How Clients Perceive Law Firm Transformation & Innovation Initiatives

Last month, Jo Summers presented at the Janders Dean ‘Break The Law – Make The Law’ conference, an invite-only gathering of ‘disruptors, innovators and fire starters’ from across the legal ecosystem. The topic was a reality check for law firms and a window into the world of in-house technology and innovation, drawing on the latest results from our annual GC survey, Sharplegal.

A few highlights:

  • Clients are becoming more analytical and data-driven in measuring their own success – they want predictability and are measuring law firm performance on more than just cost
  • Less than one in 10 are getting innovation from their law firms – a very small number of firms are seen as truly innovative
  • Alternative legal service providers are a rising threat with a huge technology advantage over law firms
  • Law firms have the advantage of talent, for now… only six of the 23 qualities clients value the most relate to the individual’s expertise. What’s missing? Technology skills. 
  • Technology plays a significant role – clients gave hundreds of specific examples of innovation they see, from image analysis software to portals for unregistered trademarks. It is essential to recognize that what’s innovative to one may not be to another.   

We know that the drivers of change are profound; innovation is here to stay and the future of law is changing at a fast pace. Law firms are behind the curve – clients are innovating faster and alternative legal service providers pose a real threat with deep pockets to keep going. Are firms failing to innovate or failing to communicate effectively enough about what they are doing? 

A substantial opportunity exists NOW for firms to differentiate if they can handle the required culture change and collaborate with clients. The quick win lies in upskilling people, ensuring they can talk authentically about the firm’s innovative offering and start the conversation. 

To learn more about how you can access the latest innovation insights, contact Lizzy Duffy

For Acritas speaker information and fees, contact Summers


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