Legal IT Landscapes Report 2020

This year’s Legal Practice Manager Frontiers Legal IT Landscapes report has just been released. We take a look at the results and key market indicators of intention from law firm leaders in practice management. Focussing on the technologies they believe will help them in the continued drive for differentiation in the market and delivering the best client experience possible in a world of ever-increasing competition.

Automation and integration top the list of this year’s tech focus in LPM Magazine’s Legal IT Landscapes Report.

The latest Legal IT Landscapes Report from Legal Project Management (LPM) Magazine has been released, with feedback from 85 law firms, a considerable tranche of the SME legal tech market.

The report, sponsored by tmgroup, Accesspoint and Thomson Reuters , shows existing trends in the sector and provides an insight into the top technologies law firm leaders see as being pivotal to their development in competitiveness and efficiency for the coming year.

This year’s results show a clear surge in process delivery automation and integration, particularly around case management systems and client facing technologies, such as consumer portals, as a clear driver of competition to achieve a more effective customer journey.

Those firms taking a holistic approach to aligning strategy and innovation are likely to move forward quickly, with the report warning that systems that do not talk to each other, lawyers resistance to change and the traditional partnership model being the greatest potential barriers to progress.

Kayli Olson, Editor of LPM said “Firms that do not move to adapting cloud technology will be left behind and this is likely to create an SME split between those firms that do and don’t move forward. Fewer on-premise tech solutions are being used and in the next five years in the majority rather than the minority.”

Almost a third of the firms see consumer portals as pivotal in delivering an improved client experience. This comes at a time when 20% of client complaints to the Legal Ombudsman focus on delays and hidden costs or failure to provide adequate advice or information.

In order to remain competitive with larger firms, 34% of law firms consider automation as the key to efficiency gains. What is a concern, is that investment in legal IT has remained at a static 5% of turnover over the last five years with 49% of firms surveyed believing that they are not investing enough in new technologies to benefit their clients.

Cyber security has dropped in focus since last year’s survey, but more likely because it has become standard practice rather than an additional agenda item. However, tech adoption could be driving tech fear, with conveyancing seen to hold the biggest risk potential among 43% of firms. Pricing and scoping of work in conveyancing is also seen as the worst potential area for profit generation, from 32% of firms, but conversely, the best area, with 23% of firms, next to Family law. This shows that there is huge potential for firms who get it right to stand out in the market.

Joe Pepper, CEO of tmgroup commented on the results, “These findings corroborate our own experience, we’ve seen more clients than ever have looked to use our automated services in the past 12 months, such as post completion activity in the residential conveyancing market. Unsurprisingly, time and efficiency remain a core demand of new technology solutions and the secure communication and sharing of data between these law firms, their clients and partners will be critical in protecting them in the years ahead. 

For more information: report >>Download the full Legal IT Landscapes 2020 report here.