Technology as an enabler

23rd November, 2015

Judit Petho, CEO, Genus Law

In driving truly innovative ways of changing an industry, the crux of the matter is whether technology acts as a disruptor or an enabler. As one of my peers stated during the discussions laid out on these pages; If disruption is a hard sell, it won’t be effective.

Will Artificial Intelligence replace lawyers any time soon? Doubtful. Will companies buy legal services predominantly online? Probably not just yet. Can technology be a disruptive force in the legal industry? Of course it can. However, a purely digital approach to selling legal services in the B2B environment won’t currently work. The market place just isn’t ready. People still ‘buy’ people. Companies still want their lawyers to understand their business – but they don’t necessarily need them to be based round the corner.

There has been demand for delivering legal services in a different way for some time. Certainly, today’s buyers of legal services are more sophisticated and clear about what they want than before the recession. When we talk to clients there is no need for a hard sell – they have already been looking for this type of service. Genus’ leading-edge technology platform enables us to manage service delivery more effectively and pass these benefits on to our clients. By offering cost certainty from the outset and no hourly rates, our clients recognise the value in our alternative approach.

Technology acts as an enabler for Genus Law also by allowing us to service clients from any location that suits them. More and more, businesses in London are seeing the value in using a law firm outside of the city – for the obvious cost benefits – and many recognise the quality of expertise available in the North; specifically in Leeds. Equally, Leeds is a hub for digital businesses and the same seems to be true for these industries. Technology also allows our people to work in more flexible ways, making that elusive work/life balance more of a reality to working parents, and lawyers with hobbies (yes, they exist!).

Whether you believe in the concept of disruptive innovation, and not everyone does, we’re all embracing technology as an enabling force in our business. It’s a case of our ambitions as to how far we use it to disrupt a given industry. Implementation is also key. Otherwise, disruption itself remains a concept, confined to the text books, and largely irrelevant in reality.

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