Technological innovations are reshaping the legal sector and solicitors have huge opportunities to enhance the way they work and the service they offer their clients, according to new research to be released later today by the Law Society of England and Wales.

The report, Capturing Technological Innovation in Legal Services, draws on examples of innovation from across the legal sector to highlight emerging trends and opportunities in legal technology.  It will be launched this morning at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum Keynote Seminar on Legal innovation and the business of law.

“New technologies such as machine learning and advanced automation are reshaping the way the legal sector works,” said Law Society president Robert Bourns.

“This report pulls together examples and insights from those at the forefront of legal technology, and offers a window into how the legal sector may look in the not-too-distant future.”

 The report focuses in particular on three areas of innovation which are redefining the legal sector:

  • Product innovation, where technology opens new areas of legal work, or responds to new ways of delivering advice to clients to suit their changing needs and expectations.
  • Process innovation, where technology changes the way legal services are carried out, such as utilising machine learning and automation to allow technology to boost solicitors’ productivity.
  • Strategy innovation, which allows firms to be more transparent with their pricing and more flexible with their resourcing.

Robert Bourns added: “Taking full advantage of the opportunities that new technology offers will mean adapting the way we work and embracing change.  We have a strong tradition of innovating to meet our clients’ needs.  Technology offers lots of opportunities to provide services in new ways and to continue to exceed our clients’ expectations. ”

“There are also opportunities to work ever more collaboratively in partnership with technology companies or universities to streamline our processes and drive efficiency.

“Even if it means doing things that are new, the solicitor profession is up for the challenge.”

This report follows the Law Society’s research on the Future of Legal Services , published last year, which looked at a range of external factors driving change in the legal sector over the coming five years, with technological change identified as a major factor.

“This latest report again demonstrates the unique perspective to legal innovation the Law Society can bring, working across the legal sector to identify and spread success, and to connect those with the will to innovate and those with the skills to make it happen,” said Robert Bourns.