Predictions 2013, and beyond: Part 2, Masters of Legal IT

November 30, 2012

{i}From {b}Charles Christian{/b}, Charles Christian, Editor-in-Chief, Legalit Insider:{/i}

2013: In terms of hatches: I think one of the big challenges in 2013 will be the consumerisation of legal IT as it moves on from devices, BYOD and all that, and on to software and training. Simple example: Facebook is the most widely used application on the planet – yet nobody goes on a training course to use it. In contrast Microsoft Office is the most widely used application in law offices and firms go into meltdown whenever it comes to rolling out an upgrade. We’re going to see software moving towards more social media-like interfaces – we’re going to see software (and legal IT training) adopting ‘gamification’ methods. Dispatches: the Blackberry, it is now just one debacle short of turning into the parrot in the Monty Python sketch.

2023: Ten years on traditional desktop systems and software applications will be dead – it will all be apps and tablet devices (and not just iPads). It will be the sunset years of Microsoft as we currently know it. Speech interfaces will be as widely used as keyboards and touch-screens, though probably owing more to Apple Siri than today’s speech recognition software. We will also see the iTunesification of legal publishing and knowledge management – why buy a whole album when you only want two tracks? Why write or buy a whole book or law firm taxonomy when you only want two chapters?

2053: Ray Kurzweil’s predicted ‘Singularity’ will be here in terms of the man/machine interface – at the very least we’ll all have USB ports (well at least the 2053 equivalent) in our heads – artificial intelligence will expanded to the point where machines are much smarter than us – and virtual reality will have removed the need for offices and face-to-face meetings with clients. However the UK rail network will still be reduced to chaos when the wrong sort of snow falls on the lines.

{i}From {b}Jan Durant{/b}, Director of IT & Operations at Lewis Silkin LLP{/i}

SharePoint 2013 is going to rock the world of those who ignored past versions… there will be no escape with its inherent FAST components unless you’re a complete hippy.

Last year we could hide a bit from BYOD – this year the gloves are off, sort yourself out a strategy/policy and security solution.

I am watching and waiting to see how good the Surface is – will it replace the iPad in our affections?

And… as for Big Data – this is just hype as far as law firms are concerned.

{i}From {b}Andrew Haslam{/b}, Allvision Computing (, one of the UK’s leading independent litigation support consultants{/i}


In the field of Litigation Support Technology I think 2013 will be year that ‘end to end’ applications go head to head with the approach of pairing ‘best of breed’ tools, with the research and development in the former finally starting to challenge the focus of the latter.

It hardly qualifies as prediction, but the fallout from the HP/Autonomy financial crisis will have a significant impact on the software provided by Autonomy, with Recommind laughing all the way to the bank as its main rival Autonomy and their IntroSpect product implode.

Vendors will tell you that the debate about the use of Predictive Coding is essentially over, as client are voting with their wallets for the cheaper and more known results these technologies produce. 2013 will see some of the more Canute-like law firms wake up to the water lapping around their ankles/waist/head and the majority will join in the use of such tools, particularly after the April rule changes.

2023 (11 years on)

3D printing technology will have changed the way in which almost everything is produced and distributed.

Film/TV will be a totally immersive experience with holographic images, surround sound systems and interaction being the norm.

The legal landscape will be almost unrecognisably different as the ‘perfect storm’ of; pressure from Co-Op law, client demands for fixed price, project managed, transparently billed work, the manner in which we consume information via the net and tablets, rejection of the partnership model, efficient working practices, over-supply of lawyers, newer generations rising through the ranks, all combine to cause rapid and significant change throughout all law firms.

And, at 66 I’ll probably still be having to work in some capacity or another to meet the expectations that come with a predicated life span of a 100 years for my generation.

2053 (31 years on)

My fully licensed Avatar will be earning me residual income as its AI ‘brain’ uses my 40 (by then) years of experience in the litigation support world to advise and support the legal AI’s that have replaced law firms as we know them.

My personal jet pack will still not have arrived.

There will still be a lawyer somewhere trying to charge by the billable hour…….in a living history museum.

{i}From {b}Charles Holloway{/b}, Director, Millnet Limited:{/i}

As I will probably be in my dotage in 2023 and, barring some huge advance in medical science, dead by 2053, I am going to limit myself to a few short thoughts for 2013!

The changes to the CPR due in April 2013 will bring about a change in the way lawyers view litigation under their control. Magically, they will start to accept that technology works and will come to rely on it and will engage with the litigation support and vendor community in ways undreamed of in 2012.

There will be a realisation among lawyers and third party vendors that there is money to be made from advising clients about litigation readiness, document retention policies, due diligence and corporate governance.

There will be (yet another) serious data privacy breach which will cause law firms and their clients, and anyone involved in handling data, to re-evaluate how they approach this problem and to take it seriously. As a lawyer memorably put it the other day ‘Disaster is the best trigger to open the pocket book.’

There will be a measurable increase in digital data, ie not just paper and e-mails but evidence from sources such as audio, video, CCTV etc.