Yuzu.law chief executive officer and former Colt general counsel Robin Saphra talks to The Lawyer ahead of this year’s Business Leadership Summit in association with Propero Partners, which focuses on the law firm of 2025.

Robin Saphra Yuzu.law
Robin Saphra

Are there going to be fewer jobs in the legal market in 2025?

No. There will be more, but lawyers looking for jobs will need to demonstrate a much broader range of skills to address the new market. Lawyers will need to be process engineers, programmers, technologists, client care specialists, professional salespeople.

Knowledge of the law will be a hygiene factor in recruitment, but the jobs will go to those who can apply service delivery effectively to their knowledge.

Will AI be as commonplace as photocopying by 2025?

I wonder if photocopying will be commonplace in 2025? AI will have a place and will be valuable in replacing analogue activity and driving efficiency and speed. AI will be used when the investment justifies a return.

I don’t believe that within 8 years that adopting an AI based solution will be as much of a no-brainer as using a photocopier.

Will every 2025 lawyer know how to code?

My kids don’t know how to code, but they know how to apply technology to a problem. Those who want to innovate will at least have to understand this.

What is the future of legal service delivery?

Merely possessing legal expertise or knowledge is no longer enough. Nor is being good at problem solving. The delivery of the product will be the most important differentiator for legal service providers.

What will be the impact of tech on team roles and how will it help to shape your team of 2025?

Every team member will need to embrace technology and understand how they can use it to improve their efficiency and delivery. Those who don’t will fall behind.

How do you envisage private practice and in-house working to deliver value in 2025?

The in-house legal department is the private practice firm’s most formidable competitor. Firms need to stop worrying about other firms and figure out how they partner with in-house. And in-house departments need to move away from treating firms as suppliers and thinking of them as collaborators.

Will every lawyer be agile working/working remotely by 2025?

Every lawyer should expect to spend at least half their time working this way. Organisations (legal and non-legal business) should think about the transformation that needs to happen to support this.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I appeared in a Cadbury’s Flake TV ad opposite Miss South Africa.
  • I became a partner in a City law firm two years after qualifying as a solicitor.
  • I was a theatre director before becoming a lawyer.

If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?

I would have liked to be a doctor. Or a spy.

With agile working becoming the norm, which spot in the world would you most like to work from?

Tasmania. The air is cleaner than anywhere else.

Robin will be speaking at this year’s Business Leadership Summit on a panel discussion exploring how private practise and in-house can work better together to deliver value. For more information on the summit, a copy of the agenda, or to enquire about tickets to attend, please contact Kenan Balli on +44(0) 20 7970 4017 or kenan.balli@centaurmedia.com