Australia in-house legal teams below-average in new technologies

By Naomi Neilson|24 September 2019

Australia sits below the global average of in-house legal teams using new technology, the Acritas survey of corporate legal departments revealed.

The global average sits at 3.7, with the best-performing market recorded at an average of 4.7. Australia sits below this with an average of 3.0. It is, however, ahead of lowest-performing markets recorded, which sits at an average of just 2.3.

The report noted there is an increased interest from legal departments to leverage the “mushrooming legal tech market”, which has resulted in the segment growing quickly from nothing in the last few years. Although in-house legal markets are not excelling, Australia’s investment in legal operations is the second-largest segment in the market.

The report noted legal technology is now enmeshed in the mainstream consciousness of the legal industry and advancements have made legal tech “more accessible and powerful than ever before”. Cloud computing and software as a service delivery models created a new adoption pathway that “skirts traditional barriers”.

“One has to look no further than the recent focus and ensuring hype around artificial intelligence and how it has also piqued the interest of legal practitioners, the report said.

“From junior lawyers to managing partners, practice group leaders to general counsel, there is fervent curiosity about the potential that AI present for transforming work.”

The legal hype resulting from new products has “seeded high expectations” among lawyers, along “with an increasing appetite to try and then adopt technology solutions”.

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The report said the reality is that every firm is adopting technology at a different pace in line with the stage they are at in their journey. While some firms are still revisiting back-office technologies, others are exploring middle-office technologies.

“It is unsurprising that any change management strategies that lead to full adoption of such solutions continue to be the biggest challenge that grapples with once they have acquired a new technology,” the report said.

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Australia in-house legal teams below-average in new technologies
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