A recent report of the top 100 law firms in the UK from HSBC and The Lawyer has found that over 80% of law firms have said that technology was of vital importance for growth. Although the importance of technology is not in doubt, the willingness to invest in new technology has reduced from 75% of firms willing to invest 5% of their revenue in 2017 to just over 25% in 2019. Developments in technology are increasing with artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation transforming businesses, top law firms realise the potential of technology to help serve their clients and grow their business.
Chloe Clift, HSBC UK Head of Professional Services stated: “While investment in technology is clearly still a priority, law firms are pulling back from new and innovative technologies for focus on their ‘business as usual’ systems that lie at the heart of operating an efficient modern law firm. “Products and services that were previously seen as innovative tech are now, in many cases, established and require minimal additional investment. It’s also worth considering that some firms may be delaying investment decisions until the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is clearer.”
The survey also found that that client collaboration tools (44%) would also be top priority when it came to spending revenue on technology, followed by the prevention of cyber crime (15%) and artificial intelligence (11%). Clift said: “While an increase in revenue across law firms means that tech investment has grown in real terms, firms shouldn’t be complacent, particularly around investment in preventing cyber crime. Increasing frequency and sophistication means that cyber crime should remain a focus for firms who could suffer damage to their operations or their reputation in the event of a serious breach.”
Cyber attacks on law firms have soared by almost 250% in the past 6 months, so it is no surprise that cyber security starts to become a top agenda item. The figures released by Beaming revealed that UK firms experienced 157,528 cyber attacks between July and September 2019. This was 45,970 more attacks than the same period last year and cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. Jennifer Williams, cyber security specialist at The Practical Vision Network says “It is important that people from across the firm adopt a positive cyber culture. As we know cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated in the methods, they use to steal data and money from law firms, who are a particular target because of the types of information they hold. Encourage your colleagues to report anything suspicious and make a big deal of promoting Cyber Security Awareness month. You never know when cyber criminals will attack, so it’s best to always have your defences ready.”
The Government backed Cyber Essentials scheme is one way law firms can help to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate commitment to cyber security. Firms should have Cyber Essentials accreditation as a minimum to ensure up-to-date cyber defences. Redbrick Solutions is working towards Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation and Redbrick Solutions use the very latest technology to make the conveyancing process as efficient and secure as possible. We take a serious stance on fraud in order to offer as much protection to our clients as possible. Our document sharing portal has the highest level of security available using two-part authentication. This enables you to share sensitive data, such as bank details, with your client whilst removing the risk of email interception and fraud. Redbrick Solutions also provide full identity checks. All of our AML/ID checks are fully compliant with the FCA, HMRC and SRA. You can also choose to accept proof of ID electronically via our secure portal and make use of electronic signatures if required.