Tech-enabled collaboration essential to legal sector’s future – minister

Australian legal firms have traditionally operated in silos – but collaboration is going to be essential to law firms that want to stay relevant in the era of digital disruption

Tech-enabled collaboration essential to legal sector’s future – minister
A top government official is urging law firms and companies to invest in improving collaboration through technology, an area which he says will shape the future of the legal industry.

“Clients and consumers increasingly demand more for less. Companies who invest in digitised platforms now, will see the long-term benefits of intuitive technology, functionality and enhanced productivity for users,” said Craig Laundy, assistant minister for industry, innovation and science.

Laundy spoke at last week’s “A Shifting Legal Landscape” event by GlobalX, which was attended by Victoria’s top lawyers and conveyancers.

He highlighted the lack of consultation between research institutions and companies, which he said was stopping companies from enjoying more benefits due to improved collaboration.

“Australian businesses, particularly in the legal and conveyancing sectors, have traditionally operated in silos, but collaboration is essential if businesses want to stay relevant in an era of digital disruption,” he said.

Australia is lagging in the field of collaboration, despite not lacking in ingenuity and innovation.

“The challenge we have in this country is that we need to embrace disruption and run with innovation, as well as invest time and money in collaborative efforts,” Laundy said. “There’s huge potential for businesses to expand their offering through engaging with research institutions and getting PhD students to consult with industry professionals to enact change. It’s no longer a choice whether to innovate or not. Companies that fail to innovate will simply become obsolete if they fail to get on board with new changes.”

GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said that legal practitioners who fail to adapt to the use of technology in a changing legal landscape will be missing massive opportunities.

“I can confidently say that if there are any legal practitioners that doubt whether PEXA (electronic conveyancing) will come to life to the full extent, they are probably setting themselves up for failure,” Maloney said. “Almost $40 billion worth of property transactions have gone through the platform already. Additionally, half a million transactions have been completed. State governments, through their Land Registries, across Australia are laying out the timeframe for paper-based conveyancing to converge into electronic conveyancing. The land registries across Australia are working to guide the industry through this change, and I can promise, there is a lot of change to come.”

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