The use of automation and technology will become the ‘norm’ in the legal world according to ME Group CEO, Rob Cooper, after a major study revealed the impact it has had.

The research, done by the University of Oxford on behalf of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), has revealed that reliance on technology within the industry has surged over the last 18 months.

The study found that 87% of firms were using video conferencing with their clients while 66% were now storing data in cloud form.

Complex technology such as automation in documents, interactive websites and AI showed 37% of law firms saying they were using it.

Speaking about the impact it’s having on the claims management sector, Rob Cooper commented:

‘The impact of Covid-19 has underscored the value of technology for the dispute resolution industry, which would have ground to a halt without it.

‘Technology will become the norm for dispute resolution, not least because law firms and the public they serve have seen how technology both improves the quality of the customer journey and is much cheaper to use.

‘Using LegalTech to automate business operations and increase data accuracy and validity, removes unnecessary costs for all stakeholders, increases market capacity, and ultimately improves access to justice’

The University of Oxford collated information supplied through almost 900 detailed survey responses from SRA regulated firms to help compile the report.

They also used interviews with over 50 stakeholders from legal, technological, investment and government sectors, while applying wider analysis of information from leading online recruitment and investment databases.

In a statement on the SRA website, Anna Bradley, Chair of the SRA, said:

‘Supporting innovation and the adoption of legal technology is a key priority, as we set out in our Corporate Strategy. It can help increase access to justice for the public and small businesses, as well as supporting firms to be more efficient, benefitting everyone and the economy as a whole.

‘These findings drive home the fact that when we talk about technology, we need to remember just how broad that term is and how far there is for some to travel.

‘This is not just about artificial intelligence, virtual reality or future technologies. Some of the innovation which has the greatest potential to improve access to justice at pace is already available. Such technology can be applied widely and be used on a day-to-day basis to benefit both consumers and law firms. The challenge now is how we all work together to enable this to happen.’

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