commute, be able to access cases when they are visiting a client or in court, as well as work from home.
Cloud solutions, such as DPS Spitfire, afford this flexibility and allow real-time access across a range of digital devices.
Clients, and solicitors for that matter, don’t want to be spending unnecessary time on the phone for updates. Clients expect to be able to access portals online where they can see exactly where their case is up to. They want to upload documents digitally rather than putting them in the post.
By investing in law practice management software this is becoming possible and increasing client and employee satisfaction.
Brexit is on everyone’s minds. The results from the PWC report are interesting, though. Law firms aren’t worried about having to reduce headcounts or move locations. It’s the regulatory and structural aspects that are causing more concern, with all Top 10 firms having a committee focused on these aspects alone.
Organisations with such committees in the other bandings are lower but remain significant: 73% of Top 11–25 firms, 46% of Top 26–50 firms and 29% of Top 51–100 firms. Organisations are all too aware that if and when Brexit does happen, they will need to be prepared and move quickly to ensure business continuity.
As these trends develop and law firms change in the face of digital disruption, keeping abreast of technological advancements will be one of the main ways to future-proof law firms.