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Improving legal processes with technology

New chapter by Filip Corveleyn (EMBA 2010) explains how large companies can utilise technology to improve their legal processes.

Robotic Hand Signing Document On Wooden Desk In Courtroom

“Companies are used to applying efficiency techniques to production and service tasks, but their legal processes are often overlooked,” explains Filip Corveleyn (EMBA 2010), Head of Research and Development at Legal Studio.

Legal tech book

In his chapter in the newly-published book Legal Tech: A Practitioner’s Guide, Filip explores how companies can use technology to apply operations management techniques to legal processes and improve their efficiency.

“For tasks that are more administrative and do not require legal expertise, such as filing accounts and processing bank guarantees, companies can apply the ‘swift, even flow’ principle to improve their efficiency,” explains Filip. “My research hones in on the potential of this process thinking for legal processes and how this can be applied in practice using technology.”

Four challenges to implementing legal process solutions

Filip identified four hurdles larger organisations face when implementing process solutions:

1. Too many separate databases that don’t talk to each other

“Companies tend to use a variety of third-party tools to solve specific solutions. There’s a database to store company contracts; a tool to manage clients’ privacy data; one to cover legal entity data; the list can go on. Every tool is self-contained and has its own data.”

2. Duplicating data unnecessarily

“If databases and tools can’t connect with each other, companies could be doubling or tripling the same data across different platforms. Updating this data becomes a huge challenge.”

3. Lack of project management understanding

“If companies don’t understand the impact of poor project and change management, they won’t realise how this leads to failure when introducing new ways of working.”

4. Replacing email with a more efficient messaging solution

“The most effective way to run a project is to integrate email into a specific tool or application. Having a separate email browser is one of the most inefficient project management solutions. As this dilutes everything into text, it is often difficult to separate information from tasks, deadlines from questions etc. By integrating messaging functions into a single application, email can become the exception, rather than the rule.”

Drawing on his experience at Cambridge Judge

Filip’s work builds on the research he undertook as an Executive MBA participant at Cambridge Judge Business School. His application of the “swift, even flow” principle was inspired by the work of Professor Roger Schmenner, a former Visiting Research Fellow during his time at the School.

“My chapter is based on research I carried out on my Individual and Team Consulting Projects on the Executive MBA.”

After completing the programme, Filip co-founded a legal tech start-up called Tools4 Legal (later TPR Legal). His co-founder, Felix Rackwitz, was a classmate of Filip’s at Cambridge and co-authored the German version of this chapter.

Filip recently founded a new legal tech start-up called Legal Studio, where he develops this idea further.