Baker McKenzie has revealed it has launched a global innovation program to meet the evolving needs of clients and adapt to the changing legal landscape.
To roll out the innovation program, a newly formed innovation committee has been instated, which will report to the firm’s executive committee to “ensure a firm-wide approach to innovation is incorporated into every aspect of the business’ global operations”.
The new committee is headed up by executive committee member Erik Scheer and global director of operations Jason Marty.
According to Baker McKenzie, its innovation program is being brought to life with the help of Peer Insight, a Washington-headquartered consultancy known for applying “design thinking” to services and business models.
Mr Scheer noted that the program will extend “well beyond introducing new technology or other solutions, and will start from and hinge around client challenges”.
“Baker McKenzie has been at the forefront of innovation within the legal sector since our founding in 1949. We were the original global law firm, in fact for many years the only global law firm, the pioneers at entering new markets and disrupting traditional legal markets,” Mr Scheer said.
“Today, innovation is top of our agenda. Why? Because it matters to our clients and because we believe the legal sector is ripe for change. Being a good lawyer is no longer enough. These are uncertain times for our global clients, in an increasingly complex world, in an industry facing disruption.
“We need to redesign how we deliver legal advice in a way that makes sense for our clients. Our innovation framework enables us to do exactly that.”
The firm’s innovation framework is divided into three key areas, the first of which looks at machine learning: “applying current artificial intelligence tools for due diligence, contracts, e-discovery and any practice for which such technologies can ensure market-leading efficiency”, a representative of Baker McKenzie said.
“The firm has deployed Relativity as its global e-discovery platform to provide a common platform for clients worldwide and is in the process of doing the same for machine learning-based due diligence software to dramatically reduce lawyer time on transactions.”
The second area in the framework looks at services transformation: “using the methods from design thinking to reshape all aspects of the firm's client services and the business models necessary to support them”, the representative said.
“Work with Peer Insight has begun on a ground-up review of a headline practice, focused around new ways to meet big common challenges faced by clients.”
The third and final area in the framework looks at technology investments: “longer-term investments in advanced technologies and data management to prepare for significant changes these will bring to the industry”, the representative said.
“A task force has already met with start-ups and industry players and will be driving an investment strategy in emerging technology.”