Clifford Chance is ramping up its focus on the use of technology to deliver services, notably via its continuous improvement programme, with investment in a wider range of business services roles and related products.
Speaking to The Lawyer for this year’s UK 200: Business Services report, Clifford Chance’s global head of innovation and business change Bas Boris Visser said the firm was currently reorganising its global IT team with the introduction a number of new roles, most of which related in some form to technology.
They include a head of legal project management, transaction managers, resource managers, data science analysts, coding experts and others.
“You need a very strong team on the technology side to help the lawyers become comfortable in applying these tech-based tools in their day-to-day practice and across different time zones,” said Visser. “There is a large variety of new roles coming in, and not just tech-related. The law firm of the future will be focused on using the right resources for the right work.”
Clifford Chance confirmed that the programme had contributed to £15m in savings during the 2016/17 financial year.
As part of its increased investment the firm is looking to build out a series of what it calls ‘best delivery hubs’ in the Americas, London, Continental Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, each with a minimum of three staff. The firm currently has legal project managers based in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.
Visser said the law firm of the future was likely to have a very different mix of products and services from today, which is likely to require new skill sets to complement legal know how.
“We’ve made a conscious decision to invest in these areas because we believe the future successful law firms will see a different composition of products than even three to five years ago,” argued Visser.
Clifford Chance has also recently launched CC Dr@ft, the automated contract generating tool developed internally by a team of its lawyers in Amsterdam, in London as part of the firm-wide investment programme in technology-related products and professionals.
CC Dr@ft enables clients to auto-generate contracts, saving time for in-house legal teams who should only need to perform a final review. It was developed by a group of lawyers in Clifford Chance’s Amsterdam office who are also coding experts.
The firm said confirmed that the tool, which was first launched in 2015, had so far generated revenues that were “in seven figures”.
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