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Legal Innovation Briefing - August edition

August 30, 2019


Partners Simon Vannini
Senior Associates Louise Taylor
Management Caroline Ferguson

Digital & new technologies Legal innovation & technology

Welcome to this month’s Legal Innovation Briefing, a selection of insights and updates curated for in-house legal teams

Growing number of legal operations roles and continued investment in technology were two of the main trends highlighted in this year’s Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) State of the Industry survey. With respondents from over 200 companies representing over 30 industries and 18 countries, it is one of the most comprehensive in-house surveys.

Implementation of technology solutions was high for a number of tools - more than 78% of respondents are using eBilling and 65% use a contract management solution.  Interestingly, the survey results show that the contracts management market is very fragmented with over 30 different platforms being used. This is a helpful learning point for many New Zealand legal teams who are looking to implement a contract management solution. With numerous options to choose from, the key thing is to choose a system that best aligns with existing business needs and plans for the future.

Managing current and future technology priorities can be greatly helped by having a technology roadmap. With 84% of respondents having or being in the process of developing a technology roadmap, it is clear that in-house teams are getting strategic about their technology needs.

The Big Idea: Innovation skills and capabilities - the new value equation in law

In the excellent book New Suits - Appetite for Disruption in the Legal World, authors Michele DeStefano and Guenther Dobrauz recommend that innovation be a required discipline for practising and aspiring lawyers. They highlight that we are experiencing an “Innovation Tournament” with innovation happening on almost every legal dimension. Consequently, all types of lawyers - from big law to small-mid size firms, from government to in-house are being challenged to change how they work.

DeStefano and Dobrauz explain that adopting the mindsets, skills and behaviours of innovation is not however a straight-forward ride for most lawyers due to a combination of temperament, training and professional identity. It is for this reason that they recommend that innovation be added to lawyer education curriculums - both at university and continuing education levels. 

As covered in previous briefings, we have been running our own innovation capability programme at Simpson Grierson. The programme is focused around an eight step evidence-based innovation process. If you are interested in learning more and getting help with your team’s innovation development, be sure to get in touch with Caroline Ferguson, our Director of Business Transformation and Innovation.

Digest: Event and article to check out

  • Legal Design Summit - bringing together experts from the fields of law, design and digital services, this event in Helsinki in September is all about making law usable. From terms and conditions that people actually read to visual contracts, this is set to be a brilliant event.
  • The Current State of Play in Legal Innovation - a comprehensive article on the evolution of legal innovation over the last decade and what’s happening now. Good reminder that although the pace may feel slow sometimes, there is a lot of meaningful change happening in the sector.