28 January 2022

How firms are trying to adapt in the new digital environment. Discover the case of UnitedLex


The Impact Lawyers has the pleasure to publish the interview made with David Clarke, CMO and CXO at UnitedLex, about the digital tools that this firms is using currently to addapt to the new technological paradigm

What priorities should a law department have when it comes to digitally transforming itself?

Begin with the right end in mind. The focus should be on business outcomes and how to align the law department more closely to business priorities, which requires both a customer-centric outlook and a holistic and integrated approach to transformation. That means making sure your efforts encompass technology, data and insights, ways of working, and of course, people and culture. If you're doing your transformation right, it should touch every aspect of the way you do business.

Is the legal sector starting to become aware of digital transformation? Are many law departments investing in renewing their digital tools?

We are at a tipping point where it is imperative for the legal sector to embrace transformation as there is significant pressure from the c-suite to automate and find efficiencies across the entire organization. “By 2024, legal departments will have automated 50% of legal work related to major corporate transactions“, states Gartner.  Legal departments at the Fortune 1000 are aware that they are not optimizing their resources, that their workflow is inefficient, and that they could better allocate hours.

They're aware of digital transformation, but too often that is associated with just a piecemeal digital offering. UnitedLex provides a digital-first transformation solution. We built a platform to meet them where they already are, using the tools they already use — like Microsoft — to ensure this is a true customer-centric experience.

What steps did UnitedLex take in its digital transformation process?

We tell our clients that digital legal transformation comes from becoming digital, not just employing digital technologies. 

This means operating at the intersection of law, technology, and business to create value for the enterprise — and creating an environment where digital innovation can thrive. The company was itself founded with a singular focus on delivering value to its clients and has kept customer value and customer experience at the heart of its culture through its own evolution. A significant part of our transformation process has been the development and use of our Vantage platform, which not only enables us to digitally deliver but reinforces our cultural focus on collaboration, empowerment, and insight-driven decision making. We have also developed a workforce uniquely positioned for end-to-end digital transformation —both for our clients and ourselves — encompassing legal experts, technology experts, data scientists, experience expertise, etc. 

The holistic focus on building cross-workforce digital transformation skills, engendering a culture of innovation and collaboration, all supported by best-in class technology, and enabling us to continuously transform.  

Why UnitedLex Vantage, what benefits will it bring to UnitedLex clients?

We built a legal transformation solution where our customers already are. That's why we built it on Microsoft Azure. So many legal departments already use Excel, PowerPoint, Word and the rest of the Microsoft suite for their day-to-day work. More than 90% of the Fortune 1000 are Microsoft shops

When we really drilled down into our audience's day to day work and pain points, so much of it was around using disjoined solutions, having to constantly authenticate credentials, and having siloed operations. 

We built Vantage to truly optimize legal departments, to give them a single, 360 degree view and source of truth, and to empower them to best use their resources efficiently. Some legal departments saw their spending drop 20% right off the bat, so this is a product that pays for itself quickly.

What are the pitfalls of digital transformation?

There is an often-cited statistic that 70% of transformation efforts fail, and digital transformations are no exception.  As mentioned above, digital transformation efforts can fall short of delivering business value if they become “all about the technology” or are not framed with a customer experience lens. As with other significant transformation efforts, digital transformation journeys are often handicapped by lack of a clear vision and roadmap, poor adoption of new technologies, and change fatigue. Focused attention to change management throughout the journey is essential. 

We've found that integrating both agile and experience design principles into our change management approaches enables us to create higher satisfaction and adoption throughout the process.

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