There have been several reports released recently focusing on the legal technology market. We have summarised some key findings that we thought would be interesting to our audience and linked the original reports in case you want to find out more.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the use of legal tech or law tech (as defined by Law Society of England and Wales) is not widespread among law firms with just over a third confirming use of document & contract automation, machine learning and interactive portals and websites, with just a quarter planning to do so in the future.
Interestingly legal tech investment is steadily increasing which is supported by the figures showing a large increase in legal tech hiring in 2021/22 and crucially software engineering rather than technical support.
In 2019, there were just over 300 tech jobs in Legal Tech in England and Wales, accounting for 1.1% of all new technology jobs. This proportion rose 1.6% over the next two years to constitute 2.7% of all tech recruitment in 2021, representing 1,575 professional vacancies — a rise of 420%. (Robert Walters – The new world of law report.)
It seems the legal tech sector is adopting a ‘Field of Dreams’ ethos, if we build it, they will come!
Although sobering for a legal tech ramp up like XBundle we have seen a large increase in 2022 in the adoption our technology, but interestingly and perhaps in line with the recent SRA report (Technology and Innovation in Legal Services) this has been outperformed by our services business. XBundle is not alone with the largest increase in the sector going to legal tech SMEs with a significant 74% increase compared to 2018-2021.
Lawtech UK released a report in 2021, Shaping the Future of Law, that forecast growth in the legal tech sector could offer £22.7bn in value for the UK economy. At a time of real uncertainty as we navigate a post Brexit world, an ever-changing political landscape, and a poor economic outlook, I hope the legal sector will continue to build on their incredible international standing and be trailblazers for common law which inevitably means investing in legal tech.
If the big firms will not adopt this attitude, it is heartening for XBundle that the firms most likely to adopt legal tech are firms that have been established in the last five years operating as alternative or boutique law firms. This trend might be a worrying sign for big law but for us it is encouraging that those firms are much more open to new ways or working and adopting technology and services that will save them time, their clients’ money and support the climate agenda.
What is also interesting is that while London is the leader in legal tech investment and adoption, the regional hubs like Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool have seen a significant increase in available jobs. This is driven by legal tech firms’ willingness to adopt more cost-effective locations, flexible working, and availability of staff with the requisite skills.
XBundle team is visiting Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool in the next few weeks. It is an opportunity to demo our platform XBundle::CREATE and discuss our services with new law firms that want the same benefits enjoyed by our current client list. If you are keen to meet to discuss your needs, please contact the XBundle team on 0207 871 3125 or email email@example.com.