Legal futures round-up

Par Yves Faguy août 8, 20188 août 2018

Legal futures round-up


Time for a quick round-up of notable trends and developments and views that highlight innovation in the legal industry.

The big news was the recent announcement that Big Four accountancy EY will acquire Riverview, a leader in the managed legal services space since its launch in 2012 with the backing of global law firm DLA Piper. Legal Business reports that DLA Piper is selling its interest in Riverview, though it retains a small stake in Kim Technologies, an AI platform that Riverview acquired in 2015 (but from which it has since demerged). The acquired entity will be known as EY Riverview Law once the deal is completed (possibly by the end of the month).

Liam Brown notes the obvious – that the move “reflects the growing ambitions of the Big 4 in law” – but also that “Riverview’s action reflects that making a dent in the legal market is hard yards.” He also cautions that we recently witnessed a similar move when Conduit Law partnered up with Deloitte in 2016, only to end their affiliation 18 months later.

The Ontario Bar Association is launching a first “Innovator in Residence” program that aims to identify, develop and advance innovations that will help members better serve their clients.  Peter Aprile, a tax litigator and founder of Counter Tax Lawyers, will be the first Innovator in Residence as of September.

In the U.S., Utah is likely to join Washington state in licensing paralegals to practice law in limited circumstances. The first paralegal practitioners are expected to be licensed in 2019.

Bloomberg Law reports on a recent survey conducted with Above the Law that shows practitioners in the legal industry warming to the use of analytics.  According to the survey, 65 percent of respondents agree that “the use of analytics has provided significant insight beyond what I obtain for other types of tools.” Uses include guiding them in their litigation strategy, how they advise clients and forecasting profitability of cases and matters.

Finally, in his latest, Jordan Furlong channels the Simpsons (as he is prone to do) and examines “the cause of — and solution to — all of law firms’ problems”  -- the impulsion to wear too many hats and be in control of every detail.  Nothing that a little trust, delegation, and deference to other professionals’ recommendation cannot fix.

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