04:12, September 06 483 0

2017-09-06 04:12:12
The 60 second interview: Watch out for the Amazon of law firms

LOD co-founder Simon Harper talks to The Lawyer ahead of this year’s Business Leadership Summit in association with Propero Partners, which focuses on the law firm of 2025.

By 2025 it will just be called “working” again. We won’t notice the agile or remote. But this doesn’t mean we’ll all be dispersed – as human beings, relationships matter. Time spent together matters. But that doesn’t mean we need the constructs designed for the issues of 100 years ago. That brought us the ever-increasing infrastructure of the firm and rigid working practices. The 21st century is receptive to ways of working designed differently.

It could do. That’s one possibility and it might not be the names we expect. But it could also bring us the “farmers’ market” equivalent of law firms too – individuals selling their perfectly baked products for premium prices.

And it could bring us the “Amazon” equivalent of law firm – a new entrant that starts in one area of service but then keeps adding new things until suddenly you realise that’s where half of your spend is going. Amazon now accounts for 40 per cent+ of all online retail sales in the US. It’s not that long ago that they were still thought of as an online bookshop.

Nothing that we have in its current form will revolutionise the industry. It will need to be something new. By that I don’t mean wholly new. It could be two things that haven’t been put together before. Or something we already have but packaged and understood in a better way – like the iPod, “1000 songs in your pocket”. MP3 players had been around for years but the iPod took it out beyond the geeks. Technology doesn’t cause a revolution until it gets beyond the geeks – and I say that as a big fan of geeks.

I’d retreat to South America for February and March.