Talking with Lachlan McKnight, founder of LegalVision

Lachlan McKnight is the CEO of LegalVision, an award-winning NewLaw firm. I had the pleasure of talking with him recently.

1. Lachlan, the last decade has seen the proliferation of NewLaw business model providers of B2B and  B2C legal services. How does LegalVision interpret this growth and the diversity in types of provider?

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Private equity invests in NewLaw firm Axiom

Axiom Law, one of NewLaw’s pioneering companies, both internationally and in Asia, has announced a new private equity investment from Permira, a major investor in LegalZoom.  The new investment comes after a recent planned initial public offering (IPO) was cancelled.

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The remarkable Andrés Jara

The remarkable Andrés Jara is a short story emanating from my recent encounter with Andrés. Within 10 minutes of meeting Andrés Jara when he came to say hello in our Melbourne office, I knew I was privileged to be talking with a remarkable legal services pioneer, a visionary and a ‘doer’. Andrés describes himself as a ‘lawyer, entrepreneur, father and husband’. I’d add ‘global leader’.

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Remaking News of the Week: The remarkable Andres Jara

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Smart law firms have created the future – today

Katherine opens ‘Smart law firms have created the future – today’ with this observation, ‘I find law firms fascinating and I love helping them develop and grow.  That’s one of the reasons I established Free Range Lawyers.  As I’ve engaged with firms across Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, I’ve learned more about what these really progressive organisations have in common.  Here are the five key things that these ‘firms of the future’ are doing today.’

 

Five things law firms of the future are doing today

“Tomorrow never comes” and neither does the “law firm of the future”.

So smart law firms have created the future….today.  Here’s how.

1. They design their services intentionally

Smart law firms realise that it’s not enough to let their services evolve.  They need to be created. New firms are starting with a blank sheet of paper and asking ‘what if?’.  Established firms are re-examining the way they do things. Using service design methodologies, notably elements of Design Thinking, these firms have reimagined the services they deliver through the lens of customer experience and delivery efficiency.  Cue whiteboards, post-it notes, coffee and chocolate.

2. They package-up their services

The human brain finds it easier to understand something that is tangible than intangible.  Smart firms realise this. In defining what they deliver, they open-up the ‘black box’ of legal services and help clients to buy.  The ‘how?’ has become as important as the ‘what?’. Clear timescales, pricing and branding all play their part in making services tangible and easy to understand.  And before you ask: no, this doesn’t just apply to ‘low grade’ work……

3. They scale up and down

Scale doesn’t mean size.  And size doesn’t mean quality.  Smart firms realise this and operate a ‘core plus’ resourcing model that combines permanent employees with a group of trusted freelancers.  They turn the tap on and off according to activity levels and reap the financial and agility rewards that brings. They do this, not only to add resource but also specialist skills where they’re needed, turning to organisations such as Free Range Lawyers to scale-up in a savvy way.

4. They automate documents

Smart firms take things one step at a time.  They don’t automate dreadful processes and they don’t try ‘to do AI’ while still manually amending standard documents.  Document automation is a foundational requirement for the smart law firm. It increases accuracy, reduces risks, lowers costs and frees-up lawyer time for service delivery.  Of course, the really smart firms use automation platforms + flexible resource to automate documents because they know that focused freelancer time gets it done, rather than remaining an item of guilt on a busy lawyer’s ‘to do’ list.

5. They don’t charge for their time

Smart firms don’t charge for their time because they don’t sell their time.  They sell solutions. They sell hassle removed. They sell risks lowered or mitigated.  They sell business growth. They sell peace of mind. They sell a myriad of things….but they don’t sell time.  And because they don’t sell time, they don’t charge for it. They charge for results. What’s more, they understand that in this automated, designed, packaged, scalable world of legal services, selling time is an idea that’s reaching its expiry date.

Doing the simple stuff well is where it’s at.  Smart law firms – big, small, solo and mid – know this.  I just hope they’ll forgive me for sharing their secrets.

 

Smart law firms have created the future….today was first published as ‘Tomorrow never comes and neither does the law firm of the future’ on Katherine’s Free Ranger Lawyers blog in June 2019.

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Remaking News of the Week: BigLaw investing in their own NewLaw businesses

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