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Mismatch between clients’ and legal advisors’ digital resource expectations, study finds

31 Jan 2017

Law firms are failing to provide major corporate clients with several key digital resources they want, while also overproviding resources clients are less keen to receive, according to a new report by Eversheds and Winmark.

One section of the wide-ranging study, Raising the bar: digital technology and the enhancement of legal services , compared the priorities of in-house counsel with those of legal service providers. More than half of the in-house counsel surveyed had an annual legal budget of £1 million or more, while more than half of the legal service providers surveyed had an annual turnover of more than £71 million.

One of the most notable digital resources which most in-house counsels wanted, and law firms often did not provide, the report found, was online templates and examples. Just 37 per cent of law firms surveyed offered this service, whereas 75 per cent of in-house counsel surveyed wanted it. A small majority of in-house counsel (54 per cent) also wanted online access to the status of their matter, whereas only 40 per cent of firms offered it. Finally, whereas 51 per cent of all in-house respondents wanted their law firms to provide them with a dashboard of all interactions with their law firm advisors, a mere 21 per cent of firms surveyed currently provided this service. 

In terms of law firms’ overprovision of resources, the largest single mismatch related to the provision of online information and publications. In total, whereas 75 per cent of clients wanted their advisors to provide this service, 94 per cent did so. On a related point, 60 per cent of law firms offered automated alerts and updates, whereas only 49 per cent of in-house counsel wanted them. The survey also found a modest over-provision of collaboration tools, such as cloud-based document sharing. In total, 55 per cent of law firm offered clients this service, but only 42 per cent of clients wanted them.

 

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