Trends in Information and Technology - Richard Crouch, Director at LexisNexis

Trends in Information and Technology - Richard Crouch, Director at LexisNexis

 

Firstly, a confession.  I’m not a technologist. 

That’s a strange thing someone writing about trends in technology to say, I know.  You see, I am a solutionist.  I understand problems.  I work with my teams to create solutions.  Technology is almost always part of the solution – but it is the enabler, not the end result. 

 

Drive for efficiency

Deliver more for less.  Sound familiar?  LexisNexis commissioned a report at the end of last year looking at key trends around technology in the In-house sector. 49% of those companies who were in the early stages of implementing a technology strategy predicted cost saving opportunities.  Of those who already had sophisticated technology strategies, 58% expected it to drive savings. 

As ever, having a real time understanding of the use of resource means that better expectations can be set.  Human resources can be used more effectively and inefficient processes can be targeted and prioritised for process improvement.  When organisations are budget capped, or resource is limited, it is all the more important to make informed data driven decisions. 

Visualfiles, the Case Management System from LexisNexis, have recently delivered a new solution that allows firms to template likely costs and effort based on prior experience.  Firms can track the management of matters in relation to the template.  It offers real time warnings and guidance to help them identify issues earlier.

 

Compliance

The recent focus on ethical and compliance risk has required organisations to be better prepared than ever to understand and mitigate their risk exposure.  Just take GDPR.  Data breaches are complex business events with far-reaching financial and reputational consequences.  Managing incidents well, and making the right decisions on risk and reporting, requires a great deal of expertise, discipline and support.  

That’s where Lexis’ Cordery Breach Navigator comes in.  This powerful software tool combines legal expertise with clever software to help DPOs deal with potential and actual data breaches. 

Financial service regulations are nothing new in the legal sector – with anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC), taking prime headache space, but as the number of regulations and their complexity increase, so too does the need for process automation or tech solutions.  Many larger law firms are ahead of the curve, whereas some mid and small tier firms are still very manual.  This brings additional risk and is highly inefficient.

 

Speeding up workflow

Even in the world of legal research, there are tools that will automate or speed up work – for both seasoned knowledge professionals and juniors.  Increasing speed and accuracy is a burning focus for most firms.  Research software, such as LexisLibrary, marks up legislation and effortlessly allows you to see what’s been amended between versions of the law.  Think of it as track changes for legislation!

 

Data and analytics

The use of analytics in the legal market is becoming more commonplace.  Legal spend and legal trend analysis has been gaining traction in the US. This uses technology to understand how law firms service their clients.  It helps firms get a better understanding of service delivery and associated commercial models. 

In the US, LexisNexis have acquired companies like Lex Machina and Ravel to bring a big-data analytics approach to the law.  From the selection of legal counsel, to assessing cases and setting a litigation strategy based on evidence – there is huge value.  Closer to home, VisualFiles can automate file reviews.  By rapidly looking across hundreds of active matters, it can identify each instance where data is absent or inaccurate so rapid action can be taken.  It’s simple risk mitigation.

 

Streamlining processes

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is being adopted by larger B2B law firms, particularly banks and those with high volumes of back office activity that follows defined processes. Surprisingly, law firms have not been such enthusiastic adopters.    That said, at LexisNexis we’ve been using RPA to automate file loading and data checking processes.  We have seen that it improves accuracy and turnaround times.  

 

Document automation

From tools such as DocuSign, to Contract Review Systems and Contract management software - the world of legal drafting is a vibrant and growing marketplace.  LexisNexis is a significant player in this space with LexisDraft.  This tool helps lawyers to draft contracts from inside Microsoft Word.  With a click, they can easily pull in both their own and LexisNexis’ pre-written precedents.  These tools not only make drafting quicker, they substantially reduce the risk exposure.

 

Online knowledge sharing

In a world where social media dominates, it is unsurprising that dedicated legal forums are so popular.  LexisNexis run “Lex Talk” for PSL subscribers.  This is a moderated community of lawyers that facilitates conversations, the sharing of  knowledge and helps answers user’s questions.

 

Simplicity

Products just need to work.  It is not about technology.  It is about the user.  At LexisNexis, we ensure that all the products you buy work seamlessly.  Just pop your curser in the big search box and answers from both LexisLibrary and LexisPSL will come up.  Similarly, if you use LexisDraft, you’ll have easy access to all your subscribed content. 

 

It’s not the tech that matters

I passionately believe that the adoption of technology should be led by customer need.  In the legal space, the combination of technology and content is critical to success.  At LexisNexis, we want to focus on bringing you brilliant legal content.  We’ll always do our best to make sure the technology makes it as easy as possible for you to find what you need.  And soon, we’ll help you find what you didn’t know you needed.  Watch this space!

 

 

 

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About the author:

Richard Crouch is Research Solutions Director at Lexis Nexis UK.  He has many years’ experience developing content and technology-based solutions for lawyers, as well as using technology to improve the speed and accuracy with which legal content is created. In his current role he is responsible for Lexis Library and all the Lexis research content brands.