24 Feb 2021

Avoiding the 'shiny toy syndrome' - law firms urged to focus on the strategy behind tech investment

Video Q&A underlines the importance of staying level-headed in face of booming legaltech sector

Law firms must avoid the 'shiny toy syndrome' when investing in technology, understanding that it will only work if it is being harnessed to achieve a broader strategy, a Global Legal Post video Q&A interview has heard.

Stuart Hopper, former director of practice development, knowledge and innovation at Dentons, said new technology purchases should be considered as part of a disciplined process whereby internal or client ‘pain points’ were identified and the right tech to address them sourced, possibly with the help of providers acting as ‘honest brokers’.

Mari Cruz Taboada, Lexington Consultants' head of client management and legal innovation, added that when and what to buy was in many cases a strategic and not an IT question.

The video was recorded to preview a key topic of a three-day interactive online strategic management course to be hosted next month by The Global Legal Post in association with Lexington: Preparing your law firm for success in the post-pandemic era. Taboada and Hopper will be teaching the course, along with other former law firm leaders and specialist consultants.

With a regular stream of new products coming onto the market and billions of dollars invested in new tech, Hopper warned against the ‘shiny toy syndrome’, arguing it only made sense for  firms to consider building their own technology - either directly or by co-developing – if they spotted a genuine gap in the market.

“We don't expect our doctors when we go for a check-up to have developed their own medical diagnostic software,” he added.

However, Taboada warned that firms could also come to regret not investing in new tech, given the existence of classic triggers such as merger offers that exposed a need at a point when it might be too late to take appropriate action.

To watch the video, click here

Preparing your law firm for success in the post-pandemic era will run on the first three Fridays in March. For more details click here for further information and here to download the programme. Or email jeanlhomme@globallegalpost.com.