Sunday, October 06, 2013

LexisNexis White Paper on Future of Law in Canada

Legal publisher LexisNexis Canada has published a paper on the Future of Law in Canada that outlines 4 possible scenarios for the future of the Canadian legal system by the year 2020:
"To guide us along the journey of describing the future, we utilized an important — and novel — component of our strategic toolkit: scenario planning. Rather than try to predict a single future, we believe that scenario planning has great potential for use in this “transitional period” to simulate and rehearse multiple possible futures that could have profound implications, and highlight previously undiscovered areas of connection and intersection."

"The results of our 2013 scenario planning exercise demonstrate a provocative and engaging exploration of the future of the Canadian legal system through 2020, as you will read in the following pages. This report is crucial reading for anyone interested in creatively considering the multiple, divergent ways in which our world could evolve. The sparks of insight inspiring these narratives — along with their implications for our legal system as a whole — were generated through the invaluable collaboration of many stakeholder representatives, external experts, and LexisNexis staff."
The scenarios are:
  • Controlled evolution: Familiar and known stakeholders retain a full span of control over the evolution of the Canadian legal space. While there is increased focus on the cost and efficiency of legal services, the overall system adapts using proven technology and processes. Even with the cost constraints, the law societies work successfully with the court system to improve the affordable access to justice. For corporate clients, their increasing sophistication and bargaining power are keeping law firms on their toes, and the winning service providers create a lean and flexible work environment that attracts top talent and delivers the best value to the marketplace.
  • Open season: Globalization and new technologies have opened the door to unexpected competitors that disrupt the legal system. Leveraging law society regulations that allow third-party legal services, professional services firms previously offering accounting and consulting services now offer legal services as part of their end-to-end offer, while tech-savvy boutique law firms are delivering legal services in novel, low-cost ways. Clients are reaping the benefits of more choice and better access while law societies, the judiciary and law schools reorganize to better address the new entrants. Traditional firms have made drastic changes to survive. The winners take risks and create innovative practice models that change the way lawyers value themselves and their firms. 
  • Patchwork reform: To address the public outcry for affordable access to justice, governments from across Canada intervene in the regulation of the legal system. Public funding has modernized the court system and increased legal aid, and the new regulations triggered the launch of a broad range of lower-cost legal services enabled by innovative and efficient uses of technology. While the law societies have lost some independence, the legal community consensus is that government reforms and funding have helped inform the public and demystify legal services. The winning law firms have restructured to better service more market segments, and offer more flexible career choices. Clients benefit from the structured choices and prices available in this more controlled environment. 
  • Breakaway: By creatively embracing technology, the Canadian legal system is better, faster and cheaper. New government regulations have encouraged corporate ownership and governance of law firms and the consumer-oriented Canadian Legal Bill of Rights continues to attract tech-savvy entrants who bring the best practices in digital innovation to Canada. In addition to smaller niche players, large non-legal service providers enter the market with unprecedented scale and efficiency. Traditional law firms have been hit the hardest. Many lawyers have had to specialize, and competition for the best talent is intense. The winners operate as decentralized, virtual teams working closely with non-legal business partners to find growth opportunities.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:42 pm

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