The legal sector has perhaps been the laggard when it comes to innovation, but during the last few years the legal market is innovating at an increasing speed. Clifford Chance is active at the forefront of this change: looking to create more value by improving the way they deliver their existing services, but also looking at what and how clients expect them to deliver products and services in the future.
Technology definitively brings challenges to law firms. Clients consider the ability to deliver innovative solutions more and more as a differentiating factor and firms who refuse to embrace the change might directly jeopardize their own business.
“At Clifford Chance we see this as a great opportunity to adapt ourselves and to shape the future of legal services together with our clients,” explains Katia Gauzès, Corporate Partner and Best Delivery champion for Clifford Chance Luxembourg. “In fact we have based our Innovation and Best Delivery strategy on these exact three pillars: ‘Create. Disrupt. Deliver’.”
Establishing an ecosystem where clients, leading technologists, top university scholars and start-ups share and develop ideas is the foundation of any innovation strategy.
The foundation of a robust innovation strategy is establishing an ecosystem where clients, leading technologists, top university scholars, start-ups and other market players come together to share and develop ideas that will shape the future of legal service.
“We are engaging with strategic technology partners, clients, the academic world and other thought leaders to identify, incubate, test and pilot new legal technology solutions to enhance the firm’s, and the wider industry’s, service offering to clients,” illustrates Katia Gauzès.
“Our recent investment in Reynen Court, a technology start-up building a services automation platform for the legal industry, is another illustration of the partnership model we want to embrace. We believe Reynen Court is the missing piece of the current legal tech puzzle. The platform will enable law firms and clients to use and implement a whole range of new and existing legal technologies in a secure and integrated manner.”
Innovation requires the right mindset. The need to test and to be able to adjust, retest and finally deliver solutions in line with the market expectation is of upmost importance in the innovation process of all businesses.
Being able to challenge even our own operating models will allow us to build the necessary range of digital products the market is expecting.
“In the legal industry disruptive innovation goes beyond changes of processes, it actually refers to completely new delivery and business models and it optimizes the possibilities that technology can offer,” states Katia Gauzès. “Developing solutions that combine legal expertise with technology to solve complex client issues can only happen if the status quo is challenged and firms dare to do things differently.”
The Clifford Chance Applied Solutions team, a dedicated business in charge of developing new client-solutions, does so on a daily basis ( https://blog.appliedsolutions.cliffordchance.com/ ).
Across Clifford Chance as a whole, including our Applied Solutions team, the firm’s “app” offering now includes cloud-based document automation suites (CCDr@ft), apps that provide legal support in case of dawn raids, or that streamline multi-jurisdictional surveys and reporting, or help clients comply with regulatory requirements. “Being able to disrupt even our own operating models will allow us to build the necessary range of digital products the market is expecting,” states Katia Gauzès.
“As a firm we also go beyond technology and experiment even more radically to align the way we do business with the interests of our clients,” explains Katia Gauzès.
Our Best Delivery program has a direct impact for our Private Equity, Investment Funds, Corporate and Banking clients through automation, process improvement, transaction platforms, and the use of smart technology.
The Best Delivery program looks at how the firm can create a better client experience and better outcomes for its clients. In collaboration with clients, lawyers, universities and technology providers, legal process and delivery models are redesigned.
Multi-disciplinary teams collaborate and apply continuous improvement techniques, such as Lean and 6 Sigma methodologies and legal design, to improve the firm’s effectiveness and efficiency in meeting the needs of its clients. “We identify opportunities where artificial intelligence and automation can support elements of the work or where we can make use of our low-cost centers in Newcastle and Delhi,” continues Katia Gauzès. An important feature of their Best Delivery program is the Legal Project Manager. Key clients have already recognised the value added by Legal Project Managers as they focus purely on the management aspects of large mandates, leading to improved transparency, reporting and financial management and allowing lawyers to fully focus on the legal aspects.
The firm is also implementing increasingly effective and sophisticated tools that allow it to make better decisions on where and how the Best Delivery and Innovation workstreams can have most impact. But it goes further, explains Arjan Krans, Senior Best Delivery advisor for Clifford Chance Luxembourg, “our technology solutions already allow the firm to share real time information regarding progress on transactions and financials with clients directly on their projects”.
“This improves transparency and enhances collaboration with clients significantly,” adds Katia Gauzès.
The Best Delivery and Innovation program is exciting as well as challenging. It is no less than a full business transformation program and it has strong support of global, regional and local leadership. “We rolled out our Best Delivery program and already have made a difference for some of our Private Equity, Investment Funds, Corporate and Banking clients through automation, process improvement, transaction platforms, and the use of smart technology,” explains Steve Jacoby, Managing Partner of Clifford Chance Luxembourg.
“In addition to leveraging our global legal expertise, we now also bring our local and global innovation capabilities and technology solutions to the table, becoming true innovation enablers for our clients. This allows us to help them find new and effective ways to handle their legal and legal-related challenges and to lead change in the legal sector together with them,” concludes Katia Gauzès.