Unleashing Tech On The Legal Sector
Tabled, legal-tech start-up discuss how technology is at the forefront working practice change in the legal world.
What is Tabled?
Tabled is a technology solution to support legal firms and legal and compliance departments within corporates to manage workflow and legal matters, ensure effective time management, improve team collaboration, and help achieve business goals.
Where did the idea of Tabled originate?
We are a team who have direct experience of running or being part of legal teams, so we understand the commonplace pitfalls and issues. Having been in the legal sector for 15 years, my own experiences led to the design
and launch of Tabled.
There are a good number of software applications that are in use by legal teams. However, they are generally inconsistent with the new ways of working where in-house lawyers want to work seamlessly with their law firms. Some software programs that are used tend to be clunky and not necessarily encrypted, raising questions about security, privacy, and storage of data.
We believe that the technology and the time is right for a new solution for firms and their clients.
Historically, the legal sector is slow to adopt and adapt to new ways of working – how can you overcome this?
Technology providers such as ourselves need to build trust with prospective clients. Whilst most of us are generally savvy with off-the-shelf technologies such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, when It comes to business applications there still needs to be a human face.
The industry is adapting to change, which is chiefly being led by clients but also by legal professionals themselves. The change is leading to greater digitisation and introduction of new tools such as collaboration platforms such as Tabled. There is also an increasing awareness of how technology can help legal firms be more strategic, managing
work volumes, freeing-up time for lawyers, reducing admin work and contributing to the achievement of KPI’s.
Adoption of technology is also ushering in new ways of working, more distributed and agile practices, which will impact the physical office and how they are utilised and by who.
How has the COVID-19 lockdown impacted Tabled and your product?
We were lucky as a digital product company to be able to switch to remote working quickly. As a cloudbased product that helps legal teams work remotely, we have been in the fortunate position of seeing increased demand and use of the platform since COVID-19 struck.
Technology is being hailed as a saviour for some firms during the lockdown, to operate ‘normally’ – what are your views on this?
Many companies were caught short with the basics needed for remote work, such as video conferencing, meaning they had to catch up quickly. Those who already used cloud systems were able to adapt more quickly. With the essentials in place, companies are now working out how to manage remote teams more efficiently, which means not only relying on Zoom or Teams but using collaboration services that provide visibility over work and demands on staff.
Do you think attitudes towards remote working and software have shifted in the Legal sector during COVID?
Lockdown has seen the slow trend towards remote working in the Legal sector completely accelerate. We were
surveying lawyers about attitudes to remote and flexible working late last year and are still seeing a very mixed
picture. Today, law firms and in-house legal teams have seen the benefits of remote and flexible working for work-life balance without reducing productivity with the support of cloud software. That doesn’t mean remote work will replace offices, but there will be a different attitude towards remote working post-lockdown.
As remote working in some form will be realised more for a greater number of people than previously, how do you envisage ‘tech’ solutions will support this?
Tech solutions can bring teams together to work efficiently, even if they are not in the same space physically. For example, Tabled provides a centralised hub for legal work, assignment of tasks, collaboration, and data visualisation
to extract management information. The result is enhanced visibility over team and individual workloads and the ability to focus on what matters, which is needed whether you are working remotely or not!
Tabled is a tech-start up, what are your property (office) expectations as you grow?
We have been fortunate to be supported by the Founders Factory in our growth; as such, we have had access to funded incubator space. This has given us a readymade community with a collaborative workspace working alongside other start-ups.
In the infancy of our business, we see collaborative and flexible spaces are more us; they will enable us to scale up quickly. We recently won a competition to receive office space and support for a year from Pearson College’s business accelerator, so that will be our new home after lockdown.
Is London still attractive to start-ups, even with Brexit on the horizon?
London is still a vibrant location for the technology sector. The city is home to a whole range of businesses from global to start-ups. An established tech community, increased investment, arrival of 5G are all positives for the tech sector in London. Venture capital investment is still healthy and is expected to continue for the right products.
Brexit is not necessarily a big issue for our product; our clients in the legal sector will continue to contract in the UK and around the world. The UK will remain a globally recognised hub for legal affairs.
Immigration rules may affect the attraction of tech talent from abroad, but we have the ability to nurture homegrown talent from the UK.
London and the firms based here will allow us to springboard our expansion aboard.