By LE Desk

March 25: UK financial services institutions are thinking more strategically about their adoption of legal technology as in-house legal teams are charged with finding tools to deliver operational efficiency. 

According to top law firm Pinsent Masons, this priority reflects the expectations leading financial services companies have of their legal function: that they will lead and shape strategic direction and implementation of business strategy and be more accountable for companies’ performance and costs.

According to 10 leading UK-based banks, insurers and asset managers that the law firm talked to, the anticipated revolution of AI-powered legal tech solutions has yet to materialise. Many in‑house teams recognise that they need a more advanced strategy for harnessing data to make the most of the potential AI offers. Instead, many are focussing on existing corporate IT tools rather than bespoke legal technology applications.

Attitudes to legal technology have changed in UK financial institutions since Pinsent Masons last gathered views on the topic in 2018. Back then, while there was some enthusiasm over what the future of legal technology could offer, there was also scepticism from some about its potential impact, said the law firm.

The firm said its latest engagement with institutions on the topic of legal technology found that Covid-19 and the necessity of remote working have changed attitudes.

The move to remote working was achieved more rapidly and more successfully than many expected. The successful adoption of video calling has served as a catalyst, and the necessity of e-signature tools, also driven by the move to remote working, has played a part. This has increased either the adoption of or the desire to adopt technology in legal teams. All are now taking a considered approach to their use of technology, and developing appropriate strategies, the top law firm said.

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