I was lucky enough to be at The Lawyer Marketing Summit 2019 on Friday morning with around 75 other professionals from across the legal services industry. In the morning session, we heard from two panels and a keynote from Lucy Murphy (CMO, Freshfields).

The content was been excellent, starting with a brief "What's next in Legal Services?" which was shortened into 6 key takeaways:

  1. There will be fewer ‘one-stop shops’ i.e. more specialised firms who are superior at their individual niche.
  2. Legal tech will change everything, including necessitating a change of structure and the make-up of the workforce. To incorporate the tech will necessitate technical, non-legal professionals to administer this tech as part of a legal product. 
  3. A big player reinvents itself as a legal integration platform (OR an outsider comes in to completely disrupt the market).
  4. Modernisation & commercialisation of the legal business model will include:
    • No more silos. An integrated approach. E.g. all the teams “sitting together.” 
    • Linked to the above, this "symbiotic approach" (Adam Soanes, BD Director) will lead to the whole firm becoming a part of the business proposition. This was a view corroborated by Ray Berg cited that when you now buy legal services, you’re buying it from the whole firm (IT, HR, Accounting, Innovation team, Marketing & BD the lawyers etc) so why not bring all of these people to the people for the value proposition.
    • "CMO's have to be on the board," according to Ray Berg, as they are the people who are best connected to clients.
  5. Outcomes-based pricing as a result of constant client demand for greater value and transparency around pricing. Lucy used the example of a consultant proactively designing their solutions for clients and co-creating the solution: outcome-based pricing will be the future.
  6. Client experience will become the big differentiator: this is all about how you make your clients feel.


The three keys to future success?

  • Be more human: Key skills like curiosity, imagination, creativity, empathy are becoming the key differentiators as technology is making the technical knowledge more easily accessible than ever before. Lawyers with these skills are not only better equipped to be better lawyers, but better advisers. The lawyers of the future will be all round problem solvers, not just technical experts. 
  • Innovate at speed: “collaborate, not just coordinate." Changing the business model to promote agile collaboration which encompasses every aspect of the business. 
  • Trust is the new currency: not enough to just be good at law anymore. Need to be strong in more ways than one and to be that trusted adviser to your clients.