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Innovation to ‘Co-opetion’ – Why Law Firms need to Innovate

Posted by: Laurence Simons 15/03/17

There is a widespread consensus amongst the legal community that the need to innovate is greater than ever with Integreon CEO, Bob Gogel, saying legal innovation will be particularly crucial over the next year. 

But what will drive these innovations? Gogel highlighted some of the main instigators of change in a recent speech at the FT Innovative Lawyers North America Awards in New York. 

Gogel says innovation will come from law firms which take a more collaborative approach to sharing resources and knowledge with other firms and their clients. A number of research papers demonstrate the benefits of increased collaboration, even if the firms would otherwise consider themselves competitors. 

Coined "co-opetition" Gogel believes that a broader sense of collaboration across the sector would help foster widespread innovation.

We’ve discussed the importance of diversity in great depth over the last year, and Gogel draws attention to the importance of diverse demographics in fostering innovation. 

Increased levels of diversity have been proven to improve financial performance, but can also help to foster greater levels of innovation, which will become a crucial advantage for firms in an increasingly competitive legal market. 

Innovation will also begin to thrive as law firms continue to experiment with various ownership forms, in turn leading to new sources of funding, resources and approaches to their work according to Gogel. 

Only the UK and Australia allow ‘non-lawyers’ to own and invest in alternative business structures for the delivery of legal services. He believes firms who embrace a diversity of perspectives on the business side of law will become more innovative.

New technologies, especially those that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning, will play a growing role in the business and practice of law. Fully integrating these types of technologies into legal work practices will be challenging, but their ability to increase efficiency will allow lawyers to focus on more complex work. 

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