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How can you make best use of new and existing technology? What are the best practices for adopting technology? On 28th June 2017, senior in-house lawyers gathered to discuss these questions at the In-house World Café event held by LexisNexis in partnership with Gowling WLG and C&I Group.
The event was chaired by Sophie Gould (Head of LexisPSL In-house), along with Janet Day (Consultant, LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions) and Derek Southall (Head of Innovation and Digital, Gowling WLG).
The event opened with a discussion of the trends impacting in-house:
The discussion highlighted a technology wish-list for making processes more efficient:
One problem with technology is that it can lead to the creation of a large quantity of indigestible data. To be manageable, data needs to be in a scalable form and accessible in real time. However, sometimes it isn’t the amount of data that is the problem, but knowing what to do with it. The human element can very easily unwittingly sabotage even perfect technology!
The consensus from attendees was that law firms don’t use technology for the benefit of their clients. However, they are waking up to the value of a collaborative environment.
Where there is a greater union between law firms and in-house, the result is a better service. Law firms should be able to tailor their systems so that they can share relevant, usable information. If technology is designed internally for the law firm’s own needs, it contributes to a lack of transparency, whether it be costs, data or reports. Conducting a technology audit to find out what the in-house team and the law firm both use (or potentially can use) is one way of making collaboration more efficient.
Providing data to show the efficiency and cost saving benefits of technology is essential for driving a business case forward. Selling the benefits should focus on:
The challenge is also implementing change. New technology requires people to respond positively and accept different ways of working. It is important to start small and make incremental improvements when getting buy-in from the business.
The World Café provided excellent insights into how making the best use of technology is core to running an efficient in-house legal team. The team need to input into design and implementation, however technology should be owned by the business as a whole. After all, it is the business as a whole that will reap the rewards.
Read a full summary of the In-House World Café event here.
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During the event a graphic artist also captured the key points debated to produce a striking, visual interpretation of the discussion. View the full-size image here.
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Sophie is Head of Learning & Development at F-LEX Legal - an award winning legal tech startup helping law firms and organisations manage a flexible work force and supporting lawyers to make smarter life/work choices.
As part of her portfolio career Sophie runs various learning and development and networking forums for in-house lawyers and mentors junior lawyers. These include Flying Solo for small and solo legal teams and Aspire for junior in-house lawyers which she runs for LexisNexis UK. She also works with schools and organisations to promote social mobility within the legal profession, working with The Social Mobility Business Partnership and Aspiring Solicitors.
She trained as a lawyer in the City and worked as an in-house lawyer for 10 years including as Head of Legal for Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group.
Outside of work she is happily married with three sons and enjoys morning walks along the beach with her two dogs.
0330 161 1234