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The problem isn't a few solicitors who refuse to touch type and can't use email. Tech is changing the world. Get on it or give up.

Simple solution. Hire a solicitor with experience in building and commissioning tech and give them the power to implement. Thats 3 in the country which I know of including myself, Charmlambous Charles, and Andrew Keogh.

The problem of a generation who lack tech literacy and act as if the clients owe them a living, is evident across all sectors and is particularly strong amongst decision makers. It's more than merely using tech, very few in the population in general understand the potentials or limitations of tech.
Yet we have a mobile tech savvy generation of customers, the younger of them learnt to read and write on MS messenger and later social web products. They expect mobile apps as part of the service. As the US marketing saying goes, "if your customer drinks wine and has a pension, then they probably have an iPhone". I'd add, if they can afford to use a solicitor they definitely have an iPhone or a smart phone running android.

Try looking up divorce on the apple app store and there is a single app that is no more than an advice leaflet. Conveyancing 2, only one of which goes further than advice.

It's just not good enough. This tech isn't expensive. The client's are paying hundreds to thousands for pretty poor service. We sit them in pokey, poorly decorated waiting rooms for 10 minutes and offer them instant coffee, thinking "their bound to want to come back after a coffee" rather than, "as soon as a competitor comes in who offers a client centred service my firm's finished".

Why not be the competitor now. Decorate that waiting room. Put in comfortable chairs, free wifi, newspapers. Build out some apps that explain the process and share case progression, allow document perusal and signing. Invest in software as a service case management with automated accounts, billing, and document population.

1 or 2 will read this and think, oh yeah. Then forget it. More fool them because quality solicitors and others of their ilk, are going to do exactly this. The time to strike is now, while firms still have the capital, staff and client list to make these changes, before that client centred competition comes in and drives existing firms out.

The same myopia is evident in the MoJ. They're spending millions on building an independent video network covering every court, police station and solicitors office for no purpose other than to save a few pounds on travel fees. Yet solicitors who want to keep clients will have to turn up at court. Thats going to be all of them.
The current 2 tier criminal clerk factory contract plan is likewise tech myopia. If they simply left contracting as it is and opened up the contract to new firms, many would set up making extensive use of incredible productivity enhancing tech, pushing existing participants to do the same, enabling the MoJ to save serious money.

The MoJ should stay within it's competence and spend it's time weeding out the firms using non-compliant duty solicitors so the real deal can make a living providing proper advice and representation. But executive and politician hubris is a powerful barrier to informed decision making.

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