last three years, investment in lawtech startups and scaleups has grown by 101%. However, LawtechUK estimates that the in-house development of lawtech by legal service providers will still account for up to 20% of the total activity in the sector in 2026. The challenge for you and your team if you do decide to choose an off-the-shelf solution will be finding the right specialist provider whose solution integrates with your existing systems and suits your requirements. you have to adapt your workflow around the software, instead of building the software around your workflow. The issue is that, as Jason Boehmig, cofounder and CEO of Ironclad puts it in his interview with the FT, “Technologists, when they made software for lawyers, didn’t get it — and lawyers didn’t really use technology because it wasn’t what they wanted”. The good news is that, according to a recent report by LawtechUK, over the 2. Are we looking to commercialise our offering in the future? This is an important question to ask at the beginning of a project. If there are even remote plans to commercialise the designed, developed and tested IT solution, then having IP rights will have many benefits – as well as becoming a revenue opportunity. Building a solution yourself means you can design it around your existing business processes. It also allows you the opportunity to forge ahead of your competition, who are likely to all be using the same off-the-shelf solutions. However, if you are not planning to commercialise the solution, the next question you should ask is: “Can we afford the investment of time, resources, IT infrastructure and more to develop this?” A report by Synopsis and the Consortium for Information & Software Quality estimated that the cost of failed development projects in 2020 was $260 billion. Equally, research by Couchbase reported that nearly four out of five digital transformation projects faced failure, delays or scaled-back plans, putting the cost of failing to launch on the first SPECIAL FEATURE 45 Over the last three years, investment in lawtech startups and scaleups has grown by 101%.