In-house Lawyers are looking past the hype

LexisNexisLexisNexis UK, a leading global provider of information and analytics, has published a dedicated Insight report for in-house counsel titled ‘Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype’. Providing valuable insight to in-house teams, the report benchmarks best practice for successful legal technology adoption while the associated LexisNexis In-house Legal Tech Model helps in-house lawyers understand and optimise their current use of legal technology.

The report found that 85% of the General Counsels surveyed have introduced multiple technology types and are most comfortable using tried and tested legal insight tools. While 57% of respondents believe that technology investments have already increased their efficiency, one in five can point to a piece of recently installed technology that has had low or no usage. Despite this, 60% believe that legal technology will further improve the accuracy of legal work over the next three to five years – with 72% expecting technology to enable new data insights during that time.

Additionally, 75% of in-house lawyers expect their law firms to adopt technology and as a direct result deliver efficiency gains – specifically lower fees, increased quality and faster turnaround times. 45% of those surveyed also expect their law firms to advise on the best technology to use although 37% of General Counsels do not know what technology their law firms are currently using.

Sophie Gould, Head of In-House at LexisNexis said: “Our inaugural Insights in-house report reviews how the issue of legal technology is being approached by the UK’s in-house legal community.  The in-house role has changed significantly, and beyond being ‘a good lawyer’ general counsel now need to drive efficiencies, add real value and demonstrate commercial acumen.  Our research revealed an interesting range of operational and technological maturity across in-house legal teams, with some organisations needing to develop or consolidate their legal operations and technology landscape, while others were already developing robust infrastructure to undertake strategic and business transformation roles. The development of the Legal Tech Model was underpinned by the behaviours, characteristics and decision-making the research revealed.”

LexisNexis has identified the best practices which legal teams can apply to overcome the inertia from over-hyped legal technology expectations:

  1. Remove ambiguity: Have a clear understanding of your department’s activities and processes and utilise management information to understand key risk areas and cost categories. Only then consider where potential opportunities may lie.
  2. Start with problems: Once you know the pain points in your team or organisation which need to be addressed, it’s easier to find the right solution. While it’s harder to identify legal tech winners and losers, never be tempted to force fit solutions.
  3. Make time to innovate: Even though two in three in-house lawyers say they lack the time to understand the legal tech market, it is vital to carve out time to dedicate to innovation. Building an understanding of available solutions is critical to effectively build the business case for stakeholders.
  4. Use multi-disciplinary skillsets: Bringing in experts from other business areas will substantially increase the chances of technology gaining traction. Multi-disciplinary teams allow for richer discussions and help foster a true culture of innovation.
  5. Select partners well: Effective collaboration is key. The effective contribution of both supplier and buyer of legal technology is fundamental to success.

Sophie Gould adds: “Legal technology offers huge opportunities but these will only be realised if all parties take a transparent and collaborative approach to its adoption and integration. In-house counsel need to maximise the value from their legal service providers so it is imperative that they have a clear understanding of the technology used by their law firms, and how this can benefit them.”

Associate News is provided by Legal Futures Associates.
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