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Shoosmiths partner David Jackson talks to The Lawyer about innovation, his prediction for the future of legal services and the technology set to have the biggest impact on the legal industry in the next five years, ahead of his roundtable session at In-house Counsel as Business Partner 2018 in association with EY.
Is innovation really just a buzzword? What does it mean to be innovative when it comes to legal services?
Clients know true innovation when they see it. So, while for many “innovation” is the current “it” word to use in tender responses, for firms like Shoosmiths it has real meaning. We’ve looked forensically at how we deliver our services, from the perspective of the client, and then re-engineered them to better meet the needs of those clients, using technology and process improvements as enablers to achieve real innovation. Ultimately, the measure of innovation is in the value to clients of the particular initiative and, for us, that’s all been about service improvement, speed of delivery and reduction in cost.
The future of legal services: What is your one big prediction on this?
AI will revolutionise the practice of law in a way not dissimilar to how word processors and email radically changed the practice of law in the 80s and 00s. I do not believe robots will take over the world, but they will reduce the repetitive and monotonous tasks lawyers currently have to do manually, which should make our lives better!
What technology do you anticipate will revolutionise the legal industry in the next five years?
It’s been said many times that “data as a commodity in the noughties is the new oil”. Law firms that invest in harvesting the significant amounts of data they have amassed across many thousands of matters, and then using that data to improve services and outcomes for clients will be a game changer. Clients are frequently challenging us to use our collective smarts to give them a competitive advantage, so any technology that enables us to collate data trends and analytics will help to revolutionise our industry.
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what do you think you might have done instead?
I always thought I’d have made a great sixth member of Take That (aside from the fact that my singing voice isn’t great – but that didn’t seem to hold Jason Orange back)!
David Jackson is on of the 60+ speakers at this year’s In-house Counsel as Business Partner in association with EY. If you’d like more information on the event, including the full agenda and speaker line-up as well as how you can register to attend, please contact Kenan Balli or call +44(0) 20 7970 4017.
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