Technological and business model disruption has spurred Norton Rose Fulbright’s focus in seeking new inventive solutions for clients. We are working with new and emerging technology to drive efficient legal services and to reduce costs.

We are already providing cutting edge legal-tech solutions, and this will grow. For example, our ‘POPI Counsel’ is in essence a virtual attorney which asks the user questions about compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act and related issues and provides expert legal opinions instantly.

Here are some other ways we are working to innovate our services:

Personalisation of services

In addition to the usual bill-by-the-hour advice, we are developing client products and subscription services.

Also, using tools which analyse large data sets will enable us to gain insights into client needs which will mean that more and more, legal service products and client engagement will become personalised.

Predictive analytics

Big data and data analytics allow more effective management of risk, commoditisation and decision-making.

Law has to a large extent always been about prediction. Disputes lawyers are asked to make judgment calls on the outcome of a case. The regulatory lawyer advises on the likely regulator’s approach on a certain set of facts. Commercial lawyers assess the likely outcome of commercial negotiations and positions to be adopted.

World of technology

While automation is important where it develops efficiency, that does not necessarily equate with innovation.

The world of technology has given lawyers access to vastly more information. The challenge is to find meaningful ways to assimilate that information so that it is of use. This requires a combination of big data analytics and AI. For example, a lawyer who is negotiating an energy deal who has access to information about prior energy deals, not just in their practice but around the world, and access to technology to make sense of the deals and to decide which option is best for their clients, is at a significant advantage.

State of disruption

The traditional model of a law firm is in a state of disruption and the future law firm will be driven by leaders who understand technology, efficiency and innovation. The legal sector is changing and will continue to transform positively.

As much as technology and innovation has and will continue to reshape the legal profession, it makes the world more complex, risky and difficult for our clients.  So the need for sophisticated legal advice is ever-increasing.  And in turn technological innovation plays its role in delivering that advice.

Read my more detailed article here.