15 January 2019

Hop on board and experience the value of legal tech and project management

2019 is the time to embrace legal tech. We expect our clients to experience the ever-growing impact of combining technology and project management. In a time where projects are becoming increasingly complex, the use of legal technology provides legal departments with the opportunity to improve their operations. A few things are clear in 2019, such as legal tech facilitating the seamless collaboration with outside counsel and providing real-time insight in all aspects of project progress. But that’s just the beginning, because the opportunities are endless. The real challenge will be to turn the promise of delivering value through legal tech and legal project management into a reality. In the coming year, law firms and legal departments will have to find out how to identify the technology they need, and how to implement the tools in their environment.

In 2018, many law firms and legal departments adopted legal technology. In 2019, this is only expected to increase in the face of the trends listed below.

1. Legal tech maturity
Legal technology is becoming more mature. Legal technology companies have successfully overcome the first teething problems and are building towards more bespoke – client faced – solutions. And these companies will continue to co-create alongside their clients to develop special features that increase value. This is will lead to attracting more clients, boosting the technology to become the dominant design.

 

2. Platformisation and integration
We expect more legal technology companies to integrate their products in collaboration platforms or in document management systems. This will make it easier for law firms and legal departments to implement tools quickly, and test if and how these tools can be used in real cases.

 

3. Shift in technology emphasis
By now, the legal sector understands that legal technology can improve daily tasks. The amount of press coverage about the benefits of legal technology has won over even the most sceptical professionals. In addition to the automation of routine work, there are high expectations for artificial intelligence and machine learning to play a larger role in forming legal strategies throughout 2019.

 

De Brauw will increasingly deploy technology and project management to put clients firmly behind the steering wheel of projects we collaborate on, and turn legal technology into value for their legal department. In 2019, we expect our clients to feel the impact in several areas:

  • Increase the use of collaboration platforms like De Brauw Connect to enable project management through progress dashboards, workflows, e-signing and task management. We use the right tools in the market, or develop tailored platforms where needed.
  • Expand the use of our tailor made Case Management Platform to manage complex international matters. The platform is being developed in close collaboration with our clients and our lawyers to suit client needs. This includes collaborating in real-time to improve efficiency, planning, communication and the transferability of information in projects, and to allow our clients to focus on management and strategy of the case.
  • Provide our clients with real time financial management information on all workstreams involved in the project (including foreign counsel and third party vendors). Our clients will be in control as we present progress in an interactive environment that shows the right information to the right people at the right time.
  • Continuous improvement of project execution based on Agile principles. We use third party vendors with a proven track record and develop tailor made solutions. This enables our clients to benefit from the latest techniques in predictive coding and other artificial intelligence applications in data review and due diligence. We also use data science capabilities to enable data-driven decision making.

Our legal project managers will provide ongoing support to identify which processes need improvement as well as to structure projects according to best practices. The focus will be on guiding and training lawyers to use the right tools, technology and practices that truly benefit the way projects are executed.

Legal technology needs to serve a concrete purpose towards the service delivery, collaboration and availability of information. With highly specialised work, we are ready to embrace the challenge of adopting the right technology to make this happen.

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