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Thursday 11 January 2018

Deloitte creates legal ructions with technology

LogoIn a marked change of direction, Deloitte has announced that it is mounting a direct attack on the UK legal services market. Technology will be its key weapon as it seeks to disrupt a sector not known for its agility.

While Deloitte has operated in the UK legal sector for many years, its focus has been on supporting, rather than competing with the established practitioners. Indeed, three years ago it took a conscious decision not follow the paths PwC, KPMG and EY as they chose to take advantage of a relaxation in regulations to allow non-lawyers to offer traditional legal services through gaining an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence.  

This latest move by Deloitte is described as an expansion of its consulting and managed services portfolio. The initial targets are both automated document review and document management related opportunities, and the provision of advice to in-house legal teams on how to better leverage automation and technology. The fact that this is accompanied by an application for an ABS licence, however, suggests that Deloitte harbours much grander and disruptive ambitions in the legal sector.

Globally, Legal Process Outsourcing is a rapidly expanding, multi-billion dollar market. Securing a larger piece of this action would be a very attractive prospect for firms seeking new avenues for growth.

We have commented more than once in recent times on the potential for RPA and AI in the legal sector. We have also observed how new technologies are changing radically both the services being offered to clients and how more traditional services are delivered in the Professional Services arena (see here). Within this context, the push by Deloitte into the UK legal services market appears to make eminent sense

Posted by Duncan Aitchison at '09:39' - Tagged: legalservices   consultancy  

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