This is the world’s fastest growing enterprise technology, yet adoption in the legal market has barely begun [Interview]

Key points:

  • Last week Gartner identified robotics as the fastest growing enterprise technology in the world, expanding by over 63% last year –
  • The largest vendor in Robotic Process Automation is UiPath. While they have large programmes rolling out across every major sector, they have barely started in legal.
  • We met with their Chief Evangelist, Guy Kirkwood, to find out why the legal sector is so far behind other industries in its adoption of RPA.
  • Guy believes that the change is coming, and it will most likely be driven by smaller firms acting with greater dynamism and agility than their larger competitors.
  • There also continues to be huge worry about the impact on jobs in the legal market. Guy explains why he feels this concern is so misplaced.

About UiPath & Guy Kirkwood

Guy Kirkwood is the Chief Evangelist for UiPath. Specialising in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence, UiPath are now the world’s largest Robotics vendor, and the world’s fastest growing enterprise technology company in history.

The Transformation Network spoke to Guy about how the Legal industry can benefit from Robotic Process Automation.

The full video interview along with Transcription can be found here –

Key quotes from interview

On the pace of adoption in the legal market – “a very small percentage of our business currently comes from law firms. Why would that be? I think it’s because of their inherently conservative as the majority are still run as partnerships. You can approach a Managing Partner of a law firm and suggest a good idea to them, but they still need to sell that internally.”

How this adoption compares to other markets – Admiral Insurance, for example, started 20 months ago with one UiPath Robot; now they have robots in every single one of their departments, with the exception of the canteen – I don’t think even we can automate that! Admiral has automation that covers the back-office corporate functions: finance & accounting, procurement, and HR; into the industry-specific processing functions like claims processing, first notice of loss, and into the customer service, customer experience areas with the attended robots. What this means is that there is no limit to where automation can spread within organisations.”

On small law firms driving the change – “If you look at the legal market as an industry, the largest organisations aren’t necessarily the ones that go first, because they tend to be fairly conservative by their nature. It’s the smaller, more nimble, more agile organisations that tend to lead the charge on innovation, and this increases their shareholder value. If you are looking to set yourself up to be acquired by one of the big companies, you need to increase your efficiency, increase your revenue and thereby increase the value of your business…. I therefore think the smaller organisations are in many ways in a better position sometimes than the larger, more monolithic organisations.

On M&A activity within the legal market – “I suspect we’re going to see an increase in the amount of M&A where the ‘White shoes’ are going to buy the ‘Magic Circle’ and vice versa. That creates a nightmare of differing systems, different working practices; Robotic Process Automation is a really good way of cleansing the process and data.”

On the impact of jobs in the legal market – “Every organisation goes into automation for the same reasons; job cuts and cost reductions. And they are genuinely wrong! What actually happens is when you put automation into the organisation, the value of their people is actually much higher than they thought it was. The way I describe it is just because someone’s doing a monkey job, doesn’t mean they’re monkeys. So, the value of that person within the organisation and the happiness that they demonstrate within their job is increased as a direct result of putting in automation because it removes the mundane boring work.”

Examples of robotics in the legal sector – there are a few exceptions to the rule. Ashtons and Mogers Drewett have both worked with UiPath and their partner T-Impact to deliver robotics projects. Details can be found here:

“I think the legal sector is going to change where the bofin work is done by AI and the real skillset is going to be the human interaction in delivering that information to a client in a way they understand. It’s going to be integral part of any law firm in the future.” Steven Treharne, Managing partner of Mogers Drewett

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