How are law firms innovating in a disruptive era? — ADB Insights

Gillian S.G. Scott

Nov 18, 2020

Osler partner Gillian Scott tells ADB Insights that one of the biggest challenges for clients that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic is with respect to contract management. In her article, author Jennifer Brown explores how law firms are adapting and innovating during the pandemic. Gillian, Partner, Innovative Products at Osler, explains that the firm conducted a small survey among legal operations professionals and franchisors to determine their biggest pain points.

“Contract management was the biggest identifiable headache that we saw,” Gillian tells ADB Insights.

She says that for many businesses, staying on top of contracts, contract negotiation and due diligence — all while working remotely — has proven to be cumbersome.

“There were instances of clients wanting to look at their portfolios with force majeure issues when the pandemic hit in March and April,” she says. “They were scrambling to look at each contract because summaries weren’t accessible or comprehensive.”

Gillian says that while clients, more than ever, are seeing the value in automation tools, there can be a “disconnect between making the funding available to fix those problems and recognizing the need to do so … For legal innovation and operations it’s often about finding the right person to talk to about these solutions — the decision makers are often divorced from the day-to-day users of the tools.”

Gillian also explains that new opportunities to innovate may yet to be realized, particularly with respect to force majeure and commercial leases.

“Part of being in the innovation space is anticipating the fires that have not yet come,” she says.

For more information, read author Jennifer Brown’s article “How are law firms innovating in a disruptive era?” in ADB Insights on November 18, 2020.

At Osler, innovation is as integral to our work as expertise in the law, and together define the Osler quality you recognize and trust. Innovation at Osler is about you and your business. By rethinking and rebuilding the way we practice law, we help you achieve more with less.

Through Osler Works, our captive alternative legal service delivery business, we drive down costs, increase delivery speed and enhance deliverables. Osler Workshop is where we develop products and tools that address your needs, allowing you to realize greater value while lowering your legal spend.