An analysis by ThoughtRiver shows why law firms should look to technology to open up new revenue streams. Of course, this company tries to promote its softwares, but the figures outlined speak clearly. Actually, these figures refer to the pre-pandemic period and, at present, have to be contextualized in the new situation, where activities and operations are slowing due to coronavirus, in Switzerland and all over the world. This situation puts law firms in a limbo of threats and possibilities, where they have to find alternative ways to generate new revenue streams and power positive growth.
Yet, even the highest-riding firms face long-term threats also before the pandemic. First of all, the alternative providers of legal services, exemplified by the Big Four professional services firms’ move into the sector with 10.000 lawyers employed globally. Secondly, the growing of in-house sector: the number of professional working in-house has more than doubled between 2002 and 2017, now amounting to 28,000, ThoughtRiver underlines. By embracing new technology, for example, general counsels can take back work such as contract review from external legal suppliers – and put competitive pressure on their panel firms. At the same time, new talents are looking for digital leader to work for.
So, only by demonstrating their use of the most powerful technology managers can expect to attract and retain top talent, offer more than their competitors and grow the business in a profitable way. Yet for too long, technology has played a minor role in law firms. Coronavirus, in this case, could be the trigger to this revolution as, just to pick an example, the majority of employers and employees are now working from home in digital workplaces.
Actually, as lots of law firms had already taken some measures, the current situation could became a continuation of this trend. As a research shows, almost two thirds (65%) of surveyed law firms ramped up investment in technology already in 2018. Some 35 per cent increased tech spend by up to ten per cent. Connecting the dots, technology could be the savior for big and small law firms to boost competition and increase their revenue.