Innovation is a fashionable word in professional services at the moment, with change coming, albeit relatively slowly, to some of our most traditional firms such as law firms, property firms, accountants and architects. It took a forward thinking conference that brought together these professional service firms at the Tech and Innovation Leaders Summit, held over 2 days in June 2019, for me to gain some fresh perspectives and insights that emerged out of the discussion and contributions from across the professions. I am most familiar with law firms, having held down roles in transformation and innovation in a couple of large multi-national firms recently. So I write this article in terms of law firms, with the belief that very similar challenges and solutions will apply across professional services.
The legal industry is changing, with clients becoming more sophisticated in meeting the challenge of becoming a trusted partner to the business, whilst delivering more and more, for less. Law firms are investing in innovation and change, although at the current time the pressure for significant change in most areas of the commercial market is not sufficient to drive wholesale change in the way legal work is delivered. However, law firms beware, because the disruptive players in the market are, and will increasingly, pull work away from the law firms.