The legal sector is witnessing a transformative shift due to the integration of technology, as evidenced by a 2021 SRA survey and ongoing trends into 2022 and 2023. The use of platforms like Verify 365 has become a cornerstone in this evolution, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in client dealings. 

Technology as a Catalyst for Change 

In 2021, a staggering 72% of law firms integrated technology primarily to boost service quality, while 71% emphasised efficiency as a key motivator. Additionally, 44% of firms recognised technology’s role in enabling flexible working arrangements. 

Notably, 67% of firms combined technological upgrades with broader innovative strategies, suggesting a unified approach where technology adoption goes hand-in-hand with the introduction of new services. This trend underscores technology’s crucial role in reshaping the legal landscape, aligning with law firms’ goals of service enhancement and efficiency. 

Legal Technology’s Growing Influence 

The influence of technology in law firms is undeniable. According to the SRA survey, 87% of firms adopted video conferencing for client meetings by 2021, and 66% utilised cloud storage for data protection. However, only 37% had employed legal-specific technologies like AI and automated documents, though an additional 24% planned to do so. 

Innovation Trends and Varied Adoption 

While 71% of conveyancing firms were quick to adopt technology, sectors like family and employment law showed hesitation. Only 53% of family law and 54% of employment law firms embraced advanced technology. Despite this, there’s growing interest in innovations like biometric ID Verifications, e-signatures, and e-payments across all law areas. 

A significant 90% of firms expect these technological trends to continue this year, marking a paradigm shift in the industry. For areas such as conveyancing, embracing a technology-driven, risk-based approach to AML is the key.

Post-COVID Technological Reliance 

More than half of the law firms reported increased technology use since the COVID-19 pandemic, aiding in work processing and client interactions. This shift indicates a long-term change in the industry’s operational approach. 

Initially, technology in the legal sector, like in many others, focused on back-office operations to stay afloat during the pandemic. However, as the situation evolves, there’s a shift towards front-office technology. This includes client engagement tools like AI-powered chatbots for initial client interactions on law firm websites, mirroring the trend in customer service technology.  

Verify 365’s Impact 

Verify 365 has been instrumental in this technological evolution, with its advanced biometric ID verifications, AML compliance measures, and client onboarding processes. Based on client feedback from 2022 and 2023, Verify 365 has significantly enhanced efficiency, compliance, and client experience in law firms. 

Last year, SMQ Legal LLP recognised the need to streamline its client onboarding and compliance processes. SMQ Legal faced challenges in efficiently managing client verifications and compliance requirements. The manual processes were time-consuming, prone to errors, and often resulted in delays in case initiation. Additionally, the firm needed a solution that could enhance data security and client trust. 

In pursuit of this, they joined Verify 365, a platform offering advanced biometric ID verification and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) compliance solutions. Verify 365 provided an integrated solution for SMQ Legal’s needs through its biometric ID Verification which allowed the firm to authenticate client identities quickly and accurately, reducing the risk of fraud. The platform streamlined the compliance process, ensuring that SMQ Legal adhered to legal standards without extensive manual effort. 

 These developments highlight a symbiotic relationship between legal firms and technology platforms like Verify 365, suggesting a promising future for legal technology. The integration of such technologies reflects not just a change in tools and processes but a fundamental shift in the legal sector’s paradigm.