This is the third in my blog series on the current state of the legal tech landscape in Financial Services. Feel free to go back and read Blog 1 – Legal Tech Trends and Blog 2 – Managing Demand and Scarce Resources. This week I’ll be briefly exploring how legal tech can help to manage the burden of regulation in Financial Services legal teams and where to start your legal tech journey.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving in the financial services industry – constant changes in regulation can make it increasingly difficult to keep on top of contracts and stay up to date with (and on the right side of) the law. As with all things, tech can help with this but it’s often hard to know what the best option is and how to get started. This week I’ll cover both of these issues, and later this year I’ll be hosting a virtual roundtable event to discuss this topic in more detail – you can register your interest here.
As Professor Markos Zachariadis eloquently put it in 2019, “technology will require better regulation; regulation will require better technology”. Wise words.
So, what’s my advice to anyone who has not yet embarked on the journey, faced with increasing complexity, pressure on budgets, and who is drowning in workload?
First off, it’s never too late to get started. Seek expert help from fellow legal professionals who have already trodden the legal tech path and can help you avoid the obvious pitfalls.
Assess your current processes, operational inefficiencies and the technology available to you. Pick a starting point that enables you to gain a quick win – such as digitising and automating a simple contract. NDAs still take up too much of everyone’s time. You should focus on creating elegant, user-friendly solutions that make the transition from the status quo to the new feel seamless and easy. The goal is always to imagine and then build a solution that is brilliantly better than today.
Capture data points from the outset. Selling the story internally and demonstrating the impact your work is having is half the job. The tech alone won’t cut it. People need to see and feel that it is working. Once you have won their hearts and minds, the rest will follow far more easily.
Finally, don’t venture forth like a legal tech pioneer as if you are the first business team or GC to tackle this problem for a large complex organisation. You’re neither the first nor the last, but you can benefit from bringing in experts who have seen it all before and can help you avoid costly mistakes.
This series has only scraped the surface of the FS Legal Tech landscape of course. I’ll be exploring some of the ideas set out here in more detail at our Financial Services Roundtable event later this year.
To register your interest and be the first to know about the details of the event click here.
If you’d like to discuss your legal tech needs, please contact me using the form on this page or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon has over 20 years’ experience in financial services and has delivered matter management, CLM and doc automation programmes at SYKE using a wide range of technology solutions (including HighQ, Icertis, DocuSign Agreement Cloud, M365, Repstor and Pega).
Prior to joining SYKE he led a lending business and in-house legal teams at Barclays, where he sponsored the development technology solutions, expanding the use of e-signature to the corporate bank and successfully sponsoring the use of an AI solution for the loan book.