As the year 2014 is coming to an end, we would like to take the opportunity to share some of the highlights from our fifth year with VQ and to thank everyone that made it all possible.
VQ Knowledge and Strategy Forum 2014 – The Future of Legal Service
This year it was the five year anniversary of VQ Knowledge and Strategy Forum, our annual legal conference focusing on leadership, strategy, innovation and technology trends for the legal market. More than 170 law firm managers, general counsels and other legal market professionals attended the forum for discussions on the changing legal market and the future of legal service.
Speakers such as international pricing guru Richard Burcher, SAS Daniels Senior Partner Jonathan Whittaker, Radiant Law’s Head of Managed Legal Services Jason McQuillen, panelists Carl-Viggo Östlund, former CEO of e.g. SBAB, Nordnet Bank, SalusAnsvar, Maria-Pia Hope, Managing Partner and CEO, Vinge, Biörn Riese, Partner and Chairman of the Board, Mannheimer Swartling, Eva Blonde, Country Counsel Sweden and Nordic Region Counsel, Hewlett-Packard Sverige, Magnus Billing, Senior Vice President, President of NASDAQ OMX Nordics and NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, and Jonas Bengtsson, General Counsel and Company Secretary, TeliaSonera, and many others provided insights on smart pricing strategies and legal market changes in practice. Some of the key take aways from the day were that
- legal practice can successfully be operated like any other business and apply “normal” business practices when it comes to organization, productivity, cost and pricing, as evidented by the examples where new business models and pricing strategies have led to substantial profit growth;
- clients are asking for different pricing options and greater transparency and involvement in pricing decisions, rather than, as is often assumed, the lowest possible price;
- it is possible for law firms to provide fixed fees and yet be extremely profitable, if the pricing strategy is combined with a focus on internal processes and IT support;
- both internal and external legal advisers need to focus on commercial aspects and efficiency; and
- offshoring of legal service has substantial benefits that are worth considering also for Swedish organizations.
This year a special parallel seminar on information security was also arranged as part of VQ Forum. Speakers Annika Biberg, information security expert at Safeside Solutions, and Ulf Isaksson and Esa Kymäläinen, partners at Danowsky & Partners, provided insights on the new threats to information, shared experiences from actual incidents and explained different strategies to apply when choosing a cloud solution and the risk and benefits when outsourcing commercial information from a legal perspective.
Please find here the complete Report from VQ Knowledge and Strategy Forum 2014 »
Reports from inspiring seminars
To keep up to date with all new legal market trends internationally, we also attended several inspiring conferences and seminars both in Sweden and internationally during the year. Here are some of our reports summarizing the inspiring, thought-provoking ideas and debates on what the future of legal services will look like from two of the conferences:
We attended NatWest mmadigital From Click to Clientconference about doing business online in London in June. Considering the growing trend of doing business online, also the legal business will be affected and need a digital strategy. This digital strategy could include the use of well-developed standard documents.
These documents could either be delivered free online for anyone, or accessible only to those who are registered. One example is the law firm Riverview Law which has developed a rich document library available for free for their clients.
Legal Futures The Era of the Entrepreneur in November had a new approach to the legal market – the entrepreneurial side of lawyers and non-lawyers. Key note speaker Jordan Furlong, lawyer and industry analyst, Edge International, presented his views on how the fundamental shift in the legal services environment will spawn a diverse population of new providers that will expand access to new legal services while destroying lawyer’s market exclusivity.
Jordan Furlong built his speak around nine main features of the emerging legal market, proving how we are no longer predicting a new legal future, but actually living in a new legal present; how the walls are coming down. The new providers are changing the client’s expectations on legal service; the way it is provided, the costs for it etc. To respond, law firms must adopt their business to the changing client expectation. In order to move up the value chain, lawyers have to deliver low-end work hyper efficiently and focus their time on consultancy work. Technology has to be integrated throughout the law practice.
VQ at the podium
During 2014 VQ was invited to speak at a number of internal events for corporate legal departments and other legal organizations, and was nominated as one of the lecturers at the Stockholm University Master of Laws and Information Technology Programme on the Future of Legal Services.
In March, VQ was also part of the panel of judges, together with Johan Kahn, Delphi Law Firm, for the inspiring and innovative new legal competition “Law as an app”, when the Master Programme of Law & IT at Stockholm University concluded the course with the practical assignment to come up with an idea for a legal service or app.
Launch of employment law solution for The Swedish Association for Human Resources Management
In May, we launched an advanced tool for employment law for The Swedish Association for Human Resources Management’s 7 000 members. The tool is built on our intelligent document assembly platform, in cooperation with Elmzell advokatbyrå, Sweden’s largest law firm specialized in employment and HR-law. In brief, the tool gives the members access to a knowledge base with information on employment law and a large number of employment law related documents including guidance on how the documents should be used. The new and attractive idea with this tool is that it is very user-friendly as the documents are easily tailor-made for each specific matter.
VQ Legal – the online legal service and knowledge platform
During 2014 we continued the expansion of VQ Legal our legal service for standard document packages that is widely used by major law firms, in-house legal counsel departments, accounting firms and other companies. It is a new legally intelligent and efficient solution for creating all relevant documents for a specific matter with a content that is updated and quality assured by our expert partners for corporate, employment, commercial and IT law.
Articles about VQ
During 2014 several articles were published about VQ, VQ Forum and VQ Legal. Here are some of these articles (in Swedish):
- “VQ-konferensen: Trender och tendenser inom juristbranschen presenterades” – Advokaten nr 8, 2014
- “Stort intresse för VQ-konferensen” – InfoTorg Juridik, 8 oktober 2014
- “Internationellt forum driver utvecklingen framåt i juristbranschen” – KarismaSthlm
- “Behovet av juridisk rådgivning har ökat” – Realtid
- “Nöjda chefsjurister” – InfoTorg Juridik
- “Avtal i expressfart” – Dagens Industri, 7 oktober 2014
For the year 2015, we look forward to further expansion of the online legal service VQ Legal and projects involving the use of the VQ Legal platform, other exciting consultancy assignments and speaking appearances. We are also planning for our sixth annual VQ Knowledge and Strategy Forum in October.
Save the date for VQ Forum on 21 October! More information will be provided early next year.