Too Much Tech: Firms are struggling to choose between legaltech providers

November 19, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

After years of resisting technology, the legal industry has begun to embrace it. However, firms are now struggling to filter through the increasing number of legal technology service providers.

What does this mean?

The legal industry has always been notoriously resistant to change. After years of lagging behind, the legal profession is finally catching up. Clients are increasingly aware of expenditure and expect more work done for less money. It is due to this that firms have decided to prioritise technology, in order to improve efficiency and provide a better value for money. Ironically, the problem now lies in the abundance of technology available.

What's the big picture effect?

The size of the legal technology sector is hard to quantify. Stanford University has produced a list of over 1,250 legal technology companies globally, whilst Legal Geek have listed 250 companies just across Europe. What remains clear is that legal technology start-ups have grown rapidly, despite the fact that they are relatively new to the technology scene. However, this rapid expansion brings with it extreme market saturation. It is becoming extremely difficult for firms to choose between providers.

Further, lawyers are presented with a new challenge: additional confidentiality clauses. A lot of new legal technology is cloud-based, and many clients oppose their data being handled in this way. This has significantly slowed the adoption and incorporation of these new technologies.

A further problem is the fact that many legal technology apps are not compatible with each other, so the same data is uploaded to numerous different systems. Some industry leaders are trying to solve this problem by creating specialist platforms to make it easier to integrate a variety of applications. For example, in July Thomson Reuters acquired one of the best UK legal technology companies, HighQ, with the aim of producing a single platform for its plethora of legal offerings (for more information, see our article on that here).

Even if platforms reduce the number of legal technology providers, it seems unlikely that there will ever be a single one-stop shop for all legal technology needs. Nevertheless, the way lawyers use technology will still be transformed.

Report written by Sarina Johal

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