Posted on November 10, 2016 by staff

Legal sector ‘too slow to adapt to technology’


Converge Technology Specialists managing director Nigel Wright has said a huge section of the legal sector has been slow to adopt technology.

The only cloud computing provider to UK and Ireland law firms, Converge sponsored a BusinessCloud roundtable on tech in the legal sector.

“The top one per cent and the bottom five per cent of law firms led the charge towards technology,” Wright said at the event.

“The start-ups, the people like Sam Hall, who are young, hungry, thrusting and dynamic, get it. They can go out and set up with the latest technology that is out there, at a price point that suits them.

“Three or four years ago we decided to rip up our business model and go cloud first. That was the best decision we ever made. This if the fourth year in a row we’ve grown at 50 per cent-plus.

“The thing that sets the people in the room apart is that they’re all forward-thinking. Most of our clients are like that but most of the law firms in the legal sector aren’t like that.

“There’s still a large section of the legal community who might not be as profitable and productive moving forward because they’re not embracing the opportunity that IT is giving them.

“Law firms are slower to change than other sectors but I would say they’re catching up.”

Sarah Keegan, managing partner at the CS Partnership, said it’s as much about changing the attitudes of staff as it is about improving technology.

Her company goes into law firms and makes them more profitable by shaving time off what they do.

She said she was currently working with a “forward-thinking” law firm which had just acquired a smaller traditional firm, whose managing partner still had paper files strewn across his floor.

“As lawyers we don’t learn how to do IT,” she said. “We learn how to do law and building relationships.”

She said some law firms didn’t even have case management systems let alone reached the point where they transfer their information into the cloud.

“It’s like there are two different sectors out there,” said Keegan. “One is made up of the people around the table, who are adopting tech, and there are those who can’t even understand they should be using email.”

The legal landscape is changing and technology is at the centre of what’s happening.

Firms are looking at ways to improve profitability, increase agility and deliver excellent service to their clients.

BusinessCloud joined forces with Converge TS and several leading figures from the sector to find out how they were using tech.

We will feature the content from the legal roundtable all week.