UK law firms “falling behind in tech investment and utilisation”


New research by Intapp – a leading provider of business applications for professional services firms – has found that many UK law firms are not deploying new technologies.


Intapp in partnership with The Lawyer found that, despite 86% of law firms questioned agreeing that intelligent automation was an important factor in driving business growth and efficiency, the gap between this acceptance and actually utilising new tech in their businesses was “significant” – with just 17% having adopted the technology to automate managing client terms.


A total of 111 law firms in the UK were surveyed and researchers tried to identify where the firms were positioned on the “data-driven insights and intelligent automation adoption curve”.


The firms selected use cases as the top three investment areas for future artificial intelligence capabilities, including seeking improvements in time recording to support accurate and prompt billing; pricing to improve budgeting accuracy; and identifying target opportunities through relationship mapping.


It was found that fewer than 50% of law firms in the UK were utilising intelligent automation.


Researchers found that the areas where AI was being implemented included conflict clearance (43%), legal project management (43%) and pricing (37%).


Globally, a total of 49% of law firms prioritised pricing as the number one reason for adoption, but the research revealed that the UK deviates from this trend and UK law firms were prioritising efficiency-based tasks.


CEO of Intapp, John Hall, said:


“As law firm clients become more informed about process, value and alternative services, long-term relationships are being challenged.


“What we’ve seen in the industry – and what this study shows – is that forward-thinking law firms are embracing a client-centric technology strategy as a driver of both top- and bottom-line growth.


“They are using intelligent automation, AI and other modern technologies to differentiate themselves from the majority of firms who are lagging behind.”


Chief Knowledge Officer at Baker McKenzie, Mark Ford, added:


“A key challenge our firm will face over the next twelve months is the changing nature of the legal business model.


“The new model will be more efficient by client demand – and this will be achieved in part by using technology, with a growing emphasis on the value that AI solutions will begin to bring.”



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