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The appetite for new legal services models
For both buyers and providers of legal services, this is an exciting time to be involved in the legal market. The industry faces unprecedented change. In response, companies are seeking out innovations in the way they procure, use and interact with providers of legal services.
To deepen our understanding of the critical issues, Allen & Overy commissioned independent research into how the delivery of legal services is changing around the world. The result is this report, based on the views of almost 200 senior buyers of legal services at companies with a collective annual legal budget of nearly GBP3.5 billion.
The findings will help organisations benchmark their use of legal providers and illuminates some of the innovative, hybrid and collaborative approaches that are being adopted across the world as legal services are increasingly unbundled.
Although the landscape is shifting in many different ways, one thing is clear: the organisations we interviewed are determined to turn these changes to their advantage. Failure to meet this challenge head-on will be a missed opportunity for clients and providers of legal services alike.
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Models of legal services: some definitions
Traditional partner-led law firms
Self-employed, independent lawyers engaged for short periods or a fixed term to provide flexible project support or fill and absentee position.
Document review services
Outsourced organisations that review high volumes of legal documents at a lower cost, sometimes by non-legally trained individuals; often used in litigation or due diligence.
Managed legal services
Contracting out all or part of the function of the in-house legal team to an independent legal provider.
Online legal services
Standardised legal advice available only online; often accessed through a subscription service.
Independent consultants who advise on the management and operation of a legal department or the structuring of a large piece of work.
Hybrid legal solutions
A collaboration between two or more of the above providers, often combined with process and technology innovations.
Our research has confirmed that change is underway in all parts of the legal market. Although the pace and depth of change is unique to each individual organisation, the broad trajectory of the change is constant. We summarise the learning from our research into five questions that the most innovative in-house teams are grappling with right now.