The world of business is changing constantly and legal services are no exception, however, the speed and form may be different or unrecognizable at first sight. The innovative approach creates a competitive advantage as the consumer becomes more “technologically savvy”. Nowadays, clients expect changes in the routine working patterns of lawyers which would lead to creative solutions. As a result, the legal profession and education have become increasingly multidisciplinary. This represents a turning point on the way to a sustainable business model of law firms.
Nevertheless, general predictions for 2016 were globally positive for the legal industry. The legal market is seen as a fairly competitive environment and those who think in a long-term perspective are aware of many challenges. It is very likely that this group of smart thinkers will have it easier in coming years.
More than ever before, lawyers focus on how legal solutions are processed and delivered to the client, how the resources are managed and sourced, how partial assignments are distributed within a team, in what form a project is communicated and reported to the client, how learning- and management processes can be optimized, and finally, what the appropriate way to invoice all of these is.
Put in a frame of more complex or cross-border appointments, the relevance of the above mentioned aspects even increases. Should both the lawyer and the client end up in a win-win situation, the provided solution has to be effective legally, and also financially. Today´s clients are ready to consider changing their law firm not because of insufficient expertise or skills, but rather because of outdated work styles and processes.
Lawyers, especially the international ones, cope more and more frequently with new termini like legal project management, tailoring and commoditisation of legal work, computation of legal services, fragmentation, subscription-based platforms, on-demand access to information, risk management, virtual law offices, document management, standardization, on- and off-line business development, sourcing or low cost service centres. However, it remains obvious that any of these transformations has to be approached very sensitively with respect to the particular business model of the given law firm. Just like in any other sector – moving forward is inevitable, yet it needs to be smart!