We are witnessing a legal services market that is undergoing an enormous amount of change; new market entrants, technological disruption and the rise of the general counsel are just some of the forces driving this change. In response, forward-looking law firms are finding new ways of doing business, harnessing disruptive technologies and embracing the need for innovation.

New Ways of Doing Business

It is widely accepted that the rise of the general counsel has led to a new balance of power between the buyers and sellers of legal services. Corporate legal departments, under pressure to control costs, are pushing law firms to adopt alternative pricing structures and operating models. While the “billable hour” is still being billed, alternative fee arrangements and budget caps mean that more work is being performed outside of a strict hourly model.

And earlier this year, Thomson Reuters, Georgetown University Law Center and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, surveyed more than 800 law firms and corporations regarding the role of alternative legal services providers within the legal industry. The survey found that 51% of law firms and 60% of corporations are currently using ALSPs in at least one service category.

Technology is a great enabler of innovation. Given all these demands for new ways of working – and new opportunities for legal entrepreneurs – it’s no surprise that legal technology is playing a vital role. In fact, a recent analysis of patents filed in legal tech services globally has shown a dramatic increase: they have risen nearly 500% in the past five years. This trend is unlikely to abate any time soon.

Now more than ever, we see technology coupled with data giving rise to new products, processes and entirely new workflows. And it is enabling law firms, outside counsel and government entities, to meet the demands for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

At Thomson Reuters, we foster innovation and continually assess opportunities to deliver products and services to help our customers navigate change and thrive within their chosen environments.

  •  We collaborate with customers: We work closely with our customers, bringing their voices into all our thinking, to understand their pain points. Our attorneys, technologists, data scientists and business executives focus on helping our legal customers to help their end clients.
  • We leverage the power of innovations and assets across the Thomson Reuters enterprise: Our approach goes beyond investing, providing space and facilitating data to innovators – although we do this too. We draw upon resources and thinking from across our global enterprise, including the talented developer communities employed at our Center for Cognitive Computing and Thomson Reuters Labs around the world.
  • We build partnerships in the external ecosystem: We also align resources from among an ecosystem of experts including leading technology and service providers, academic institutions, incubators, start-ups and industry associations.

We are proud to play a leading role in the dynamic and fearless innovation occurring across the legal services industry. Consider joining us for the ride! Link here for the Summer, 2017 edition of the Legal Tech Link newsletter and follow our Legal Current blog on Twitter @legalcurrent.


This post was written by Charlotte Rushton, managing director, US Large Law Firms, Thomson Reuters.

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