Innovation lies at the heart of our practice. Challenging the way we work through open-mindedness, diversity and creativity has an enormous impact on results for our clients, our efficiency, and our wellbeing.

No industry is immune from the disruptive effects of technology, and the legal profession has exploded with products that are impacting working practices. Tasks like large scale document reviews have been transformed as a result. Traditionally, trainees would be sent to a physical ‘data room’ to manually review boxes of paper contracts. Now ‘virtual data rooms’ have become the norm and Artificial Intelligence (AI) review platforms use pattern-finding algorithms to interrogate documents at the touch of a button. Advances in legal tech are also extending to drafting, proofreading, project management, analytics, signing, litigation, finance and compliance.

Where processes exist, there is potential for automation to make lawyers’ jobs easier. Where data exists, it is possible to extract patterns to give lawyers deeper understanding, quantify risk and plan strategy.

Technology is just one area in which we can innovate. The skill set of an effective lawyer is changing, influenced by technology and process improvement; this impacts our training and recruitment. Resourcing of legal projects is changing, to include data analysts and project managers to support our lawyers.

By being familiar with the disruption our clients are experiencing, we are able to ensure that we provide the optimum service.

At Slaughter and May, progress is underpinned by communication and collaboration. We have an Innovation Network of over 200 people, we engage our clients in specific elements of brainstorming and testing, and collaborate with clients, industry experts and entrepreneurs to help shape the development of legal tech.

We are innovating to make sure that technology really does what it was intended to do: make life better. Great productivity involves downtime and rest, and protecting that – even from technology itself – is vital.