Dynamics ‘recast’ between legal providers and clients

By Emma Ryan|17 September 2017

New research has revealed that the relationship dynamics between legal providers and clients is set to alter even more as artificial intelligence continues to rapidly advance.

Herbert Smith Freehills has recently published a report of its research into artificial intelligence (AI) and its anticipated impact on the business of law.

The report, Artificial Intelligence: The Client Perspective, compiles the views of senior clients, including general counsel, chief operating officers and strategy directors, from 22 leading international companies across a wide range of industries.

These industries include the financial, insurance, real estate and consumer goods sectors.


According to the report, clients increasingly want their legal providers to focus on collaboration, new ways of delivering service and talent development. Consequently, many law firms have invested or will need to invest in AI technologies to meet these demands.

“Clients believe that AI tools will lead to greater efficiency and challenge revenue models but also – and more importantly – drive an enhanced engagement,” the report said.

“Clients want their law firms to move beyond traditional transactional lead delivery to a new, more collaborative relationship model.

“Clients want to know that their legal provider is making the best decisions around innovation, combining new technologies with new ways of working, including collaborating with third parties and challenging existing processes.

“Clients expect that their legal provider can still deliver top human talent as well as take advantage of technology.”


However, by investing in AI the report noted that the relationship dynamics between legal providers and clients is shifting significantly.

“Investing in AI technologies seems an obvious strategy for law firms. However, the technology is a means to an end,” the report said.

“Clients may not contribute to law firms’ AI investments but they expect their legal providers to take a lead in offering progressive services and solutions to recast the value gleaned from their relationships.

“Law firms need to take charge of creating the right mix of human and machine capabilities to recast future relationships that benefit both provider and client.”

Commenting further on the report, Herbert Smith Freehills CEO Mark Rigotti said: “Artificial intelligence is advancing rapidly and is changing the way law firms do business, the way we interact with clients and ultimately, the way we think.”

“The traditional model for delivering legal services is being redefined and clients expect their law firms to deliver more value,” he said.

“At Herbert Smith Freehills, providing legal services aligned with legal technology solutions remains at the heart of our innovation agenda.

Pictured: Mark Rigotti

Dynamics ‘recast’ between legal providers and clients
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