In-house yet to embrace NewLaw

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Despite the widespread discussion of NewLaw firms within the legal industry, only few in-house teams have engaged an alternative legal service supplier, a new UK survey has found.

The vast majority of in-house teams (81.7 percent) reported that they had not made any significant changes to the structure, size, function or composition of their team in the previous 12 months as a result of their use of NewLaw firms, The Lawyer’s Business Leadership report found.

However, 31.6 percent of in-house teams anticipated that they would be making changes in the year ahead as a result of their use of alternative legal services.

According to Keypoint Law CEO Warren Kalinko, the NewLaw model is making inroads with Australian in-house legal teams. “Many in-house teams are embracing NewLaw; but there are still a large number which are yet to try,” he said. “This is often due to a lack of awareness of the new offerings.  In other cases, there is a natural conservatism to stay with the status quo.”

In Kalinko’s view, the NewLaw model has a lot to offer in-house teams under pressure to deliver more for less.

“The NewLaw offering can best be described as ‘lean, senior and flexible’.  NewLaw models dramatically reduce overhead, eliminate duplication and use advanced technologies.  They offer a non-leveraged service – in which clients deal with partners direct.  And they emphasise flexible pricing structures and flexible ways of working with the client,” he said.   

Kalinko anticipates that the number of high-profile partners switching to NewLaw firms will help to drive awareness of the model and over time lead to more in-house teams being willing to try them.