Legal tech is becoming big business in the Asia Pacific region and it is no doubt that GCs would like to see law firms doing more to help them make sense of the market. More than half of respondents to our survey at 62% said their external firms were using technology to deliver legal services, but under a quarter (23%) said their firms had offered to share information on how technology might benefit their legal team’s operations.
Legal tech is becoming big business in the Asia Pacific
region, so much so that the Singapore Academy of Law
(SAL) has opened legal tech accelerator. But much of the
industry's focus remains on selling to law firms. For GCs and
in-house legal teams, making sense of the myriad systems can
be a daunting task.
It is no surprise then that GCs would like to see law firms doing
more to help them make sense of the market. While more than
half of respondents to our survey (62%) said their external firms
were using technology to deliver legal services, under a quarter
(23%) said their firms had offered to share information on how
technology might benefit their legal team's operations.
'Law firms need to demonstrate the value to in-house teams
in adopting technological solutions', noted one respondent, a
Hong Kong-based legal manager at an international consumer
goods company. 'Right now, I think the focus of law firms is
using technology to improve their bottom line rather than
creating a value for clients.'
Another respondent, an Indonesia-based head of legal at
a large insurance provider, added: 'It would be great if the
external firm could also offer the service in helping in-house
team finding the right legal tech solution for their team. They
are often far more aware of the trends and services being used
in the market so this would really help us understand things.'
Given the clear client demand, it is surprising that law firms
are not seeing the opportunity here. Then again, law firms
themselves may have a lot to learn. Just 22% of respondents
were satisfied with the technology being used by their external
Law firms should take this dissatisfaction seriously - 94% of
respondents said it was important for law firms to keep up with
new technologies, while 59% said they had started assessing
their firms' use of technology as part of their formal panel
The incentive for law firms is clear. While legal tech is often
seen as a disintermediator, disruptor or challenger to the
established order, it does not have to be treated as a zerosum game.
As Susan Cattell, senior legal operations manager
at Australian financial services company AMP, notes: 'Clients
and law firms have to work together to ensure the right tech
solutions have been put into place and that they benefit both