When COVID-19 arrived, law firms did one of two things. Either they were caught off guard and scrambled to put remote working provisions in place, or they made small adjustments because they were already there. So the first impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on law firms was on the way it exposed the firms that had not innovated or kept up with reality. Dynamic firms, with a proactive and innovative mindset and the capacity to make timely decisions, had already adopted a remote working model as standard because of the strong
advantages it confers in today’s highly competitive legal

That said, a second impact of COVID-19 has been in the way it has forced the less technologically savvy firms to catch up with respect to working outside of the office. While initially they may have been caught flat-footed and may have lost ground and clients as a result, by now, the laggards have pretty much drawn level in terms of being able to work remotely. And whether they know it or not, are now in a position to exploit its intrinsic advantages and stay remote going forward, if they choose to do so.

The consequences of this rapid acceleration should not be lost on dynamic firms. The risk they face now is that the competitive edge remote working gave them will be eroded. To counter that, we believe that their next strategic play should be to go beyond remote working. Remote working is a great foundation, but true mobility – that is, working from any location – should be where firms are headed.

Read the full article in ILTA’s Peer to Peer Summer Edition Part II (page 28).


Trevor Bell is Chief Customer Officer at ZERØ, provider of the legal industry’s most innovative artificial intelligence email management solution. Trevor has 20 years’ legaltech product delivery experience. At ZERØ he’s responsible for each customer’s journey as they adopt the ZERØ app.

Neil G Oberman, LL.M. is Lead Innovation Partner at Spiegel Sohmer, a Montreal based firm specializing in corporate law, taxation and commercial law.

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