Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

Investment is pouring into digital transformation at legal firms. Even before the pandemic, legal tech spend had reached $1.3billion according to King’s College London; five times higher in 2019 than 2017. If your firm has not yet made strides towards this digital future, now is the time to act. Some companies have already automated many of their processes for the benefit of employees and clients alike. Without following suit, it will be easy to be left behind. The perceived complexity of digital transformation can cause firms to procrastinate. Patience is needed. It is wise to step back and consider where your firm is on its own digital journey before committing to a roadmap. It is possible to view digital transformation as a four-stage ‘wave of change’. Let’s take a look at each aspect in turn. Stage One: Early signs of transformation Rolling out digital operations often begins with establishing basic online selfservice. At this stage, clients choose the convenience of digitised engagement for simple interactions. Data and digital touchpoints allow firms to deliver higherquality services more efficiently, as well as experiences we might normally associate with eCommerce companies to better support clients’ needs. Customer-centred disruption represents an opportunity in the market for forwardthinking law firms. Those that can transform their client experiences along the lines of the digital retail model will be best placed to survive the tech tsunami that is clearly coming towards us and be set up to stay ahead when future waves hit. For example, large-scale class actions make it notoriously difficult and time-consuming to collate evidentiary statements. We are working with a US firm whose vision is to create digital services that simplify this. It collects and compiles data from victims and streamlines the process of building a case. This will reduce errors and greatly cut the complexity – and cost – of the entire process. Stage Two: Starting to feel the effects Having implemented digital services that allow firms to build stronger relationships with clients, the race will be on to enhance operational efficiency and agility. Digitising internal processes means implementing Tom Keya Founder, Soulh 71-75, Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 9JQ Special Feature As the modern business landscape demonstrates, firms that are prepared to embrace technology as a means of modernising their processes are set to thrive, while their less innovative rivals will struggle. It has never been more important for legal firms to find their footing in this new landscape. Jamie Jefferson, chief creative officer at Equator, outlines the process of effective digital transformation in law firms over four concise steps. Digital Horizons: The Four Stages of Law FirmTransformation 52 LAWYERMONTHLYOCTOBER 2022

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