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Legal Innovation Briefing - February edition

February 05, 2018


Partners Simon Vannini
Senior Associates Louise Taylor
Management Caroline Ferguson

Legal innovation & technology Digital & new technologies

Welcome to the first edition of the Legal Innovation Briefing, a monthly selection of insights and updates curated for in-house legal teams.

With so much happening in the legal innovation space at the moment, the Briefing is designed to bring the most helpful information, processes and tips directly to you. 

We want to keep you up-to-date with all the latest legal technology developments. But it’s not all about artificial intelligence. A lot of the best transformational work being done in the legal sector is decidedly non-tech and accessible - as the Telstra example below illustrates.

We would love to talk with you about your ideas and plans.

The big idea: how Telstra eliminated low-value, non-strategic legal work

With all the buzz around artificial intelligence, data and blockchain, it is easy to forget that tactics for improving efficiency and increasing value can sit on a spectrum, from non-tech to fully tech-enabled. 

One of our favourite examples of an in-house team seeing big benefits from non-tech efforts is the Telstra legal team - through a focused innovation programme they have eliminated 40,000 hours of low-value, non-strategic work. 

Key parts of the programme included reducing the number of internal lawyer only meetings, and reducing the time spent on reporting and reviewing internal communications.

In order to reduce the number of lawyer only meetings, they made a clear distinction between information sharing and decision making meetings. They then put certain parameters around the types of meetings. For example, for decision-making meetings, the invitation needs to specify the decision to be made, only relevant people are to be invited and all relevant information needs to be circulated and read in advance. In terms of information sharing meetings, these were restricted to a maximum of 2.5 hours a week.

These parameters led to a 52% reduction in the time the legal team spent in meetings. More importantly, 80% said they were more productive.

Happenings: launch of LegalTechNZ

Insightful presentations and lively panel discussions made for successful launch events in Auckland and Wellington of the newly formed LegalTechNZ. 

There is a lot of interest in the New Zealand legal sector about how technology can be better leveraged. LegalTechNZ is aiming to help drive increased understanding and adoption of new approaches and solutions that can add value to all those involved in the legal system. 

It was great to see a wide range of attendees at the events including students, in-house lawyers, legal tech providers, private practice lawyers and clients. 

Further information about LegalTechNZ and its programme for 2018 will be provided in the New Year. For now, be sure to join the LinkedIn Group.

What we are up to: workshops and events to help you get ahead in 2018

Our annual Tech Predictions INSIGHTS masterclass will be held on Tuesday 27 March from 8.00 - 9.00am.

In the session, Simon Vannini, Richard Watts and Louise Taylor will look at the top predictions for the technology sector for 2018, and what these ideas mean for New Zealand businesses and consumers. Click here to register.

Simpson Grierson’s Business Transformation team has a lot planned for 2018. Look out for details on workshops focused on:

•    how legal teams can effectively engage with agile processes 
•    knowledge sharing within and across departments
•    tips for making effective process improvements. 

We are also running a designathon event in collaboration with the University of Auckland to come up with new solutions to legal challenges.

Digest: essential reading

Unlocking the value in your data - insightful piece from Ben Gardener, Chief Scientific Officer at Wavelength Law on how legal teams can take a smarter approach to managing data

Legal Innovation Centre at Ulster University launches news and education site - comprehensive selection of news, research and education pieces about law and technology

Design Thinking will change the practice of law - great summary of the recent Legal Design Summit in Helsinki and how design is leading to better solutions for clients