find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Efficiency spearheads technological disruption in law

Efficiency spearheads technological disruption in law

The tech chief of a global firm has declared that the business offering of law has morphed, with new legal service models constantly being created as firms pursue their own innovation agendas.

Technology has opened up unprecedented powers of insight and efficiency, and has everyone in the legal industry asking to what extent business practices will be transformed.

According to the chief officer of Allens’ legal and technology services division, Beth Patterson, efficiency has driven the biggest push to embrace technology. The birth of new business models in law has been a hugely beneficial spin-off.

“Efficiency is really a huge part of our innovation in terms of how it complements our lawyers to be more efficient.

“And the second point is that [technology] supports and enables different business models, which we’ve never seen before,” Ms Patterson said.

Speaking at a panel event hosted by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) this week, Ms Patterson described the role of a dedicated team of multidisciplinary technologists, lawyers and project managers that she leads at Allens.

The firm has structured its offering, which draws on an ‘alternative’ workforce of contractors in India, based on the service needs of clients.

“It’s a really interesting new model for us … and one of the things we really focus on is that integration of the tech and the alternative workforce with our lawyers,” Ms Patterson said.

“We set out a strategy for the firm to respond to our client needs and offer three options. One is traditional lawyers; second is an in-house document review team; and third a preferred supplier with lawyers in India – that’s our offering now for big litigation and due diligence,” Ms Patterson said.  

The global firm has leveraged high-powered processing capabilities of new technology and its various business model options to cater to document-heavy areas such as mega-litigation.

“We start on an average case with well over a million documents using something called ‘predictive coding’, which is a machine learning technology, as well as advanced analytics to give our lawyers insights into the documents before they even have to read very many documents.

“It’s about helping [the lawyers] get to the relevant documents quicker and becoming cost-effective for our clients,” Ms Patterson said.

The Fold Legal director Claire Wivell Plater agreed that efficiency was driving disruption in law. The boutique firm director identified technology’s disruption of law as the “coalescence of the advance of technology and the availability of big data”. Lawyers’ capacity to solve problems has also improved with technology, she noted.

“Now we have the computing power to be able to solve problems that we were unable to solve in the past through technology. And we have the need to solve those problems because of the amount of data that is being processed.

“I don’t think [technology] will replace lawyers, but [it] will help to solve things that have been becoming increasingly difficult and that we haven’t been able to solve in the past,” Ms Wivell Plater said.

Both women made their remarks as part of a UTSpeaks discussion panel this week, moderated by UTS dean of law Professor Lesley Hitchens.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Efficiency spearheads technological disruption in law
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...