The use of evolving technology has become fundamental in the UK’s leading law firms key strategic planning.
With developments in artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning transforming businesses, top law firms are tapping into the potential of tech to help meet the needs of the market.
A recent survey of the UK’s top 100 law firms revealed that 81% said technology was the most crucial area of strategic growth for their firm.
Following technology investments was overseas expansion (41%) then mergers and acquisitions (28%) was the third most important goal.
However, the survey from HSBC and The Lawyer found that it seems the yearning to invest in new and pioneering technology has reduced, with just over a quarter of senior law firm professionals saying they would invest more than 5% of their money in technology, which is down from 75% in 2017.
Chloe Clift, HSBC UK Head of Professional Services said:
“While investment in technology is clearly still a priority, law firm are pulling back from new and innovative technologies for focus on their ‘business as usual’ systems that lie at the heart of operating an efficient modern law firm.
“Products and services that were previously seen as innovative tech are now, in many cases, established and require minimal additional investment. I’s also worth considering that some firm may be delaying investment decisions until the future of the UK’s relationship with the UE is clearer.”
Law firm respondents also confirmed that client collaboration tools (44%) would also be top priority when it came to spending revenue on tech, followed by the prevention of cyber crime (15%) and artificial intelligence (11%).
“While an increase in revenue across law firms means that tech investment has grown in real terms, firms shouldn’t be complacent, particularly around investment in preventing cyber crime.
“Increasing frequency and sophistication means that cyber crime should remain a focus for firms who could suffer damage to their operations or their reputation in the event of a serious breach”
After it was revealed that cyber attacks on law firms have soared by a staggering 243% over the summer, it’s vital that cyber security starts to become a top agenda item.
The figures released by Beaming revealed that UK firms experienced 157,528 cyber attacks between July and September 2019. This was 45,970 more attacks than the same period last year.
With Cyber criminals becoming more and more sophisticated
“It is important that people from across the firm adopt a positive cyber culture”
says Jennifer Williams, cyber security specialist at The Practical Vision Network.
“As we know cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated in the methods, they use to steal data and money from law firms, who are a particular target because of the types of information they hold.
“Encourage your colleagues to report anything suspicious and make a big deal of promoting Cyber Security Awareness month. You never know when cyber criminals will attack, so it’s best to always have your defences ready.”
So, what can be done to sure up your cyber defences?
- Ensure you have up-to-date cyber defences and have Cyber Essentials accreditation as a minimum.
- Have regular staff training so they are able to spot suspicious emails and encourage your teams to regularly report any issues
- Implement security protocols like DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) to add an extra layer of security to your email
- Manage password usage – check that your colleagues aren’t using the same passwords on multiple websites – or to log in to their computer. Ensure these passwords are regularly changed
As a conveyancer what is top priority in your firm’s strategic planning?