Disruption In The Legal Industry With Lucy Ashenhurst

In the past couple of years we have witnessed a growing number of companies in Banking, Health Care, and Retail sectors racing against each other to adopt the latest pieces of smart technology, whether it’s blockchain, smart contracts, or machine learning. The legal industry, however, is generally behind when it comes to innovation and technological disruption.

Together with Lucy Ashenhurst, the CEO of Upstart Alliance, we discuss how digitalization trends can disrupt the most technology-resistant industry and create new ways of delivering legal services?

Traditionally, service industries, such as management consulting, legal advisory and insurance brokerage, relied heavily on interpersonal relations and trust. One can argue what makes consultancies different from each other could be in the quality of its consultants instead of the particular service it delivers. When it comes to offering such solutions through online channels, businesses should be very cautious not to loose their USP among hundreds of  identical propositions and yet set competitive pricing to satisfy the most price-sensitive consumers. Nevertheless, as Lucy has concisely put it “People are only loyal to People”, and it is unrealistic to expect full automation in industries where human touch – not chat bots or AI-powered platforms – is what draws loyalty to the brand. But it certainly does not mean legal industry could not benefit from the recent technological breakthroughs. Machine learning and advanced analytics can be used to make internal processes more efficient through business process optimization and sophisticated market analysis. All in all, a recent rise in online advisory start-ups, such as Upstart Alliance, send us a clear message that technological disruption is coming to legal industry as well, although not necessary in way that we would expect it.