LexisNexis Canada Inc.

LexisNexis Canada Inc.

September 30, 2013 07:00 ET

LexisNexis Leadership Summit Charts Course for Changing Face of Canada's "Legal Ecosystem"

Thought leaders from across the country collaborate to produce provocative, practical scenario-based analysis to navigate the shifting legal landscape

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 30, 2013) - LexisNexis® Canada (www.lexisnexis.ca), a leading provider of information and technology solutions, announced today the publication of LexisNexis® Leadership Series: The Future of Law, an in-depth and distinctly Canadian whitepaper with findings that impact multiple stakeholders across the legal and business community.

"Canada's legal industry is undergoing a foundational shift, which will have a profound impact across our economy, yet our community lacks a clear, shared vision of the future," said Loik Amis, CEO at LexisNexis Canada. "We sought insights from a range of our industry thought leaders to shed light on our uncertain future. The resulting framework is designed to spark critically important dialogue amongst stakeholders and identify early indicators to help prepare for the inevitable shifts ahead."

This past April, LexisNexis Canada hosted a one-day Leadership Summit, which gathered 40 key stakeholders across a range of industries and legal backgrounds to take the pulse of the changing legal landscape and what this means for the marketplace. The resulting whitepaper offers the first-ever scenario-planning guide outlining a practical context to consider multiple and divergent directions for the future of law in Canada. Rather than try to predict a single future that might unfold for the Canadian legal industry, the whitepaper frames four unique future scenarios, all provocative yet plausible. These scenarios are accompanied by unique, scenario-specific implications for key stakeholders across the legal community, serving as a compass and directional guide for the entire industry, from law schools, to sole practitioners to regulating bodies.

As visions of how the Canadian legal system might progress from now until 2020, LexisNexis Leadership Series: The Future of Law puts forward the following four possible scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: "Controlled Evolution" - Familiar and known stakeholders retain a full span of control over the evolution of the Canadian legal space. While there is increased focus on the cost and efficiency of legal services, the overall system adapts using proven technology and processes. Even with the cost constraints, the law societies work successfully with the court system to improve the affordable access to justice. For corporate clients, their increasing sophistication and bargaining power are keeping law firms on their toes, and the winning service providers create a lean and flexible work environment that attracts top talent and delivers the best value to the marketplace.
  • Scenario 2: "Open Season" - Globalization and new technologies have opened the door to unexpected competitors that disrupt the legal system. Leveraging law society regulations that allow third-party legal services, professional services firms previously offering accounting and consulting services now offer legal services as part of their end-to-end offer, while tech-savvy boutique law firms are delivering legal services in novel, low-cost ways. Clients are reaping the benefits of more choice and better access while law societies, the judiciary and law schools reorganize to better address the new entrants. Traditional firms have made drastic changes to survive. The winners take risks and create innovative practice models that change the way lawyers value themselves and their firms.
  • Scenario 3: "Patchwork Reform" - To address the public outcry for affordable access to justice, governments from across Canada intervene in the regulation of the legal system. Public funding has modernized the court system and increased legal aid, and the new regulations triggered the launch of a broad range of lower-cost legal services enabled by innovative and efficient uses of technology. While the law societies have lost some independence, the legal community consensus is that government reforms and funding have helped inform the public and demystify legal services. The winning law firms have restructured to better service more market segments, and offer more flexible career choices. Clients benefit from the structured choices and prices available in this more controlled environment.
  • Scenario 4: "Breakaway" - By creatively embracing technology, the Canadian legal system is better, faster and cheaper. New government regulations have encouraged corporate ownership and governance of law firms and the consumer-oriented Canadian Legal Bill of Rights continues to attract tech-savvy entrants who bring the best practices in digital innovation to Canada. In addition to smaller niche players, large non-legal service providers enter the market with unprecedented scale and efficiency. Traditional law firms have been hit the hardest. Many lawyers have had to specialize, and competition for the best talent is intense. The winners operate as decentralized, virtual teams working closely with non-legal business partners to find growth opportunities.

The whitepaper concludes by suggesting metrics that can serve as signposts to the legal community in determining which of these futures is unfolding in Canada.

To download a copy of the LexisNexis Leadership Series: The Future of Law whitepaper, please visit www.lexisnexis.ca/future-of-law.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional

LexisNexis® Legal & Professional (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content, to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. Part of Reed Elsevier, LexisNexis Legal & Professional serves customers in more than 100 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide.

In Canada, LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.ca) offerings include the Quicklaw® online legal research service; Butterworths® print and e-book titles; Quicklaw® for Microsoft® Office; the PCLaw® practice management solution; and leading e-discovery and litigation solutions such as CaseMap®, Concordance® Evolution, LAW PreDiscovery™ and LexisNexis® Early Data Analyzer.

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