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Legal tech news – March 16, 2020

Coronavirus is the main topic in this week’s legal tech news: from closing some of the biggest law firms in the world to the biggest challenge of this period of time – teams working from home, COVID-19 is changing our world as we know it, each day.

As new coronavirus cases fanned across the United States, the Federal Reserve announced a surprise interest rate cut in a sudden attempt to curb the economic fallout – New York Times notes

And the legal world is facing now a global remote working exercise, as Law.com notes in this article, some of the biggest law firms in the world had to send entire teams into quarantine. What tools you can use to help your team to be more productive when working from home, discover in this article.

Israel will use cyber tech to track coronavirus patients and stop its spreading, Israelian news agency Haaretz notes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Saturday that Israel seeks to use technological means usually used for counter-terror to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the country saw diagnosed cases spike by 50 in one day. According to Haaretz, Netanyahu is primarily referring to the use of cellular geo-localization to verify the past whereabouts of patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 or to check if they had violated a quarantine order. Some other forms of digital surveillance may also be used. This announcement has been receiving immediate reactions – the Privacy Protection Authority opposed the move, claiming it was too extreme, but Israel’s judiciary reacted quickly and positively to the prime minister’s announcement.

Law firms should recognize the moment when the firm still has a choice when it could take a different route, that has redefined how technology is delivered and consumed by the firm and its clients – Canadian Lawyer Mag notes on how small and mid-sized firms should approach legal tech. 

In UK, legal tech news show that less than 10% of people experiencing legal problems instruct solicitors, and with top lawyers charging up to £1,000 per hour, it is no surprise that two-thirds of people feel that legal services are too expensive. The situation is no better for UK businesses. Small businesses typically face 8 legal issues a year, yet 83% see legal services as unaffordable, preferring to go it alone instead. With huge fines at stake for failing to meet legal obligations, mistakes can be costly or even terminal to a business. SMEs find themselves in an impossible position—they struggle to afford traditional legal services but cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand either. That is why legal technology can improve citizen access to justice in the United Kingdom, according to Law.com 

Solo practitioners and boutiques may think they are too small for hackers, but tech experts say think again. Small law firms are risking their practice and client’s data by not properly questioning their technology providers. What questions should they ask their service providers, discover in Law.com.

The alternative legal service provider which offers lawyers on-demand is already a success as a legal industry disruptor, but now it aims to become a “one-stop-shop” for in-house legal teams by making its work product understandable and accessible to corporate executives who are not lawyers. What one of the most searched new law companies in the world is preparing, read in the following article.

Both legal service providers and in-house functions have shown an increased interest in legal technology over the last decade. But are businesses increasingly turning to technological solutions to present a legal front door to the firm itself? Find more details on Law.com.

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