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Weathering the storm

Weathering the storm

Much has been written late of the winds of change blowing shrilly around the UK’s legal landscape. What with closures of courts, the demands of the Jackson report, Alternative Business Structures and the sharp blades of cost-cutting making themselves felt, there have been dire predictions that the high street firm in particular is heading for an early grave.

And yet! It appears there are means for firms and chambers of any size to weather the considerable legal storms of recent years – with (not to stretch a metaphor until it breaks) the help of the legal tech umbrella.

A piece in The Times recently has emphasised the need for law firms to reinvent themselves, in the light of major changes across the legal sector, citing investigations into how IT can be used to create alternatives to lengthy and costly court processes, and how to improve the use of technology for court user.

Meanwhile over in the Gazette, an article remembers famed legal commenter Patrick Susskind’s foreboding predictions that the end of the high street firm was nigh, and points out he was (unusually) way off the mark: high street firms remain a constant and in some cases a thriving presence.

And what has enabled these smaller firms to weather the storm? Legal tech, and a willingness to implement IT innovations which can allow firms to punch well above their weight. Tech has, says the Gazette, “enabled them to strengthen their market presence and client relationships; enhance, deliver and promote their services; and differentiate themselves from faceless commercial enterprises entering the legal market.”

Whilst a strong online presence and savvy social media use has been a mainstay of most firms and chambers for some years, it’s the use of software and cyber-security innovations which accounts for this cheering trend. Practice management software can streamline and speed up working processes to an extent impossible only give years ago, while 24-hour secure-access to files allows lawyers to work on-the-go, from home – whenever and wherever the client demands. Meanwhile, smaller firms that once lacked resources to scrutinise the increasingly vast quantities of evidence can use eDiscovery packages that place them readily on par with major firms.

So it seems that for once the legal profession can bask in good news: true, there’s been a remarkable amount of wind and weather of late, but plenty of places to shelter. If you are keen to ensure you make the most of legal tech and ensure your chambers or firm is equipped to survive whatever the storms may come, Legastat is ready to work with you as professional litigation support partners (with a very large legal tech umbrella!).