According to Gartner, over 90% of legal firms foresee workloads increasing in the next 2 years, and nearly a quarter of in-house counsel anticipate that executive expectations will increase as well.
To keep up with increasing expectations from both sides, law firms are boosting their technology investments like never before and show no signs of slowing down.
While some might find it hard to believe that a profession which has its origins in ancient Greece and Rome is embracing new age technology, we disagree! We recently met with some of the UK’s most forward-thinking legal firms, joined by Microsoft European CTO for Professional Services, Nigel Willson, to explore the possibilities of where technology could take the legal sector in the future.
Let’s dive into some of the concepts that our attendees came up with on the day…
Addleshaw Goddard – Psychic Law
Currently, one of the most time-consuming processes at any legal firm is the horizon scanning process where researchers must examine huge amounts of information to identify potential threats, risks, emerging issues and opportunities that may affect a client.
From the disparity of information, the volume of information, the accuracy and the bespoke application knowledge, the horizon scanning process is not an overnight job.
The teams’ vision was to collate all the required information from internal and external sources and use AI to scrape through it automatically, identifying key pieces of information relevant to the client, allowing them to receive a bespoke and tailored service in no time at all.
This will increase trust and confidence between our organisation and the client as the company will be seen as a trusted business advisor and not just a legal services provider. This could also improve the breadth of data from a two-way learning process, improving accuracy of relevance and judgement.
Weightmans – FALCON
Matter allocation can be tricky at any law firm, depending on a lawyers’ capacity, experience or seniority. Not only that, case handlers have a number of manual processes to go through before a case can even be assigned to the right person. From file opening, to ordering, to deduplications, to data extraction, all this has to be done by a human and it is time consuming.
Falcon could place all documents into the cloud and, by using machine learning technology, separate them and order them chronologically. The same technology can be used to extract data from the documents and allocate cases to the right lawyer with the right specialisms.
Falcon would be built on a web app to fully optimise resources and people which could save the company millions.
Pinsent Masons – AutoDSAR
Ask anyone who works in the legal sector and they will tell you just how arduous the DSAR (data subject access request) process can be. This process involves manually extracting huge amounts of documents to find relevant data to the subject, redacting unwanted data and compiling what is needed in another document. Sounds lengthy, right?
Our team came up with a fully automated end to end DSAR solution that uses reinforced machine learning to automate the process and deliver accurate results. The platform takes data in the cloud and uses cognitive skills and document cracking to identify disclosable information.
The vision is to create a platform where no human input is required so law firms can concentrate on what matters, allowing them to serve corporates of any size and putting them ahead of the competition.
DLA Piper – Certainty. Delivered.
DLA Piper want to deliver advice quickly whilst being driven by data, making them a trusted advisor to clients around the world. Client expectations are higher than ever, they want clear certainty when making critical business decisions. They want clearly outlined legal costs and they only want to go to a single law firm for advice.
Often unexpected fees are challenged by clients, but with data to back up decisions, they can be sure their legal advisor is giving them the best service. Our team came up with the idea to develop a platform which collates data from previous transactions across all departments and uses AI technology to not only back up decisions but also provide predictions on future business decisions.
A centralised database would allow the law firm to take advantage of knowledge from all areas of the business and allow for better interdepartmental communications. The platform could be taken one step further and use deep learning extractions to spot trends in the data and feed these insights back into the business.
This future-proof technology benefits the client by managing their risks, but it also benefits the law firm as it increases profitability and client retention, securing its place as the trusted legal advisor.
It seems the digital transformation of the legal sector is hinged on harnessing the power of data and legal firms in the UK are certainly getting a grip on how it could take their business to a new level. But theses concepts are just the beginning, read our blog to find out how data is being collated and used alongside chatbot technology to leadi the legal conversation.
Posted by Kate Auchterlonie