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Law firms must adapt to a digital future to survive

Australasia-wide research commissioned by legal technology experts GlobalX and peak industry body the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) has revealed that firms must invest in technology to meet increasing client demands.

The 2018 GlobalX + ALPMA Legal Industry Report featured responses from more than 240 practitioners and centered on understanding “What is shaping the future firm?”

GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said that commissioning regular research was vital in understanding where the legal profession is headed and how to best prepare for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

“The research outlines the sentiment of our industry and has uncovered data trends that will shape the industry’s future,” Mr Maloney said.

“78 per cent of firms reported an increase in productivity following the adoption of new technology and 87 per cent planned to implement more than one new innovative product.

“Our research shows that firms are adopting new technology to ensure they can provide an efficient, modern service to clients.”

As the industry moves into the digital space, concerns are mounting around cyber-security amongst the Australasian legal profession.

“15 per cent of respondents stated they had experienced a cyber security breach in the past two years, with 86 per cent of respondents committing future resources to establish training programs to combat cyber-attacks.”

Mr Maloney said 79 per cent of firms had voiced concern about cyber security so it was imperative that lawyers and conveyancers stay up-to-date with the latest measures and technology to mitigate any risks.

“We are living in a sophisticated digital age and the onus is often placed on the legal professional to ensure the consumer’s identity is secure and protected,” Mr Maloney said.

The Notifiable Data Breach Scheme came into effect this year, however 21 per cent of firms identified that they were unaware of the new legislation.

“That means that 21 per cent of firms have not realised that if a data breach occurs, they would be responsible with advising the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC),” Mr Maloney said.

“The legal landscape is constantly changing and evolving, so lawyers and conveyancers need to be ahead of the curve.”

ALPMA President and Corporate Services Manager at K&L Gates Dion Cusack said the aim of the research report was to explore how firms have adapted to rapid change in the legal landscape.

“We also wanted to establish a benchmark and highlight key considerations for firms to enable them to start future proofing their businesses.

“The large sample size of the report provides a credible source to refer to for legal profession across Australia,” Mr Cusack said.

Download the full free industry report today.

GlobalX + ALPMA Report 2018

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