Is your law firm ready to take on 2023 challenges and opportunities?
There are some significant trends expected to shape the legal industry in 2023. The LexVeritas team shares our opinion about a few of the most interesting ones that are shaping our growth, evolving our team, and keeping us at the head of the curve in the way we can best serve our law firm clients.
Here are some of the most interesting trends expected to impact our community in 2023, inspired by a recent article published by the College of Law.
1. Cyber security is a MUST for law firms. Attacks aren’t a matter of IF anymore, they are a matter of WHEN. Being PROACTIVE is essential.
No doubt about it, cyber security is a hot topic, and if it isn’t on your radar, it should be. According to the Annual Cyber Threat Report 2022, the ACSC received over 76,000 cyber-crime reports, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year. Queensland (29%) and Victoria (27%) report disproportionately higher rates of cybercrime relative to their populations.
And there are serious consequences – the report says that on average, a malware attack costs a company over $2.5 million (including the time needed to resolve the attack. Ransomware is 57x more destructive in 2021 than it was in 2015.
Australia is an attractive target for cybercriminals, and organisations that run outdated software, or haven’t invested in their IT function for some time run a higher risk of being attacked. Law firms also rely heavily on sharing information via email, which is where most phishing attacks occur.
As many law firms wisely move towards their confidential information being communicated via secure online transfer platforms (instead of emails), they will also likely be assessing their holistic internal IT capabilities and resources.
There is an IT skills shortage, and cyber security is an ever-evolving specialty (imagine how often University case studies must be updated with new breach examples). And finding talent in-house is becoming increasingly difficult. Smaller law firms don’t have the resources or capability to be able to run IT operations 24/7, which can leave them open to cybercrime risk (and other risks). By outsourcing cyber security, and/or other IT functions to LexVeritas, law firms access top-tier technology and process but at a price point that makes sense for them.
According to Duncan Little, CEO of LexVeritas, cyber security is a priority area for all their clients.
“Cyber events are becoming the new normal. More firms are specifically being targeted by threat actors simply because of the confidential nature of the information they are entrusted with. Law firms are also moving hundreds of millions of dollars in through their trust accounts. So they are naturally an attractive target,” Duncan said.
LexVeritas clients’ cybersecurity programs are overseen by the Director of IT Operations, Andrew Murphy. Andrew and his team ensure LexVeritas clients take control of their cyber security, to reduce the likelihood, and impact, of an attack. The team has expertise in the architecture and implementation of End Point Protection (Malware Bytes, SentienelOne, Windows Defender, CrowdStrike), SIEM (Rapid7, SPLUNK), Critical Events (loss detection, ransomware, undoing crypto locks, reporting to Gov), and Essential 8 implementations.
2. Growth will be prioritised for nimble, efficient, ‘hybrid’ firms that embrace digitisation.
There is predicted to be growing demand for alternative legal services in 2023, as law firms look for more cost-effective solutions for routine legal tasks and processes, especially across IT and Finance functions.
“Coming into the legal industry, it was abundantly clear to me quickly that law firms, as a business, weren’t optimised as well as other industries. A lot of outdated technology, a lot of outdated processes,” Duncan said.
“Law firms have historically been very high margin businesses, so there was limited incentive for them to optimise because business was good. However, things are changing now where clients are becoming more aware of value-based billing and outcome-based billing.”
“More firms are now incentivised to embrace technology and find innovative ways to become more efficient,” he said.
LexVeritas can pool top-tier resources for the whole mid-tier market, allowing those firms to take advantage of best practices, ensuring more successful outcomes.
“One of the key benefits of outsourcing is that law firms can take advantage of economies of scale and utilise the expertise from our teams, in a ‘pay for what you need’ flexible model.”
3. Increased adoption of cloud technology allows for better client engagement, stronger security and the ability for lawyers to service clients from anywhere in the country.
As we move forwards with a hybrid workforce, with more remote employees and demand for greater flexibility, cloud technology allows staff and clients to access platforms and systems from anywhere in the world (as long as they have an internet connection). On-premise legal software limits firms in many ways— from VPN struggles to security challenges.
Cloud software offers accessibility and faster speed to market. For example, obtaining e-signatures, requesting a review of legal documents online, and receiving client inquiries through online intake forms. This drives better collaboration between different teams, and better engagement with your clients.
“Cloud software provides firms flexibility and more efficient cost structures. They no longer have to buy the servers and support the hardware on-premise, and they can flex up and down as their demand changes. This can lead to cost savings and more efficient IT operations,” Duncan said.
“From a security perspective, cloud computing helps reduces a firm’s risk. Thanks to economies of scale, cloud computing partners can invest industry-leading security infrastructure. If you choose the right provider, your firm can access a dedicated team of cyber professionals ensuring that your cloud infrastructure is protected.”
Could LexVeritas Support Your Firm’s IT, Finance, or People & Culture Operations?
Interested to know more about how the team of legal operation experts at LexVeritas can support your firm in 2023 across IT, Finance, People & Culture? Email us at [email protected] to arrange a discussion with our Client Success Team to discuss how we can help solve operational challenges and drive better outcomes for your firm.