16 August 2017

Driving innovation across the legal marketplace

Law departments are calling on law firms to innovate but are law firms listening? Research would suggest that collaboration between the two has some distance to go.

The drive to innovate in the legal marketplace has forced its way to the top of the agenda for both law departments and law firms with 37 per cent of general counsel calling on law firms to improve their technology to control costs. Furthermore, artificial intelligence tools are on the radar of one in five general counsel who say they want to see law firms deploy more artifical intelligence and machine learning tools to increase efficiency. But despite this, the research, which will be discussed at the GC Futures Summit 2017 also finds that few actually know what innovation means and indeed, how much innovation is actually happening. Alessander Galtieri, legal director of Colt, is one who is not sure that the legal profession has embraced true innovation. Derek Southall of Hyberscale has also observed many of the innovative legal products but he too has doubts about the impact of innovation so far on the legal marketplace.

Better technology

Whilst the demand for better technology has come across loud and clear from the client marketplace with general counsel calling on law firms to up their game, it is not just law firms who are lagging behind. According to Justine Campbell, Deputy GC, Centrica, legal departments are also going to have to get a lot more tech savvy. Like many fortune 500 companies, her legal department now deploys a global head of legal operations who oversees aspects of the department's functional management activities and process improvement with technology at the heart of efficiencies.

Innovation - The Journey

With the rush to innovate, law firms are appointing innovation gurus whilst law departments are hiring legal operators. But are the two collaborating or on different sides of the divide?  At the GC Futures Summit, three leading general counsel will share their experiences of innovation. Janice More, VP, Head of Legal & Compliance EMENA at  Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Claire Debney, director of legal strategy at Shire Pharmaceuticals and Stephen Roberts, chief counsel, procurement and wholesale, BT will join a panel to discuss what strategies their legal departments have deployed and how innovative they have been. 

Helping teams innovate

On the law firm side, Jonathan Patterson, managing director and head of development at DWF Ventures, will talk about his views on innovation in 'How to release your inner creative'  -  and will also offer ideas to help in-house teams repond to the innovation challenge. Mr Patterson is responsible for overseeing the generation of new ideas, delivering R&D priorities and working with inhouse teams to design and develop new products. A limited number of free places for corporate counsel are available. If you are interested, contact benmartin@globalcitymedia.com.