The Future Of Law- A Parkour Of Adaptability & Insights

Famsville Solicitors


Famsville Solicitors is a fast-growing commercial law firm providing comprehensive legal services. Our goal is to be our clients' best partner. We put our client at the centre of everything we do and partner with them to deliver truly innovative solutions."
The global legal services industry has changed rapidly in the last 5 years. In Africa and other parts of the world, there has been a shift in administrative roles which were mostly restricted to the odd Practice Manager, Accountant and/or Receptionist.
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The law is changing. The market and the people who require its services too.


The global legal services industry has changed rapidly in the last 5 years. In Africa and other parts of the world, there has been a shift in administrative roles which were mostly restricted to the odd Practice Manager, Accountant and/or Receptionist. Today, there are headline positions including Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Project Manager, Chief Client Officer, and Chief Growth Officer. The C-Suite level of these roles reflects not just the importance in optics, but the coming of age in the hybrid of both law and business in any firm's visibility and objective to remain a going concern.

Practice areas are also expanding. Clients have either re-imagined the use1 of their products or there are unprecedented fallouts from a previous lawful application, which now hold a potential of negative legal consequences. As an example, the US government recently issued a new equal employment opportunity guidance for federal contractors intending to use AI in the workplace2. This became necessary as AI systems (which were used for ease of business) are now viewed as capable of perpetuating bias (potential negative consequence).

However, beyond this, is a coming change in clients' appetites and how they expect to be serviced. This is not dictated by the expertise of the human resources in the firm or how many areas the lawyer is able to replicate his skill in, but the morphing needs in service-led industries in general and how the provision of law-related services will have to readapt. As Duncan Weston3 stated during an interview at the last World Economic Conference in Davos4, law firms have in a position to formulate the future, and this will be driven by focusing on innovation in meeting the needs of clients.
We venture to add that at no time in history has the law ever been at the threshold of such invasive changes that will perennially redefine the global legal industry.

At the heart of this change would be two things: the interwoven advanced use of Artificial Intelligence and hierarchical changes in The New Law Firm (TNLF). This is because TNLF will have more out of field staff than lawyers providing legal advisory services. Data Analysts, Product Developers and Technologist5, will form a larger part of employed staff. The first push for this would be for upgraded and efficient seamless provision of legal services; the second phase would be transformative and a forced adaptation to the global practice of law. While it would not be a deliberate step to jettison lawyers from the offices they were called, but for the delivery of legal services of the future, lawyers may become support staff to the very industry they serve in. We may very well see non-legal staff being named as partners or on track for partner as the era of the interpretation of billable hours peak.

Law firms are not immune to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Law firms, particularly in Africa, are gearing up for the changes in different ways. This can be seen mostly in the exchange of leadership batons and setting up shop/courting global attention mostly from Europe and the United States. Name changes have also featured in some cases and minor cojoined, but independent practices were noted. There has also been an interesting foray of experienced counsels from multinationals and multilateral institutions back into mainstream practice, no doubt bringing in a wealth of experience. Internally, firms are updating their policies in keeping with the times (DEI, Data Privacy, Sustainability) for the appeal they garner in creating the right environment for staff and their benefit in firm profiling. Apps are also being deployed for payment, client development and risk assessment. etc.

However, this is simply not enough.

The obstacles African law firms would face to change are mostly hierarchal and due to the ossification of legal minds- mostly of senior level staff. It is not as much as the guards do want to ease the reins of control much as there is a pretext that this is being done. New ideas that should be parlayed are welcomed publicly but privately made benign.

African law firms are also big on personal ownerships. Law firms of 20, 30 and even 50 staff strength with over 25 years of existence abound. This has prevented the development of tools and their multiplier effects that would benefit African clients and their peculiar jurisdictional challenges. These firms would benefit from a syndication such as the DREW Network in Asia6.

Expertise is also a new frontliner. The 4IR has witnessed unprecedented aspects to which the law is to be applied. There may be transgenerational confluences in the application of generic applications of common law principles in understanding new industries, but it takes more to understand the appetite and mindset of the people who require these services. The business of the new law will profit those who understand that commercialization is not for the benefit of one but for the improvement of all.

So, what will TNLF look like?

  1. Practice Areas evolve as Products.

TNLF will see practice areas evolve as products accessible on the firms App. These Apps will be developed with scenario planning options that enable the client view different outcomes for case with prompts entered. Firms would bill based on multileveled advisory offered. Legal opinions would be optioned to needs and packages. For this, product developers with deep legal understanding would be highly sought after.

  1. Lesser "influence" of Lawyers on Clients

TNLF will see a lesser "influence" of lawyers on clients as the law becomes less demystified. In fact, the simpler a firm can unbundle the technicalities of the law to the client without any human interface the better its product will be viewed and better patronage. This would naturally segue into a lesser facetime between the lawyer and his client. There would be a higher premium placed on having an in-person meeting with a lawyer.

  1. Service Expansion

Expanding the business of client services, law firms would evolve to become "one-stop-shops" for their clients offering more than legal services. A "full suite" option would be sought where ancillary services would be offered termed "advisory services". There would be an evolution of eponymous law firms taking on more generic names that would reflect the diversified services that law firms would have to offer.

  1. Staff Profiling

Susskind7 has stated that roles such as Legal Process Analyst, Legal Technologist, Business Developer (Technologies & New Markets) would define the nomenclatures of law firms. We would only add that there would a specialty for people with high language prompt service skills. Apps have been known to hallucinate8, and the ability to formulate the right commands for correct responses would be key.

Lawyers have an edge- the knowledge of law required. What is needed is an upskilling to the new practice demands that would elevate the practice of law into a sustainable business.


1 Carbon, Capture, and Storage: History, Current State, and Obstacles for the Future (Part 1) | Environmental Law Institute (

2 New AI guidelines put federal contractors on notice - International Employment Lawyer

3 Executive Partner, CMS




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