From virtual assistants and document automation through to social media and cyber security, law firms and lawyers alike are now recognising that failing to invest time, money and effort into new technologies means they run the risk of being left behind in the marketplace.
Interestingly, of the FT 10-strong shortlist for most innovative lawyer awards 2016, the vast majority of candidates were embracing technology in order to innovate the legal market.
This year’s 10-strong shortlist for most innovative individual was dominated by those who are using technology to change the practice of law. The judges were impressed by Karl Chapman, chief executive of Riverview Law, which has produced Kim, a “virtual assistant” that helps in-house lawyers manage new instructions and process their work. Another strong contender was David Wakeling of Allen & Overy, a pioneer of automated legal drafting, part of the trend towards freeing lawyers from repetitive tasks. But the most impressive legal technologist, and the winner of this year’s award, was Charlotte Stalin of Simmons & Simmons. Ms Stalin is best-known for the Navigator legal technology tool, which has been widely adopted. Her next project, inevitably, is a Brexit transition tool.