Lawtech is increasingly popular with firms but investment in technology and digital training remains low, research by a Big Four professional services firm has found.
According to PwC’s annual legal survey, almost 60% of UK firms have now introduced, or are in the process of introducing, technology such as smart contracts, automated documentation or mobile apps, a 14% increase on last year.
However, average capital investment in emerging technology is ‘relatively limited’ at just £579,000 a year among top-100 firms. Digital training is also not widespread, with only a quarter of legal sector workers being ‘upskilled’ by their employer.
Survey editor Kate Wolstenholme, leader of PwC’s law firms advisory group, said: ‘The mismatch between the skills people have and those needed for the digital world is a major global challenge and one that law firms simply can’t ignore.
‘Building a culture that is relevant and attractive to today’s workforce is absolutely vital and, as our research shows, firms must act now to seize on people’s appetite to learn new skills and open these digital opportunities to all. While the will to embrace technology is clearly evident in this year’s survey, the future impact will depend on both the digital capability of systems and how tech savvy staff are.’
On cyber security, PwC revealed that every firm which took part in the survey had suffered a security incident in the last year and almost 80% of firms said they were concerned about cyber security.
However, the survey found that the number of senior managers involved in crisis management exercises is ‘worryingly low’ and that staff need to be trained in security awareness.