Legal Technology: The role of panel firms and legal service providers

Some see the advancement of legal technology as an opportunity, others as a threat. But regardless of how you view it, there’s no doubt that it’s simply a fact of doing business in today’s rapidly-changing legal landscape.

But while it is part of day-to-day life across the industry, there’s a gap in understanding between two sides of the market: namely, between in-house legal teams and external law firms. Greater communication and understanding is required.

With this in mind, we recently surveyed over 130 in-house counsel and conducted over 20 in-depth interviews in order to find out what in-house legal teams want and expect from their law firms with regards to legal technology. And the results were revealing.

Our Head of In-House, Sophie Gould, shares these key findings in just 90 seconds in her bite-sized Crafty Counsel video.

Our report, Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype, identified three key insights from in-house teams. They want law firms to:

  • Advise on what technology the in-house team could be using to improve efficiencies;
  • Identify what legal technology they are using in order to improve their own efficiencies and pass the savings onto them, the client; and
  • Share how they’ve worked with other in-house teams to deliver value.

As those surveyed acknowledged, in-house legal teams don’t have the time necessary to explore what’s available on the market and figure out how they could best make use of it, but law firms, with their deeper pockets and broader scope, can assist here. Nearly half of those we spoke with wanted their law firms to guide and help them in this regard, providing suggestions on what to use and why.

An even greater number of those we spoke with – 75%, in fact – wanted law firms themselves to be making proper use of legal technology in order to lower their fees, improve the quality of their service, and speed up turnaround times.

However, while it’s all well and good to identify the benefits they want to receive, how are law firms to actually deliver them? Are there particular areas where legal technology can really make a stand-out difference? In short: yes. If law firms want to deliver what in-house teams want, then our research revealed three vital areas where legal tools should be used. Consistency of scoping, e-billing and contract management.

Ultimately, in-house legal teams want confidence – both in terms of what tools to use themselves, and in what they can expect from their law firms. Technology can ensure vital consistency to help them look ahead and predict the time and costs involved in legal work, providing them with much-needed stability, visibility, and trust.

Watch our 90-second exec summary video, created in partnership with Crafty Counsel, on the key learnings around the role of panel firms and legal service providers in using legal technology to benefit in-house legal departments or download our In-house Insights Report: Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype.


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