Impact and Opportunities of COVID-19 in the Legal Tech Industry

Legal Tech

Legal Tech

The COVID-19 induced uncertainties have already impacted diverse industries worldwide. Its impact in the legal tech industry is evident as clients are reducing their business activity, many M&A transactions are on hold and many courts are closed owing to corona-associated lockdowns. According to a recent research, law firms will witness a revenue decline of 15-20 percent in 2020, compared to the last year. This will have a greater impact on profitability, leading to many law firms to the difficult decision of freezing costs. Even in some cases, the decline is putting firms to take crucial measures such as minimizing staff hours and canceling partner payouts, etc.

The impact of the pandemic in the legal tech sector is also stern because it relies on law firms, alternative legal service providers (ALSPs), and in-house teams buying and regularly using its software to make revenue and to keep businesses going. Conversely, the commercial legal sector is dependent on various medium to large businesses requiring its services. So, if their requirements drop, the impact can be seen clearly.

While law firms, lawyers and ALSPs are facing several difficulties in the time of crisis, massive pressures to control cost, augment efficiencies, and keep delivering quality legal services are escalating. Many law professionals are now turned to remote working, taking virtual conferences, and adapting to other new legal technology. Collaboration tools, such as web-based videoconferencing platforms, have become key elements, enabling attorneys to keep working and to be dynamic during the crisis. Certainly, this virtual collaboration of lawyers and attorneys will bring some new habits even they return to the physical workplace.

Most courts are leveraging technology at a rapid pace, for instance, judicial hearings through videoconferencing or teleconferencing have become prevalent now. Judges are increasingly feeling comfortable with using technology to conduct court processes. Already, many law firms have made plans to refurbish their IT systems once the economy gets to normal. But, for now, most are focusing on lower-cost options with a lucrative return on investment in the near-term.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, there are a large number of legal tech and software providers offering free products and services in direct response to the pandemic. Litera, for instance, which provides a comprehensive suite of document creation, comparison, collaboration and cleansing software, is offering a free trial of Litera Transact, a tool that allows for the remote management and signing of transactions. The company’s another offering, Litera Desktop, a single toolbar that consists of everything a lawyer needs to draft documents creating an integrated, seamless experience that ensures user adoption and consolidates vendors.

One another company Mitratech, the leading provider of enterprise legal matter management solutions, is making a free workflow tool to check on the health and COVID-19 risk status of employees available. These kinds of offerings and initiatives from companies provide the ability to law firm CIOs to roll out or attempt new technology for free and experiment with what might work best for them and for their firms in year to come.

leave a reply