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European legal departments fail to ask their law firms to develop specialized technology

The European Lawyer, Issue 91, Nov./Dec. 2009 at 21, reports on a survey of the IT departments of the top 250 UK law firms. The article includes sidebars on nine large law firms throughout Europe. What dumbfounded me was that eight of the nine firms responded “none” to the question that asked them to identify “specific technology requested by clients.” The one exception was an Italian firm that said that at least one client requested “firms database online, Web-lex, the ability to check agenda alerts/and or to share documents.” Cryptic, I know.

The troubling point is that legal departments that have turned to these firms have not pushed the technology envelope. They have not pressed the large firms serving them to develop more efficient and innovative software. What a missed opportunity!

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