Australia’s leadership in the global legal profession is demonstrated both in how new offerings have emerged in the marketplace and how clients in firms and in-house departments have very creatively transformed themselves, said one CEO.
In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, Morae founder, chairman and chief executive Shahzad Bashir (pictured) said that even before the age of coronavirus, corporate legal departments and law firms were already responding to increasing pressure to demonstrate greater value.
“The pandemic merely accelerated this trend, in large part because they were forced to change. But as we slowly emerge from the pandemic and from this ‘new normal’ experiment of the last 18 months, more and more organisations now appreciate the benefits of hybrid working and collaborative information management and have started to really reimagine how they work internally and externally,” he reflected.
“Brick and mortar and email culture are giving way to ‘work anywhere’ environments underpinned by collaborative cloud technologies. The security of the cloud is gaining attention as well, especially considering the growing threat of cyberattacks.”
Of course, transitioning from on-premises to the cloud is of course not without some challenges, Mr Bashir noted. “As we look to the future of legal services, we see a fundamental shift and growing market opportunity across the legal ecosystem,” Mr Bashir said.
“The APAC region is fast emerging as one of the world’s busiest centres of economic activity and the legal industry in Australia is a leading change agent. The business opportunities are immense, but so too are the challenges facing organizations attempting to realise the potential.”
“As they strive to meet rapidly increasing operational requirements, efforts to manage risk, cost, and information become ever more challenging,” he advised.
When asked about new challenges for legal services providers in the new normal, Mr Bashir said that marketplace developments are “positive opportunities, not challenges”, and pointed to the impact of digitisation, cloud adoption and utilisation of ALSPs as proof.
“Digitalisation itself is powering disruptive changes. Technology enables new ways of working, but for meaningful change to occur, people must embrace it. This is where robust change management programs are crucial. The level of acceptance across an organisation can make or break an initiative,” he said.
“We are asking our clients to work with our outcome-based approach. The question is very simple – will the changes give them the desired business and economic outcome? If the outcome is not qualitatively or quantitatively measurable, the change is likely not worth it. When it is, the benefits often extend beyond the immediate business group to make a positive impact across the wider circle of business and client stakeholders. Very exciting times are ahead for the industry!”