New Legal Operating Models.
LAW AS A SERVICE
ALTERNATIVE LEGAL SERVICE PROVIDERS
In the past, law firms operated in a traditional way, nothing else. With significant evolution in technology and cloud solutions, innovations are impacting a scope and nature of legal services. This change is almost always combined with new ways of delivering the services.
CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS HAVE CHANGED
Companies, regardless the size, are facing ever increasing complexity of legal and regulatory environment. Their operations span across multiple jurisdictions, driven by expansions into new markets and also new industries such as digital technologies. In addition to using legal expertise for good governance, clients are incorporating legal advice and expertise across all externally facing and critical areas of their operations. The need for legal expertise is growing in many functions such as sales, business development, marketing, purchasing, sourcing digital capabilities and also in strategic collaborations. This trend presents a major challenge, how and when to use legal professionals in a cost efficient, yet effective way.
THE NEW LEGAL OPERATING MODELS
With the emergence of new technologies and clients needs, the new legal operating models are evolving into recurring and retainer based models. Clients expect the law firms to become a strategic partner on an ongoing basis, rather than transactionally, assuming the arrangements are cost sensitive. Law firms must take a seat at the decision making table with overall objective of managing risk exposure across entire footprint.
The new models are ranging from remote expertise under a Law-as-a-service label, when clients can source a required help with particular matter or subject. More robust models drive Law-as-a-Service into subscription and retention plans with a well defined scope of services and tasks. Benefits for clients are clear, well defined scope with transparent price, which eliminates one of the biggest barriers "fear of never-ending bills". Such clients are more keen to not only secure the baseline and prepackaged services, but also come back when they need 'extras'. This model has a tendency to become either a great complement to in-house counsels, or even a fully outsourced model sometimes labeled as LDAAS i.e. Legal Department-as-a-Service.
THE TECHNOLOGY FOR LAAS
More and more cloud software is being used by each company, and digital document segment is evolving as a prime candidate. The collaboration software must enable both legal firms and their clients to use the same platforms for efficient collaboration. Since legal firms work with many clients, they must become fluent in using of such digital collaborative solutions. Yet, this is the prime opportunity to establish NEW offerings, where client will expect:
Integrated workflows - clients expect that lawyers and other professionals will be directly included in the preparation, triage and approval workflows, thus standalone technologies will by insufficient.
Complete life cycle - the solutions will have to enable all steps, from creation, signing, to post processing and retention with secure and well managed access to all relevant parties.
External collaborations - as the new collaborations and partnering models are being pivotal to success of each innovative company, the tools use must support interconnected operations and collaborations, between clients, their business partners, law firms, and eventually others. This is where the true differentiation will come.
THE NEW MINDSET
We used to build Corporations,
Today, we need to build efficient ECOSYSTEMS.
PARTNERING, INNOVATIONS, START-UPS
New business models and companies are being born daily. As the new businesses are being invented, it is crucial to protect short and long-term interests of all involved. Law firms are well positioned to take on key roles, from simple interim legal counsel to setting up the right structures to protect the intellectual property and assets. As the company grows so does the need.