Why law firms need to embrace automation in 2024

Perfect PortalBy Legal Futures Associate Perfect Portal

The legal sector has had to navigate a multitude of challenges, including the cost-of-living crisis. However, UK household incomes are set to see a slight increase in 2024 due to falling inflation, interest rate cuts and tax reductions. The EY Item Club has upgraded its outlook for UK growth to 0.9% from 0.7% that was previously predicted last October.

On top of this, Foxtons surveyed 1,002 UK home sellers on their priorities for moving and 73% said they feel more motivated to tackle the move in 2024. The latest Bank of England data revealed that mortgage approvals have climbed for the second consecutive month as buyers return to the market following a hold on interest rates and we’re already seeing mortgage lenders react accordingly with rate reductions. Whilst this property listings surge does bring positivity to the industry, 2024 is still going to have its share of challenges, but what does this mean for the legal sector?

Data is showing the legal sector is to experience some growth in 2024 across most areas of law and the recent news of predicted increased transaction volumes is set to take this growth even further. This prediction shows the legal sector’s resilience, ability to adapt and move forward.

However, with growth comes change and adaptability to client expectations, and these are higher than ever. Not only are clients expecting faster response times, improved value and greater transparency on price and efficiency, but they are also placing a high importance on receiving expertise and the strength of the relationship between client and law firm as discussed in Thomas Reuters’ report on the State of the UK Legal Market. However, due to the growing number of tasks a legal professional is expected to complete, this can make building lasting relationships difficult, but this is where legal tech plays a key role in freeing up their time.

Technology is only going to keep growing, as are client demands. No longer do clients want to have to make time to come into a law firms office to provide legal documentation or having to chase for an update on their matter. By implementing technology, law firms will take this stress away not only from their clients, but also their staff. Mike Leeman, Managing Partner at Bell Lamb & Joynson, agrees that technology is imperative for law firms “‘Meeting client’s expectations are paramount. When they can do everything at the click of a button from banking, booking holidays, shopping and more, they will expect the same from their lawyer.  Failure to meet those client expectations will no longer be an option.  Firms simply have no option but to invest in technology and their people to ensure that they can meet client expectations.”

Whilst there’s a lot of discussion around Artificial Intelligence in the industry, embracing the race toward automation is imperative for a law firm’s success in the modern climate. Also utilising features such as quote calculators provides your clients with the price transparency they expect.

When we look at the challenges facing the legal industry, specifically the conveyancing sector, going into 2024, there are a few key areas. The economic climate has certainly had an impact on the sector, but this is hopefully set to improve as the economy begins to settle following the impact of the pandemic and cost of living crisis. On top of this, the length of time it takes to complete a transaction is a major challenge for estate agents, surveyors, and lenders. Following on from the launch of the DPMSG (Digital Property Market Steering Group) in September last year, who are set on digitising the property market, they have now set out a roadmap for future direction.

Whilst the roadmap is a positive step in the right direction, collaboration between the group and existing legal technology companies needs to continue to grow as many companies are already implementing these changes for law firms, including Perfect Portal.

Attracting and retaining talented legal professionals, especially in the conveyancing sector, has proven to be difficult at times and this is expected to continue into 2024. Legal professionals have stated that the ever-increasing admin burdens and the amount of time they either spend chasing or being chased has proven to be a huge challenge for them – and this is a key area where legal technology comes into play.

At Perfect Portal, we’re here to assist law firms through the property market resurgence. By leveraging our integrated system law firm’s will capture, manage, and convert leads efficiently, creating a seamless transition from initial contact to a fully branded onboarding process, which therefore empowers law firms to focus on what they do best – practising law.

One of the many ways we have helped law firms navigate client’s experience is our branded app. By introducing a branded app at the beginning of the transaction, clients have a single, secure platform for all necessary actions, accessible anywhere. The app also facilitates better communication between the solicitor and the client, creating a more efficient and guided journey – which ultimately helps law firms win more business and allows time for providing technical expertise.

In addition to technical expertise, Perfect Portal stays at the forefront of innovation by elevating professionalism within the legal sector. From automated onboarding and updates to secure document sharing, and transparent fee quoting, we’re equipping law firms with the tools they need to enhance their professional image and forge lasting client relationships.

Looking ahead to how Perfect Portal are set to continue to improve the industry throughout 2024 and beyond, we have some exciting releases coming. We really understand the struggles in the market and how unsteady it is, so we are implementing some new features to help improve this.

Conveyancing isn’t the only area of law that is experiencing challenges, so for multi-practice law firms with specialisations across various areas of law, we have developed detailed Intake Forms. These dynamic digital forms will allow firms to optimise every opportunity outside of residential conveyancing by enhancing lead capture and management whilst efficiently gathering crucial client and matter details. With this, firms can prequalify their client, equipping them with key information that empowers them to make informed decisions about resource, client expectations and even tailored quoting if they wish. We’re dedicated to assisting your law firm in enhancing lead capture and management while efficiently gathering crucial client and matter details, for areas beyond residential property law. Our system enables prequalification of client information, empowering law firms to make informed decisions about their capacity to take on clients. This process will tailor any supplementary digital questionnaire accordingly, enabling law firms to gather information that aligns with the client’s specific requirements.

For conveyancers, we have created a best practice Buyers and Sellers Questionnaire that can be sent out from conversion onwards. This will allow your client to easily complete the questionnaire digitally within your firms own branded app at a much earlier stage of the process allowing firms to navigate the increased transaction volumes in 2024.

2024 is set to be a year of property market resurgence therefore, the pivotal role of technology in law firms cannot be overstated. Perfect Portal stands at the forefront ready to support legal professionals, empowering them to navigate and embrace the evolving landscape with confidence and efficiency – and ultimately helping them win more business.

Want to find out more about Perfect Portal? Visit: Book a Demo | Perfect Portal UK


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