Innovation vs. the Lawyer

More often than not, to a lawyer, innovation is seen as a risky, and even dangerous, aspect of business. The world usually progresses (quite nicely, thank you) through a series of considered and incremental steps. There is rarely any place for bold moves and transformational change.

But there is a sea-change happening in the market. Innovation is creeping in, often driven by disruptive forces such as the Legal Services Act or the arrival of LPO providers, but it is being emboldened by its own success and the differentiation that these changes bring to the firm or law department.

In our work in the legal sector, we are constantly encouraged when we meet partners and GCs who simply ‘get’ innovation. Theirs is a world beyond the (not very) simple practice of law – where different challenges await, and where competition and transformation are a way of life. Just as, over a decade ago, CIOs stepped up to the plate and became partners to their business rather than just senior technicians, the innovative lawyers are learning to become businessmen and women, servicing their clients and businesses in relevant and valuable ways. That is why we are very proud to be able to sponsor the Client Services Award for the FT’s Innovative Lawyer program.

The program itself seeks to recognise market leaders in the legal industry by measuring and rewarding uniqueness and value delivered to clients – rather than more conventional metrics such as size, revenue and profit. If done right, of course, the former will naturally lead to the latter. We chose to sponsor this particular award because it focuses directly on the value that firms have been able to deliver to their clients. We also understand that innovation is rarely a one-sided equation, and that the clients have usually had as much to do with the innovation as the firms themselves.

Orbys revels in identifying and helping deliver innovation to our clients – we also love the challenge of convincing the more reticent ones of the benefits of innovation. We are very much looking forward to seeing the breadth and depth of entries to this years competition. It’s been a challenging year for many firms and we suspect that the ones that have risen to that challenge could be the ones collecting the awards…