Artificial Lawyer: 2023 Market Predictions Parts 1 & 2

What’s going to happen in 2023? Who knows? You do, perhaps …

Artificial Lawyer asked a range of experts from across our sector the following question: “How much will the legal innovation ecosystem have changed—and in what ways—by 2024?” This is what everyone said.

Karl Chapman, CEO, Kim Technologies

The big and unstoppable trends of the last few years will continue to gather momentum:

  • the inevitable rise of the platforms (as opposed to point solutions)
  • the march of “no code” (not low code) tools
  • the desire for IT functions to reduce their tech stack (to save costs and to drive integration and data insight)
  • the critical need for technologies to be API rich (REST APIs are increasingly key table stakes)
  • the need for actionable data (to support end-to-end digitization)

These will be complemented by four emerging themes accelerated by the above and driven by increasing buyer sophistication, plus what will be a challenging economic backdrop in 2023 (and 2024!):

  • Commodity pricing from vendors (see next two points)
  • Vendors developing tools with markets beyond legal (to achieve economy of scale and drive commodity pricing) 
  • Tools from outside legal becoming common in legal (aided by organizations striving to reduce their tech stack) 
  • Increased buyer focus on the financial stability of vendors (why take the risk?)

The pace at which these trends become norms will be heavily influenced by whether we have a mild recession, a deep recession, or a depression.

Jenifer Swallow, legal tech expert and former boss of LawtechUK

The investment landscape will remain difficult for the coming year, so we may see lawtech companies with great offerings taking longer to get to market and/or to customer volume. That said, there has been some decent funding coming into later stage lawtechs, so we can expect to see pockets of great growth and adoption there as their devs dig in on customer need and they raise their profile with marketing dollars. 

The lawtech conferences and conversations with legal businesses this year have demonstrated a broadening of the cohort of lawyers paying attention to tech and innovation and wanting to be part of the evolution. We can expect more pilots, more upskilling, and more strategic commitment in 2023—along with a whole raft of continued lethargy, of course. There are also some exciting products coming up to launch and a wave more at the feasibility stage as can be seen in accelerator cohorts and InnovateUK grant applications, so 2023 will also be a gestation phase on many levels.

We know big shifts will come when tech and innovation become a necessity, not a nice-to-have in the minds of budget holders. The economic and wider societal environment over the coming year will be forcing function to that necessity, with GCs in particular in line for more specific and informed pressure from their CFOs on cost and from their boards on ESG and #failuretoprevent.

The incredible growth of lawtech in the regulatory compliance space will continue to track to the latter, with widespread appeal at the Post Office Horizon Scandal also seeding into corporate and regulatory consciousness an imperative for higher standards across the board. Lawyers will need to demonstrate that they have their arms around both their own legal department and the governance environment of their employer-clients, using the state of the art to achieve that, risking committees, regulators, insurers, and societal stakeholders. #Ethics will be trending and influencing expectations and accountability around how technology is used in law, as well as how the law is used for tech.

We may also look back on 2023 as the year when the penny drops on the opportunity of smart agreements/smart data and the fact that contracts, if structured correctly up front, can perform and oversee your obligations for you. With the legislation and policy changes in the UK around electronic trade documents and digital assets, and the context-agnostic nature of the technology, there are some exciting opportunities there for the taking. Adoption in this space alone will shake up the legal innovation environment considerably, increasing the availability of business-required data for better compliance, economic growth, and shared/big data insights.

I remain excited about the consumer and SME space also for the year ahead, with some tenacious founders going after mass market opportunities that are also tipping points more broadly for the legal sector. Once you have seen what is possible, there is no going back and that naturally cross- pollinates from consumer legal innovation into business (as we saw with fintech) impacting the ecosystem overall.

Serena Wellen, Senior Director at LexisNexis

The legal industry will experience tremendous advances in search precision, accuracy, and personalization, all powered by AI. Search technology will employ ML to deconstruct legal content, converting dense, unstructured data into a more granular form, enabling search technology to extract more information, metadata, and context from legal documents. Similarly, AI will ingest individual user behavior data to create more personalized and contextually relevant search experiences. Combined with advances in semantic search and NLP, lawyers will experience exponentially faster and more relevant search results.

By 2024, the industry will have solved the issues surrounding LLMs (Large Language Models trained on impossibly large data sets), including verifying the origin, accuracy, and subjectivity of the LLM output so that these models can be safely and reliably used in the legal domain. This will enable the creation of advanced legal applications such as more accurate, automated document summarization and drafting as well as voice-enabled search and question-answering.

Finally, the industry will experience an even deeper integration of first- and third-party data, analytics and content into attorney workflows, tools, and platforms, making them super-robust and seamless. By minimizing context switching and the need to master multiple interfaces and tools, attorneys will experience greater efficiency and productivity.

Isabel Parker, Consultant, Digital Legal Exchange

2024 will see the emergence of the corporate legal team as a dominant player in the legal innovation ecosystem. In-house teams will be highly sophisticated in their use of technology and their dependence on external counsel will dramatically reduce. Corporate legal teams will collaborate with strategic partners (my guess is the Big 4) to build products to automate non-strategic operational work, and sell those products to other legal teams in their sector, with the Big 4 or skilled ALSPs providing a managed service in support. In-house teams will cease to focus on cost savings and headcount management and will become revenue generators for the business. Law firm legal tech/legal ops consultancies will be quietly mothballed.

By 2024, we will also see significant fragmentation in BigLaw. More boutique firms will emerge as the costs of supporting BigLaw infrastructure continue to spiral and the culture of the BigLaw model comes under increased scrutiny. The new boutiques will be culturally very different from the firms that spawned them: customer centric, lean, diverse, and innovative in the way that they price. BigLaw will claim that these smaller firms do not pose a threat, but they will privately be rattled and will struggle to compete for the best young talent.

Michael Grupp, CEO, BRYTER

It will not look entirely different. There is a rocky 2023 ahead and change is still slow in legal. But as budgets are getting more available and procurement of legal tech gets faster and easier, we will see change, but only in fields where things have proven to work and where we can see measurable (read: easily demonstrable) and quick benefits. Document automation will become even more of a commodity, and CLM and workflow automation will continue to be rolled out. And many legal teams will run at least a legal front door or first self-service portal for their organizations.

In general, teams in law firms and in-house will continue to become more diverse: re-organization of the teams, more legal engineers, and other specialist roles.

Carla Swansburg, CEO, ClearyX

I’m going to sound very cynical here but nonetheless … Given the slow (but steady) pace of change, I don’t see a lot of distinction between now and 2024. I think we will see some further consolidation of legal tech tools into more “platform” plays, but even then we aren’t seeing a lot of fast integration of the tools larger players are acquiring. I HOPE we will see some of the acquisitions become integrated in a way that provides real value to users (much like the contract express/HighQ integration allows for a lot more seamless solutions development). I expect we will see fewer successful tools fold; some will be acquired and possibly shelved, but at risk of showing my cynicism, I truly see little other than incremental change in how legal services incorporate technology. Having said that, I think more and more law firms and in-house teams will find ways to incorporate technology into their work. There’s nothing like a recession/financial crisis to hasten adoption of tools that create efficiency!

Shilpa Bhandarkar, CEO, CreateiQ – part of Linklaters

I think we will see much more consolidation in the market. I’ve said this before but I think current market conditions will accelerate this into reality. Therefore, by 2024, rather than having a patchwork of point solutions for specific parts of transactions, users should hopefully have access to more end-to-end solutions, or products designed for interoperability so that users can then design their own tailored, end-to-end solution.

There is also likely to be a greater focus on adoption, training, and integration of tech rather than only onboarding new tech, which is where much of the focus has been over the last few years. Combine that with the continued focus on automation and digitization, and suddenly legal data stops being a theoretical competitive advantage and starts becoming much more real. The ability to surface the right data to the right people at the right time will be a real differentiator in managing risk, as well as for the overall client experience.

Ben Allgrove, Chief Innovation Officer, Baker McKenzie

The pace of change will continue to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. In-house teams will continue to focus on CLM, vendor management, and alternative staffing, without the partnership model between law firms and clients fundamentally changing in the way it needs to. Recessionary and inflationary pressures will put the squeeze on transformation budgets at law firms, causing innovation efforts to focus on core digital transformation imperatives rather than experimental efforts.

Kelly Harbour, SALI Board Member and Chief Business Development Officer, Goulston & Storrs

I think we will continue to see consolidation in the market; specifically, more acquisitions by players who have been actively acquiring over the last few years, including Intapp and Litera. I also expect that 2023 will bring material gains in the integration of legal tech products: Within tech companies that have acquired new products, within law firms with an ever-growing list of technology solutions, and between law firms and in-house law departments as all parties seek to break down barriers to information-sharing. 

A related prediction: With open questions around the economy and legal services demand in 2023, I would not be surprised to see firms pull back on new investments in technology and instead focus on how to get more out of their enterprise data. That goal may be achieved through some combination of more robust integration between systems, increased scrutiny on data governance and quality, and use of data models or some form of AI to generate insights that lead to competitive advantage, either by predicting opportunities, alerting firms to relationships at risk, or simply harnessing internal know-how with external resources to better serve clients.

I also suspect that these data-focused efforts will increasingly rely on industry-standard classifications and data tagging, which support business analysis and allow systems to exchange data. A leading example is the Legal Matter Specification Standard published by The SALI Alliance. We have seen tremendous momentum of adoption of the LMSS in 2022 among service providers like Thomson Reuters (who announced that they are implementing the LMSS in all of their products) to law firms, and to legal departments at Microsoft and Intel. There is an API working group with The SALI Alliance making great strides as well, including some of the biggest names in legal tech, which will make the transfer of data between organizations and systems seamless.

Shifting back to legal tech itself, some softening of demand could free up lawyers who have been overextended in the past few years, giving them time to focus on technology projects that require their expertise, if firms make investments in what may be a down year. I am less confident that firms will seize this opportunity, given the risk of investing during an uncertain year, but it is something I will be watching.

Conan Hines, Senior Legal Technology Advisor, Clifford Chance (New York)

Things continue to change incrementally in legal. There hasn’t been any revelation since the Blockchain Bust, which probably didn’t help the cause. Firms should, in light of the economy, invest more into tech and optimization, but I am skeptical this will occur, especially in the U.S. market. Firms will slowly add to their innovation teams (if they have them) with analysts and consultants, while those that do not have this function will dip their toes in the water. Legal tech vendors will continue to prosper in law departments but find less enthusiasm in the law firm market until the economy recovers.

Tara Waters, Ashurst Advance

U.S. firms entering the captive ALSP space is a trend I think we can expect to continue, which has the potential to have significant effects on the ecosystem outside of the U.S. The volatility of the big tech landscape may serve the legal landscape well with regard to available tech talent—and certainly law firms seems to be moving up the maturity curve in terms of how they are seeking to leverage technology beyond “legaltech.” Clients are also maturing their thinking around legal innovation, and I expect more of them will establish their own legal operations teams. This, in turn, will result in an increase in tenders for ALSP panels and push legal service providers to expand their offerings (whether organically or through strategic partnerships) in order to have more bites of the pie.

Jack Shepherd, iManage

More maturity in frameworks of thinking. Innovation will transfer a lot more into efficiency than blue-sky ideas. Teams will be more disciplined around identifying problems, rather than seeing problems through the lens of a particular solution. Many types of projects that are primarily driven by hype (e.g., blockchain) will slip away, as five to six years of spend on these types of projects will not have shown material success.

Ned Gannon, President, eBrevia

By 2024, we’ll see an increased number of law firms offering tangential services to their core business in the vein of both captive ALSPs and legal tech/legal ops consulting. This next year will also likely bring further consolidation among legal tech vendors driven by market forces and a desire by acquirers to enhance the offerings in their product suite. While pilots of new technologies will certainly continue, there will be an increased focus on implementation and adoption of existing tech and measuring ROI both within law firms and corporate legal departments. Finally, the approach of 2024 will bring a variety of new startups focused on legal domain-specific content generation.

Roisin Noonan, COO at TLB and co-founder of oneNDA and Claustack

By 2024, we will see:

  • Normalization. The use of legal tech will become increasingly normalized and what is considered innovation now will become standard. Legal will be much further along the path that Finance and HR took many years ago in leveraging tech to digitize manual workflows, capture, and meaningfully report on data and generate real efficiencies for their businesses.
  • Standardization. Standardization will be the rule, not the exception. There will be continued growth in the creation, adoption, and use of community-driven industry standards as companies look to gain efficiencies in the BAU contracting and data protection by curtailing (wasteful!) negotiations. Standardization of internal template suites and processes will also emerge as a key priority for in-house legal teams, as they continue to move away from the artisanal and towards the strategic value-add.
  • Consolidation. There will be a substantial consolidation of the market. Right now, the market is fairly fragmented, with legal tech providers, law companies, and law firms all providing pieces of the legal optimization puzzle. Over the next few years, we’d anticipate to see consolidation creating a potentially smaller but more sustainable and helpful ecosystem.

Haley Altman, Litera/partly partly doing other things

I think we will see an increase in data integration and interoperability of systems as larger providers continue to acquire point solutions to provide for more holistic systems and workflows. This will be important to increase adoption by reducing context switching and duplicate data entry, which are barriers to adoption. Hopefully, the interoperability and data integrations will start extend further cross-providers. I think you will continue to see a focus on business of law applications that enable firms to unlock greater access to revenue with connections among CRM, expertise, and BI systems.

It will be interesting to see the impact of OpenAI and ChatGPT, but I don’t think either will meaningfully change how lawyers work by 2024. It may push vendors and users to think more broadly about knowledge and how to access relevant information quicker and in more standardized ways. We’re seeing developments from vendors on this front in the drafting space and I think this will continue to evolve as more attributes about a deal or document can be tagged and recognized.

Alexandra Lennox, Director of LawtechUK 

Not a lot in some areas, a lot in others. Why? Corporate budgets are tighter in a recession, investors are more cautious in a downturn BUT the Government is still very focused on growth and innovation (Ministry of Justice and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy are both investing millions in legal service innovation in 2023). AND we may start to see fruits from the Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022, which will pave the way for online procedure rules, allowing new digital services developed by the private sector to integrate properly with the courts’ digital system.

What will this mean?

  • The legal innovation ecosystem will become more spread out across the UK and less centered around London, as a result of government investment in the sector that has a levelling-up agenda to deliver on and remote work becomes the norm. This is a trend we’ve seen develop at LawtechUK, with key clusters in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, and Edinburgh (to name a few) becoming more established. 
  • We’ll see “justice-tech” recognized as part of the legal innovation ecosystem. The incoming Online Procedure Rules and the Ministry of Justice’s focus in this space will encourage a wave of innovation and scaling of new products and services providing legal support to address the access to justice gap. We’ve seen young lawyers in particular wanting to feel like they are contributing to a greater purpose and big firms doing more pro-bono hours, which will further fuel innovation in this area.  
  • There will be further consolidation in the B2B lawtech market, as tighter corporate budgets and more cautious VCs make this a necessity. As the market continues to mature, purchasers of lawtech are becoming more sophisticated and smarter, as are the lawtech vendors.

Anthony Seale, CEO, Legatics

Going into an economic slowdown, we will see a shift in how busy different practice areas are. Counter-cyclical areas, such as restructuring and insolvency will need quick ways of expanding their delivery capacity. Experienced lawyers take time to train, so they’ll need to turn to technology to help deliver their service.

With less work to go around in other areas, we will see increased fee pressure. Simultaneously, the mantra of “too busy to innovate,” won’t apply. Law firms that take this opportunity to innovate and embed technology into their practice will both protect their profit margin in 2024’s tighter times and set themselves up for success long into the future. As the economy bounces back, we’ll then see an even bigger difference between firms that do and do not make this investment.

Tim Pullan, CEO, ThoughtRiver

Right now I’m sensing a marked shift in sentiment towards boldness and I predict this will lead to some radical decisions in corporations that sweep away legacy process, and these decisions will quickly become precedents across industries. As one example, I have spoken to two large corporations in the last week who have eliminated all manual legal process from all procurement contracting. Not done perfectly with all gaps and possible risks covered, but done nonetheless. Massive technology advances, as well as economic necessity are also going to be a big factor in this new mood, with AI in particular now irresistible as an automation proposition for many low-level manual tasks.

Also, we’ll see mass adoption of chatbots by SMEs looking for quick, free input on legal questions. Even if it’s wrong sometimes, they’ll still use it; it’s too convenient while being good enough.

Sacha Kirk, Co-Founder & CMO, Lawcadia

In the next 12 months, the legal industry will need to respond to the challenges of an economic downturn, cyber security threats, and increased regulation. These external factors, combined with the struggle to find and retain staff, will make for a challenging year for industry leaders and people managers. These pain points will be the catalyst for:

  • An increased focus on tightening up information security infrastructures and policies with industry players looking to “defend” their assets against possible cyber threats and avoid unwanted attention from the relevant regulators
  • Soft people management skills and employee engagement will come to the fore, triggering new strategies to engage and retain staff. Action on diversity and inclusion, non-traditional work structures, and an emphasis on empathy will be king
  • Increased demand for technology implementations that aid in the workflow, management, and reporting of regulatory responses (client-focused, client to firm, and between firms) as the legal industry grapples with the complexity and time-consuming nature of maintaining onerous regulatory obligations
  • In-house legal departments focus on demonstrating value for money and reducing waste (time and financial resources) as the industry deals with wage hikes, inflation, and increased business costs
  • The utilization of technology to simplify workflows and improve efficiencies as more work is moved in-house and matter volumes increase

Nick Watson, CEO, Ruby Datum

This ship moves slowly! However, as the Wolters Kluwer “Future Ready Lawyer” report highlights, the clients of law firms are expecting more innovation, which predominantly takes the form of a tech stack that empowers the teams behind their legal work.

Now, law may be a slow-moving ship, but when the wind changes direction and those in the lead start to adjust their sails, the others quickly follow. Large firms are innovating at an increasing pace—and the profits reflect this beautifully. We have the stats now, and other firms will start to take notice, and ultimately copy their lead (as typically happens). Some legacy tech firms knew this shift was coming and have locked people into painfully long contracts for this reason, and continue to tighten their grip on data portability, which we all know is simply unsustainable long-term.

AI continues to get smarter, and NLP algorithms such as OpenAI’s text-davinci-003 model will see many cool, experimental projects being released—automatically generated “human readable” contracts, did someone say?

Knowledge Management will be a hot topic. Larger law firms especially are looking into ways to harvest their enormous banks of data in order to drive value-added services, predictive models, and cost efficiencies to their clients. I’d like to think smaller firms will pool together and collaborate, but I don’t see this as a reality by 2024, until they are in a “sink or swim” situation. (There is still time, don’t worry!)

More legal tech start-ups will fade away (sorry, many of you clearly have not done your market research). It both delights me (because innovation is happening) and pains me (I hate to see people struggle) to see how many of you are working to solve the same challenges.

Alex Herrity, Director – Global Legal Solutions, Adidas

I don’t expect radical change over the next 12 months, within the large corporate in-house legal sector at least. I anticipate that belt tightening in light of economic pressures could impact the legal tech marketplace as many teams look to tinker with their existing tech to get more out of it, and plan for 2024/25 rather than spending big in 2023.

I suspect there might be a squeeze in the CLM space which appears to be oversaturated, and we might get a high-profile casualty where VC money runs dry and customer conversion has been too slow to become sustainable.

That being said, I think we will continue to see more symbiotic-optimizing point solutions: plug-ins or connectors to existing applications or platforms with inexpensive license models that leverage increased connectivity to existing systems and greater appetite for adoption in specialist and in-house teams.

Jerry Levine, Chief Evangelist, ContractPodAi

Many legal technology vendors have historically focused on solving tech-related problems without thinking about the humans involved in this tech adoption and usage. As AI continues to evolve, it will bring about new tech-related problems that can’t be solved by technology itself, but rather through increased collaboration between technology and human involvement. By 2024, we will see a deeper focus on HCI (human computer interaction) and an enhanced look at generative AI to predict contractual language, assist in finding answers, and ultimately deliver a best-in-class legal platform. As a result, there will be a greater reliance on AI-driven document analysis and review for low-value items in the new year and beyond.

Karl Harris, Lex Machina (part of LexisNexis)

One aspect of the legal innovation ecosystem I expect will undergo some significant changes is in the arena of venture funding. Venture-backed startups contribute significantly to the legal innovation ecosystem, and venture funding is the lifeblood of these new ventures. My company, Lex Machina, was once a venture-backed startup, and we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today without venture capital investors. In 2023 and 2024, I anticipate that venture funding for startups will shift in two distinct ways, depending on whether the legal startup is in the early “new venture” stages or the later mature and established stages.

For the more established mature startups, and especially those that are not yet profitable, it will likely be more difficult to secure legal funding in the next two years. This is due to a general slowdown in later-stage venture funding related to the lower valuations found in the public markets. What this likely means is that those startups will either struggle to grow as they’re forced to cut costs, or they will need to be acquired. I would expect a strong uptick in acquisitions due to this slowdown in later-stage venture investing. Furthermore, I suspect that while a strong proportion of the M&A activity in the last couple of years was executed through private equity firms rather than strategic acquisitions by large companies, with the pending economic slowdown, the balance will likely shift back to strategic acquisitions and away from private equity acquisitions.

Now, for the early-stage new venture startups, the opposite trend could occur—a rise in the formation of new venture-backed companies. This could happen for three reasons: one, when the economy slows, there will likely be layoffs at both law firms and companies, and therefore people will be available to pursue entrepreneurial ventures in a way they weren’t before. Two, it will continue to be less and less expensive to launch a new company; economic downturns tend to be good times to start a new business. And three, we haven’t seen the same slowdown in seed and early-stage venture investing that we have at the later stages because these newer companies are further away and more isolated from any turmoil in the current public markets. Therefore, new venture formation and investing is unlikely to slow down as much as later-stage investing, and may in fact increase.

Anthony Widdop, Global Director, Legal Operations, Shearman & Sterling

By 2024, we will start to see more members of the legal innovation ecosystem branch out beyond their individual “nodes” to develop informal and formal relationships and alliances. For law firms, this will include working more closely with ALSPs and other key players to create solutions for their clients that bring the best of different types of provider. I anticipate more “uncommon” partnerships with players that may not be an obvious fit, but could add value in new and unique ways. When looking at the history of innovation in other sectors, we see that uncommon partnerships often bring different insights, which can create an innovation spark that leads to new products and services.

Richard Mabey, CEO, Juro

We will see the combined impact of inflation and slow growth bite in 2023, so by 2024 we’ll see how this pressure affected the legal innovation ecosystem. Companies that could grow and deliver their solutions efficiently will have thrived and those that couldn’t will have struggled. One positive effect here will be that legal innovation won’t be able to confine itself only to legal in order to get buy-in and traction; solutions need to be built for everyone in the business, rather than needing a law degree and a six-month onboarding to figure out. Simplicity and speed of adoption will dominate.

Helena Hallgarn, VQ Virtual Intelligence + Standards Monitor

By 2024 we should have moved to the third generation of legal tech, where focus is on using advanced technology to solve legal problems based on customer needs. Instead of just making lawyers use tech (legal tech phase one) or replace some of the tasks being done by a lawyer (legal tech phase two), we are now moving away from the focus on the lawyer and how lawyers traditionally manage legal tech. Instead of putting the lawyer in the center, we will look at the legal problems that are out there with a fresh new perspective. How can they best be managed and solved? By applying advanced technology to legal problems, we can hopefully initiate new opportunities in the legal tech sector.

Horace Wu, CEO, Syntheia

Technology will have made leaps and bounds in 2023. We are already seeing early indicators with ChatGPT at the end of 2022. The ecosystem, however, may not change a great deal.

I think the legal innovation ecosystem will start to bifurcate into those willing to put their data in the cloud and those who are less willing to put their data in the cloud. Firms and organizations actively adopting cloud will benefit from improved technologies and new vendors. I think the bifurcation will be imperceptible in the first half of 2023, because the economic circumstances will slow the adoption of new technologies. It will start to speed up as vendors lower their prices and more certainty returns to the economy.

Overall, by 2024, I think we will see a lot more options that support the legal innovation ecosystem at the lower end of the market. I think the top end of the market will actively explore a lot of possibilities, but it will not have changed a great deal because people and processes will hold back the tides of change.

Olga Mack, VP at LexisNexis and CEO of Parley Pro

In-house counsel or legal ops teams manually connecting or integrating various mission-critical solutions (such as CLM, matter management, and e-billing) will become a dated practice by 2024. Buying different solutions that do not have an industrial-grade data flow connection will be akin to using a typewriter today. The days of “arts and crafts” legal tech projects are numbered. Instead, you will start getting significant ROI on your purchase on day one with the push of a button.

Going from app to app and reconciling data practices will also be sunsetting. Expect all you need in one place, seamlessly connected and transparent. It will be powered by a collaboration engine that unites your law department, facilitates appropriate conversation across the entire company, and safely includes outside stakeholders.

And then expect some more …

Having all your tools in one place is an excellent start. Having your raw materials and data is even better. Practicing law without accessing the latest guidance and benchmarks is akin to a doctor giving a prescription without lab results or following the latest medical research. Expect an increase of helpful and actionable content and analytics delivered right in your tools that takes your work product to the next level.

This is magic: modern tools + content + data = practicing on top of your license. This is where we are heading by 2024.

Hugo Seymour, Chief Operating Officer at Della

Fruit is getting harder to pick. Time, energy, and investment have been put into legal tech. Quite a lot of the low-hanging fruit is no longer a viable business prospect and the gap between what is possible using Microsoft or Google services and specialized providers will shrink. This will lead to legal tech firms merging and acquiring each other to allow for the delivery of differentiable services rather than features.

Noah Waisberg, CEO, Zuva

I don’t expect big changes over the next year. My experience in legal tech has been that there is little change in any given year, but meaningful progress over a bunch of years. Funding markets seem tighter now, but that should mean more of a return to pre-2020 normal for legal tech companies.

Prashant Dubey, Agiloft Chief Strategy Officer

By the end of next year, CLM’s “GPS-esque” live data visualization of contract data will have established itself as 2023’s digital transformation darling. Traditional, paper contracts might give you a certain amount of visibility into the lay of the land and a general route to success, but next year the enterprise will see that they can provide so much more.

Digital contracts’ extensive information provides a better understanding of individual relationships, as well as the wider ecosystem of relationships with suppliers and customers—what terms led to successful outcomes, what trends point to things that typically go wrong, etc. CLM solutions turn “flat” contracts into data-rich decision-making tools. Like a GPS system, real-time data feeds from contracts show decision-makers not only the direction strategies will take them, but also where reality may impact those strategies, making CLM and the visibility it provides THE enterprise digital transformation darling of the year.

Thanks again to everyone for providing your predictions. Plenty of food for thought here.

Something else people may want to have on their radars for next year are two great Legal Innovators conferences taking place in the U.S. and UK in 2023:

Legal Innovators California – San Francisco on June 7 and 8, 2023

Legal Innovators UK – London on November 8 and 9, 2023

I will be chairing both of the two-day conferences as usual and also will be publishing updates on Artificial Lawyer throughout the year, featuring conference details, speaker profiles, and more. Keep an eye out for those throughout next year. I look forward to seeing you in London and San Francisco in 2023!

Richard Tromans, Founder, Artificial Lawyer, and Legal Innovators Conference Chair.

Artificial Lawyer (2022, December 14). Artificial Lawyer: 2023 Market Predictions – Part

Artificial Lawyer (2022, December 14). Artificial Lawyer Market Predictions For 2023 – Part