Finalists for the 2018 Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA)/LexisNexis Thought Leadership Awards have been announced, with disruptive technology a common theme.
The 2018 finalists are Adieu Lawyers, LegalVision, Lawyers on Demand and Mills Oakley.
The ALPMA/LexisNexis Thought Leadership Awards seek to recognise any project where a law firm is doing things differently across all aspects of operations, business development and technology. This year’s finalists had a particular focus on using technology to improve operations, each with a different approach.
The judging panel included industry veterans and thought leaders: Legal Circles Principal Shelley Dunstone, Cornwall Stodart Director of Operations Shirley Hamel, Centre for Legal Innovation Director Terri Mottershead and LexisNexis Executive Director, Strategy & Customer Discovery Whit Lee.
Mr Lee says this year’s finalists took innovation to the next level, making the judging process valuable not only for LexisNexis as Awards partners, but as industry leaders.
“We have noticed more and more that technology is becoming a significant driver of disruption in the legal industry, but this year’s high-calibre finalists are a perfect showcase for the fact that technology can be applied in many different ways to transform a legal practice,” he said.
Finalist Adieu Legal’s collaborative divorce platform is the perfect example of this disruptive approach to technology. Adieu developed a platform that combined artificial intelligence with family law experts to create a ‘consensus accelerator’, reaching agreements in a fraction of the traditional time.
Adieu Legal’s CEO, Andrew Wight, says the platform is incredibly ambitious, aimed at raising access to legal advice and reducing disadvantage, as well as simplifying a difficult process that is often conducted without any legal advice.
“Our consensus accelerator makes it possible to resolve family law disputes in minutes rather than years—with agreements that are legally-sound, aligned with the human legal advice and submitted to the court as an application for consent orders,” said Mr Wight.
LegalVision are both 2018 finalists and previous Award winners, submitting their client experience and transformative technology projects in this year’s Awards. Both initiatives have improved client satisfaction and service delivery, creating measurable outcomes.
In revisiting the client experience, LegalVision now offers free consultations for clients, proactively working towards achieving business goals. This quite often leads to customised technology solutions, developed in-house by LegalVision’s lawyers and development team.
Lawyers On Demand (LOD)’s newly launched Secondment Solutions service were named a finalist for their innovative approach to servicing their law firm client’s short and long-term secondment projects, outsourcing quality talent and managing internal workload balance for clients.
Anita Thompson, head of Marketing & Communications at LOD, says the service answers a market need with a NewLaw response, thinking outside the box.
“Secondment Solutions is a unique offering in the current legal market. It allows law firms to maintain the integrity of their own teams, whilst fulfilling the needs’ of their clients to provide secondees with the relevant skill set and experience,” said Ms Thompson.
Mills Oakley have followed up on their 2017 Thought Leadership Awards win with another iteration of their Accelerator program, this time engaging with Swinburne University of Technology’s Legal Futures Lab to give the industry’s up-and-coming tech stars a real-life testing environment.
Working with access to Mills Oakley clients, the Accelerator partnership allows students and future lawyers to find technological solutions for real clients with real problems and pain points. Students are currently working on solutions for legal research, risk analysis, document automation and stream leasing, with the most viable proposals progressing to the Accelerator and then to client roll-out.
Dion Cusack, ALPMA President and Corporate Services Manager at K&L Gates, is looking forward to learning more about the finalists as the Awards process continues.
“We are pleased to have such high-quality finalists for the Thought Leadership Awards. Each finalist has demonstrated true leadership in their area of expertise, and it is encouraging to see our profession developing and challenging the idea of what a ‘traditional’ law firm should encompass,” said Mr Cusack.
Finalists will now undergo a second round of in-person judging as they present their submissions via video later this month.
The Thought Leadership Awards winner will be announced at a gala dinner during the ALPMA Summit in Sydney, held at the International Conference Centre from 19–21 September.