2019 has been the year of legal technology conferences with the legal sector coming out in force to discuss, debate and connect.

Clifford Chance Applied Solutions rounded out our year of conferences today by attending both The Future Legal Technology Forum in London and Legal Revolution in Frankfurt. 

The main focus of both conferences is taking stock on where we are with legal technology in 2019 and what's coming up on the horizon for 2020. 

Some highlights and insights from the London conference are below.

Joanne Anderson, our Chief Product Officer, delivered a key note opening speech which recapped on the key trends from the past year and what's on the horizon.

These points in the slide above reflect on the day to day conversations we are having with our customers or potential customers. Aside from AI, a lot of these points are the real basics but are still the key priorities for most legal teams and are the fundamental building blocks to 'innovation'.

Who knows what is really on the horizon but the points on the slide below are a good starter for ten.

But what does this all mean for legal teams? 

One of the panels on 'Implementing Technology for In-house and Private Practice' addressed this question in a very practical way.

L to R: Joanne Anderson (Chief Product Officer, CC Applied Solutions), Neil Bruce (Group Counsel, American Express), Hannah MacDonald (Supplier Operations Manager, Monzo Bank), Anoop Joshi (Senior Legal Counsel, Skyscanner) 

My key takeaways  from this lively discussion:

  • Look to other industries when deciding what tech to use. 

Often the best solution is the technology that has been around for a while but we don't pay attention to it unless it has the 'legal' label. E.g., customer service technology which is used a lot in the IT industry can be used by in-house teams to manage legal requests through ticketing and automated allocation.

Another example is Slack which both Anoop and Hannah cited as integral to helping them to communicate and collaborate in an agile way.

  • Have a product mindset.

This is not just for consumer facing parts of the business but also for the legal team. They test, prototype and adapt when creating solutions for consumers so why shouldn't the legal team do the same with tech solutions?

  • Understand the problem to find the right solution.

Often it can be tempting to do things the wrong way around if you fall in love with a shiny new product.

How can you know what technology to buy / adopt without knowing what your point point is?! Taking a step back from this, you may have numerous pain points. Prioritizing these and understanding what to tackle first is key. Pick high impact items to start. 

  • Ensure you chose your solution provider to fit your strategy

It can be great to work with start-ups as you can more easily shape the way a product might become. However, start-ups may not be able to work at the pace you need to develop their solution.

On the flip side, buying an off the shelf product from an established company can mean there is less ability to adapt the product to fit your needs. 

These things need to be considered alongside the product itself.