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Weekly legal tech news – June 1st, 2020

This week’s legal tech news observe that legal tech is hurting from the Covid-19 downturn. While 2019 was the biggest year yet for investment in legal technology companies, with a total of over 1k billion, 2020 is seeing investment slowing and layoffs and salary cuts in the sector. Remote working and economic uncertainty caused legal tech vendors to adjust their sales tactics to a more personal, consultative approach. But some wonder, if it is enough to compensate for a lack of face-to-face interactions. The press is now beginning to analyze how reopened justice will look like: how will we cope with the enormous backlog of criminal cases, made worse by the lockdown? Will the system be able to handle the predicted huge rise in the number of bankruptcy cases and how much of what has been transferred during lockdown to the virtual domain will remain there, and how much will return to in-person transactions? The COVID-19 pandemic has presented no shortage of issues to businesses and their legal departments over the last few months, from the initial shutdown to the now gradual reopening of stagnant industries across the country. Not only are companies looking for guidance on how to return employees safely to the workplace, but they also find themselves grappling with budget shortfalls and dwindling revenue streams. How tech can help, find out in this week’s legal tech news summary.

Legal tech is hurting from the Covid-19 downturn. While 2019 was the biggest year yet for investment in legal technology companies, with a total of $1.382 billion, 2020 is seeing investment slowing and layoffs and salary cuts in the sector. But this doesn’t spell doom for the legal tech sector. The pandemic’s work-from-home environment has forced an attitude adjustment, even among the legal industry’s most stubborn Luddites. And that will provide an opportunity for legal tech companies. Discover more details about this subject on Bloomberg Law.

Absent in-person meetings, legal tech providers still seek personal touch – Law.com legal tech news notes. Remote working and economic uncertainty caused legal tech vendors to adjust their sales tactics to a more personal, consultative approach. But some wonder, if it’s enough to compensate for a lack of face-to-face interactions. With in-person meetings ruled out, legal tech companies have adjusted their sales tactics to a more personal, albeit digitally conveyed, approach. The unique circumstances of COVID-19 caused legal tech vendors to embrace more creative, and less straightforward, sales tactics. While companies contacted by Legaltech News didn’t report a slump in sales, most said they stopped cold-calling as clients adjusted to remote working and dealt with the personal impacts of COVID-19. Read more on this subject on Law.com.

The UK mainstream newspapers are now beginning to devote articles to the new look of reopened justice: how will we cope with the enormous backlog of criminal cases, made worse by the lockdown –  will the system be able to handle the predicted huge rise in the number of bankruptcy cases, will there be many cases against the government for the physical and economic suffering caused by the lockdown; and how much of what has been transferred during lockdown to the virtual domain will remain there, and how much will return to in-person transactions? Read more about how the new justice life will look like in Law Gazette.

In the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused volatile swings across the economy. Depending on the industry, it can feel like an all-or-nothing crisis. Way back in April, when worldwide lockdown meant oil was in extreme oversupply, the legal press wrote about how law firms with strong oil and gas practices might pivot from closing deals to filing bankruptcies. And as corporate America binges on record levels of debt to plug revenue holes, the capital markets practices have provided crucial work for some Wall Street firms. Because of its industry-specific nature, the coronavirus recession is likely to have a wide range of outcomes for law firms, largely depending on what damage the crisis has caused for its clientele. For a wider view on how the crisis has reached different practice areas and industries, here is what the reporters from Bloomberg Law had to say on how the Big Law attorneys and in-house counsel, they deal with every day, are feeling the effects.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented no shortage of issues to businesses and their legal departments over the last few months, from the initial shutdown to the now gradual reopening of stagnant industries across the country. Not only are companies looking for guidance on how to return employees safely to the workplace, but they also find themselves grappling with budget shortfalls and dwindling revenue streams. Corporate legal departments grappling with this new reality may find themselves increasingly reliant upon technology to help them continue to drive value within their respective organizations. Tech can help organizations chart a course for bringing employees back to the office in a way that is responsible and sound, allowing legal departments to skip what could normally be some expensive conversations with their outside counsel. Discover a few of the ways in which corporate legal is using technology to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

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