Delivery of the decade

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2020 ahoy – we can finally see the law firm of the future, right?

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INSIDE

WHO'S WHO THIS MONTH

Christie Guimond Bird&Bird
Elliott Portnoy
Global CEO,
Dentons

Feature:
2020 visions
p14

MikeWalker
Casey Ryan
Global head of legal personnel,
Reed Smith

Feature:
2020 visions
p14

Chris-Emerson-5
Tony Williams
Principal,
Jomati Consultants

Opinion:
Trend-betting for 2025
p9

Patrick Hurley - Thomson Reuters Elite
Patrick Hurley
Vice president, customer advocacy,
Thomson Reuters Elite

Opinion:
Blooming relationships
p10

Ian Gilbert photo
James Gilding
Managing director, business services,
Mitie Document Management

Opinion:
Call for celebration
p11

Claire Chapman
Christopher Young
Principal consultant and business development director,
Pinnacle

Opinion:
The data day
p12

Whit McIsaac
Adrian Biles
CEO,
Ince Group

Feature:
2020 visions
p14

Natalie Donovan
Libby Jackson MBE
Global head of alternative legal services,
Herbert Smith Freehills

Day in the life:
A different delivery
p42

Briefing April19 Alex Hatchman photo
Jeff Langlands
General counsel,
BT Enterprise

In-house profile:
Empower play
p20

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ISSUE IN BRIEF

In this issue, Briefing takes stock of the law firm of 2020 – aka ‘the future’ – we now see before us. More flexible resourcing has of course been one significant introduction to the strategising workload over the last decade, with several law firms now striking agreements with other players to deliver it.

And then there’s incoming technology in all its glorious forms to shake things up. In October, it was interesting to see the Legal Services Board suggest legal service regulators ought to catch up with other sectors in better supporting firms to explore using distributed ledger technology (don’t sigh …). The LSB’s own research finds that just 2% of legal service providers are using ‘blockchain’, and only 5% plan to make, or have already made, investments in legaltech companies.

And in early November, Reed Smith – one firm Jem Sandhu speaks to for this issue – secured its ABS licence. Tamara Box, Europe and Middle East managing partner, explained: “We are future-proofing our business and now have the agility to immediately seize new opportunities – in tech, big data and other specialised consultancy services.” A model for the law firm of 2020? Let’s see.

 

 

2020 VISIONS

After hearing plenty of things about it in the last 10 years, surely the law firm of 2020 is finally here, right? Jem Sandhu asks a few top law firm leaders how far they’ve seen things come, how they’ve adjusted to the new reality and whether we can say we’re really there yet.

EMPOWER PLAY

Jeff Langlands, general counsel at BT Enterprise and director of EE, tells Richard Brent about process improvement and explains why an in-house legal team today needs to think about more than just the ‘letters of the law’ to demonstrate strategic value.

MINDFUL OF CHANGE

On the cusp of 2020, it seems that the evolution of law firms has largely unfolded as Aderant predicted; Chris Cartrett, executive vice president at the business, outlines the core capabilities he believes will really create competitive advantage for law firms from 2020 onwards.

supplements

Auto advances

Which business areas are law firms automating and why?
reports

Legal IT landscapes 2020

How is legal business being shaped by technology?