The holiday season is over! We are again at full speed and almost back to the office and to in-person meetings/events. The last few weeks have been a good time for us to revisit the fundamentals of what we are striving for: accelerate legal investigation in any (textual) data sets.
We read lots of articles and found various reports from the market showing some stunning numbers and confirming the prevailing status quo in some situations.
Let’s start with Legal research. The ABA (American Bar Association) has just released a report with some interesting numbers: 59% use free online tools and 56% rely on fee-based online legal research tools. Regarding the free online tools, Google is by far leading the stack. It seems the private reflex of searching with Google depicts the way we are searching in our professional work. Another report conducted with SME-scale law firms in the UK confirms Google as the top source for legal information. But at the same time, 46% of the respondents consider it is risky to use these sources to find answers to legal questions and 45% said it takes longer to complete a research using free sources. The average lawyer’s time spent in conducting legal research increased to 18% (from 16% in 2017). This research time differs by role and jumps up to 28% for associates.
These numbers are also aligning well to the McKinsey study on Automation and Productivity which suggests that it is possible to automate about 25% of the workforce in advanced economies. This would certainly leave more room for legal professionals to focus on their clients and increase the time spent on billable work.
The legal market is restless. There is a booming demand from clients and in the US, there are shortages of manpower in the big law firms as explained in this article from blomberglaw. The competition between law firms is pugnacious as many transfers are going on. Attracting talent is part of the game. Law firms are in a race to create more value to their end customers, and spend lots of energy in rethinking internal processes, workflows and delivery models. This is a question to stay competitive vs. their peers and vs. the Big 4 who are deeply investing in technology and offering a broader range of services.
Outside law firms, in corporate environments, we learned from this report about the top 4 priorities of in-house professionals :
Clearly, automation and the use of relevant technology can deeply help here.
And talking about volume of work and managing risks, this other report highlights the expectation of an increased number of investigations in the next 2 years while budgets remain flat. Despite the complexities associated with investigative reviews, an overwhelming 76% of surveyed participants indicated their approach is still manual.
After all, their daily comfort is to find, not to search
In conclusion, there is clearly room for optimization in the way we perform investigation, opening doors for technology adapted to the new norm: an increased number of sources to investigate, larger sets of (unstructured) data, increased variety of formats (emails, social media,...) and continuous need to move faster and provide more value to the client.
All these numbers are also reflecting what we see and hear from our customers in law firms and corporate environments. Whether it is about researching in public data, in technical documentation for arbitration’s cases or investigating in email boxes for employee conduct or regulatory compliance risks, the need to collect accurate facts quickly, affordably and efficiently is obvious.
We are striving to simplify legal professional’s life. After all, their daily comfort is to find, not to search. Therefore we are relentlessly focusing on the following aspects
Of course, all of this in a secure environment.
As one customer told us, we are offering a “refreshing and innovative” solution deployable on any data sets, allowing you to investigate multiple sources at once quickly and efficiently.
We deliver on our promises, we prove our value proposition through trials and pilots.
Contact us if you are interested in exploring how we can assist your investigations.