PwC law firm report 2018

The UK survey results are presented by size of firm using the bandings Top 10, Top 11-25, Top 26-50 and Top 51-100. Our report is based on survey responses from firms at consistent response rates to prior years. We have also drawn upon selected information from our quarterly survey and, where relevant, other published financial information. This summary document focuses on the key findings from our survey. All key data and charts are available through our online tool which participants are able to access. Our thanks are due, as always, to the firms which participated in this survey. 
Read more at PwC...

Law firm of the future

Several news items, reports and articles in recent weeks have provided insights that should make traditional law firms nervous.  Here’s what caught my eye...
Read more at Patrick J Lamb's Blog...

Nicole Black

Here’s a retrospective on my focus here on Legal IT Pros since last January. While not all encompassing, it offers a (hopefully) instructive glimpse into a small sliver of the legal technology world and provides some insight on what to expect in the upcoming year.
Read more at Legal IT Professionals...

The law firms of the future

A recent panel discussion has heard from key representatives on whether the law firm model remains viable in today’s legal market considering that technology continues to climb.
Read more at Lawyers Weekly...

Whats a lawyer

Lawyers like to define terms, so how do they define themselves? Fewer lawyers will have traditional ‘practice’ careers, and many will work in hybrid practice/delivery roles that require a combination of practice and delivery skills. Legal delivery is not simply about lawyers anymore, and ‘just knowing the law’ is an insufficient toolkit for lawyers to function effectively in the new legal marketplace. 
Read more at Forbes magazine...

Ross gets huge funding for AI IBM Watson project

At its core, ROSS is a platform that helps legal teams sort through case law to find details relevant to new cases. This process takes days and even weeks with standard keyword search, so ROSS is augmenting keyword search with machine learning to simultaneously speed up the research process and improve relevancy of items found.
Read more at TechCrunch...

Legal World connected

All growing international firms will adopt the law firm network model (to some degree) to manage their global businesses from now on...
Read more at The Lawyer...

implementing standard processes in law firms

Over the last few years, and increasingly more so over the last few months, the world as we know it is changing at a rapid pace around us. I recently saw a webinar which alluded to the fact that students embarking on legal studies from this point onwards would be wasting their time and money. As a legal professional, the thought of being part of a soon to be extinct species, is daunting. But truth be told, I agree things are evolving and I believe, we need to as well. 

HiiL Innovating Justice

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) is delighted to announce the seven Southern Africa semi-finalists for our annual HiiL Justice Accelerator (HJA).

Blockchain in law firms

I contend that blockchain technology is going to disrupt many businesses and industries and the legal profession just might be next. Although there are many appealing characteristics of blockchain technology for lawyers, perhaps the best one of all is that it can secure information in an immutable and transparent ledger.
Read more at Forbes...

Richard Susskind speaks to George Miller

In the latest episode of the Oxford Law Vox podcast Richard Susskind talks to George Miller about the gaining momentum of technology and AI in the law profession. They discuss just how vital it is that lawyers learn to reinvent themselves and work alongside technology.
Read more at OUPBlog...

Online Communities

Online communities will revolutionize the law. Many lawyers are understandably skeptical about the role that they might play. But, if law firms are going to take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the pitfalls, they will need to have a strategy to engage with them.
Read more at Legal Technology Today...

Artificial Intelligence in Law

In the film ‘Back to the Future II’, Doc Brown tells our hero Marty McFly: “the justice system works swiftly in the future now that they've abolished all lawyers.” Doc was referencing an imagined 2015, but in 2016 lawyers are far from being abolished. The legal profession, traditionally slow to embrace technology, is now at least partly embracing the opportunities associated with algorithm driven computer technology. At either end of the opinion spectrum there are two main schools of thought: 1) AI spells the end of the legal profession versus 2) AI provides the profession with opportunities it should embrace. (View the Infographic)
Read more at Law in Order...

SWIFT testing blockchain for interbank transactions

An announcement Thursday (Jan. 12) said SWIFT will launch a proof-of-concept test to explore the use of blockchain technology for cross-border payments and settlements by banks. Described as a “research effort,” the move is part of its overall global payments innovation (GPI) initiative, SWIFT noted, which explores innovative technologies to streamline and accelerate interbank payments used to move money across borders.
Read more at Pymnts.com...

legal tech for 2017

We can’t help it. At year-end we commit to change (12,000 steps a day, I’m looking at you). On top of personal goals, many attorneys resolve to improve their practices. We commit to fewer hours, quicker meetings, better marketing and ROI.

Whatever your goals, consider how technology will help you. Below, I detail why tech competence is important to attorneys, some common tech questions to ask and how attending a legal technology show is a good way to kick-start solutions.
Read more a Buffalo Law Journal...

Disruptive technology in the legal sector

New disruptive technology for business allows routine tasks to be automated, driving efficiencies in a number of different sectors and allowing for better cost predictability and service quality for clients. In the legal market, it’s doing away with outdated, manual and time-consuming tasks that are better left to technology.
Read more at the Samsung Insights Blog...

AI in law firms interview

Veteran class action litigator Garry Mathiason, a short time ago, traded his management role as firm chairman for a new challenge, co-chairing the firm’s emergent Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Automation practice group. Mathiason recently sat down in his San Francisco office with ALM Director of Intelligence Dirk Olin to discuss the new group as well as the brave new world of the law machine.
Read more at Inside Counsel...

Lawyers and AI working together

Yes, artificial technology is rapidly improving — and true ,  AI will invade the legal business before you know it — but futuristic AI-infused robot lawyers aren’t going to replace legal pros anytime soon. AI-based tools and technologies created and customized for legal work are coming for sure, though.
That’s good news. AI-enabled software can use pattern recognition and extreme machine learning algorithms to help legal pros work faster. Their capability digest vast amounts of information and interpret it can help you work smarter, too.
Read more at aNewDomain...

AI not going to replace lawyers

Technology will continue to transform the legal profession but artificial intelligence (AI) will not play a significant role, legal experts have debated. In a lively discussion hosted by Thomson Reuters on whether AI will have a radical impact on the legal profession, panellists disagreed as to how close a design could come to replicating a lawyer.
Read more at Solicitors Journal...

e-discovery is next big thing in legal technology

Electronic Discovery, or e-discovery, is one of the oldest and possibly most mature of technologies in the legal technology landscape – and it’s primed to be the next big thing. Thanks to evolving technology and recent financing activity in the sector, new and exciting advancements are on the horizon.
Read more at Right Brain Law...

robot lawyersIn 2014, CNN ruffled quite a few feathers by publishing an article, which effectively launched what I like to call the “Robot Lawyer Revolution.” This idea - that many tasks performed by lawyers were rote and could be more cost-effectively handled by AI technology - began to steadily gain momentum.
Read more at Legal IT Professionals...

law frim of the futureThe traditional model of a law firm is in a state of disruption and the future law firm will be driven by leaders who understand technology, efficiency and innovation. The legal sector is changing rapidly and will continue to transform rapidly.
Read more at Gadget...

D. Casey FlahertyEverything is obvious once you know the answer. Humans excel at recognizing after-the-fact inevitability. We reconstruct a logical chain of causation that seems to suggest the outcome was predictable. Yet, we are terrible at actual prediction because even when we can successfully separate the signal from the noise—no small feat—we are still only left with probabilities, not certainties.
Read more at Legal Rebels...

tech trends for law firms for 2016PwC’s UK Law Firm Survey 2015 indicated that 95% of law firms plan to invest in IT in 2016 to improve efficiency and that the Top 10 firms interviewed feel they are winning against competition because they are investing in technology. Experts suggest that cloud adoption, communication and the emergence of alternative business models look to be the three dominant trends for legal tech in 2016.
Read more at Legal Support Network...

Law firm whats hot and what notThis, our 27th annual report, has been the most difficult of all to write because of the volume of continuous, sometimes conflicting, changes affecting the legal profession — which many firms still have not recognized or accepted. As always, “What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession” is based on information we compile throughout the year, not only from clients and many other firms but also from surveys, legal departments and providers of legal services and support to law firms and their clients.
Read more at Attorney at Work...

artificial intelligenceThe recent media frenzy about artificial intelligence (AI) has been unavoidable. This vision has perhaps come a step closer with the arrival of IBM Watson and Richard Susskind's latest book, The Future of the Professions, which predicts an internet society with greater virtual interaction with professional services such as doctors, teachers, accountants, architects and lawyers.
Read more at LegalWeek...

niche law practiceIt’s no secret that the legal marketplace is in turmoil. The combination of tight-fisted consumers, an oversupply of lawyers, and increased competition from nonlawyers has created the perfect storm in the legal market. In this competitive environment, lawyers must distinguish themselves from the competition in order to claim a bigger piece of the pie. One way to do this: Build a niche law practice says Jeramie Fortenberry.
Read more at the American Bar Association...

thomson reuters partners with ibm watsonNEW YORK — Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have announced that they have entered into an agreement to enhance customer solutions across Thomson Reuters using Watson.

Uber legal in the futureMy friend the wonderful Fred Banning at Pinsents posted on Pulse yesterday about his view of a legal 'Uber' (the disruption benchmark de jour), but I'm worried that he, and many others, are missing the point about what's really disruptive about Uber-style models and why they are more threatening to 'traditional' law firms - and to tomorrow's lawyers.
Read more at Legal Support Network...

Watson AI LawRecently in New York, Adam Smith Esq had the opportunity to invite a couple of dozen law firms to 'An Introduction to IBM Watson' at the brand new $1bn IBM Watson facility down on Astor Place. This is not going to be a report on that event, except insofar as it helped advance our thinking on the general concept of 'machine learning,' it is a primer on the need for machine learning in a world of big data, and how it is emerging as a mainstream management tool.
Read more at Legal Business...

uber taxi lawyerIt is not the threat of Uber per se, of course, that looms over lawyers but, rather, the “collaborative economy” that Uber personifies. The term describes a new economic model built on distributed networks of connected individuals and communities rather than centralized institutions. In the shared economy model, individuals are connected to communities by technology that enables them to deploy underutilized assets the community can tap into in real time and cost effectively.
Read more at Bloomberg BNA...

law firm tendering for businessFinding a lawyer when you need one can be a tricky task, but Lawtendr wants to make the process a little easier. You post the issue you’d like a lawyer to handle for you, whether it’s a case or research or something else, lawyers bid on the task, and you choose the one you want to work with. Lawtendr is easy to use. Just sign up for an account, post the job you’d like to ask a lawyer to handle for you (along with the details, start and end dates, and your budget) and then wait for lawyers near you to bid on the task. The service operates in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia, and because laws vary from one state or province to another, the service makes it clear that you should work with lawyers near you in order to get the best possible representation.
Read more at LifeHacker...

bean counters attacking legal marketConsulting has its Big Three; accounting the Big Four; and executive search a Big Five. But there is no corresponding clutch of dominant law firms. None has amassed as much as 0.5% of an industry with global revenues of around $650 billion a year. Even the biggest law firms may be anachronistically inefficient. They are run by lawyers, not professional managers, insist on charging by the “billable hour” rather than by results and use little technology more advanced than e-mail. Nonetheless, most big law firms have continued to be highly profitable.
Read more at The Economist...

futureWhile all of this is scary to think about for young lawyers, it could be tantalizing indeed for law firm leaders and, especially, their corporate clients. Since at least the recent recession, that group has done endless hand-wringing (more, even, than the hand-wringing that has gone into predicting the future of law) over the tremendous expense of training associates. But why worry about that tortuous process...
Read more at Law360...

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