This is the first in a short series of Insights which will share how our Legal Products team develops solutions which help clients to overcome some of their most pervasive and urgent legal problems with tech enabled, scalable solutions.
Our Legal Products team is part of NRF Transform, our global change and innovation programme, which combines various disciplines dedicated to enhancing the delivery of legal services, as well as providing innovative new solutions and services for our clients.
What is ‘productisation' in the legal sector?
While it's not particularly new, ‘productisation' is a growing trend across the legal services industry. It can be described as what happens when a service offering is turned into a standardised, packaged and marketed product. These solutions typically infuse technology with expert knowledge, processes and data to create products that meet specific client needs. Norton Rose Fulbright is at the vanguard of this trend with an experienced team dedicated to new product development and managing a suite of existing client solutions.
Solving problems at scale
A product, as distinguished from a service, is scalable. For example, when a significant regulatory change hits an industry, many clients will face similar challenges in understanding and adapting to the new regime. Using a product-based approach we can identify and group these challenges in order to create a solution which is founded upon legal understanding, systems and technologies, which (with relatively minor customisations) can support multiple clients. A recent example of how we've applied these principles is our NRF Shareholder Collaboration Tool, which helps investors to rapidly identify legal risks when collaborating with other shareholders.
Driving better experiences with design thinking and the right technologies
High-quality legal products combine design thinking with the right technologies to not only deliver greater efficiencies and interactivity for clients, but also consistently high levels of user experience and satisfaction. For example, our regulatory change tracking solution, NRF Horizon Scanner, utilises this approach to provide in-house teams with seamless access to relevant legal and regulatory changes and tailored, actionable insights via an intuitive digital platform – something which would otherwise be hugely time consuming and challenging to manage effectively.
Demand for these types of solutions is accelerating as the pressure placed on in-house legal teams continues to grow at a disproportionate rate to the resources available to the legal function. Cost effective, user-centric digital legal solutions will play an important role in meeting this ‘more for less' challenge.
Our product development process
Einstein is quoted as having said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” This principle carries into product development. We invest time and resources into working closely with clients to fully understand and explore pervasive legal problems from different angles.
Once we have validated our understanding of a problem, NRF's product development team works closely with the firm's legal, design and technology experts to create the optimal solution. Crucially, throughout the process, we liaise with clients to test and iteratively improve the design with their feedback through to launch. Whilst rigorous, the process can be undertaken at speed and ensures the solution is an excellent fit to the client need.
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