The opportunities and expectations of globalization continue to present themselves at every turn. From organizations offering services outside of their operational boundaries to increased remote recruitment expanding the pool of jobs across the globe, nearly every market now has international elements. The legal industry is no exception, as many fields are influenced by globalization. Litigation needs include cross-border electronic discovery and international commercial contracts or agreements; and law firms continue to expand into new territories.
It is interesting to approach this subject from the perspective of the law firm. The concept of globalization is not new in this space. For decades, large companies in places like the US and UK have gone global in response to customer needs that stretch across borders. Many did this quickly and prospered. Today, more companies than ever before have multiple locations around the world or partner with contracted consultants or service providers with expertise in countries where business needs arise. Today, the continued increase in digitalization expands the needs and international obligations of businesses of all sizes, whether or not they currently have a global presence. It is crucial to regularly assess what this means in terms of legal technology adoption and how to leverage the best solutions that refine global processes and enable businesses to maintain a competitive edge through innovation.
Technology and globalization
New technology needs and prioritization will arise from a company’s cross-border activities. It is important to remember that the demand for and eventual adoption of a certain technology is and will continue to be geographically dependent when a company operates in multiple jurisdictions. This is why many solutions will not appear as widely adopted, but will still work well in areas requiring specific innovation. What is relevant in one jurisdiction (or industry) may not translate to another. For example, the United States, United Kingdom and other European countries have more widespread acceptance of the adoption of AI tools such as TAR to facilitate litigation than jurisdictions in other parts of the world that lack sophistication. legal technology.
With regard to technology and globalization, the market potential has evolved as companies do not need to operate in the country to obtain international business as remote capabilities are more prevalent than ever. While the law firm that has offices in a given country will already have resources in place and know the jurisdiction’s technology preferences, the one that has a global problem as an outside lawyer will need help leveraging the right tools and processes. This is where emerging technologies become essential for creating global processes, providing collaboration capabilities, staying competitive in global markets, and achieving business goals.
Transformational solutions and processes
Creating a business transformation initiative can help law firms drive impactful operational change and cost savings while closing global gaps. When setting goals, think about proven resources to leverage. For example, traditional office and administrative operations can now be performed virtually if desired. Centralizing operations, even when a company is established in several countries, is extremely advantageous from the point of view of costs, time management and personnel. Some models even offer 24/7/365 support through the use of captive centers, which is a great feature when workflows span across borders. Having round-the-clock support alleviates worries about projects not being completed on time and maintains business operational capabilities regardless of the physical location of the office.
Business transformation also applies to strategy-driven functions such as building global workflows or document repositories as part of an information governance program or performing cross-border reviews of documents and data transfers to meet litigation objectives. Look for a provider that operates centers of excellence in strategically attractive locations for business needs. Suppose a company is in the United States but receives a new line of business requiring significant document processing or hosting activities in Asia. An effective solution would be to outsource these functions to a center located in the project country that offers 24/7 global expert support. Changing processes in this way allows the company to meet deadlines, maintain compliance, manage costs, and advance legal defense.
Remember that virtualizing helpdesk and support to international teams can be useful as a full-time resource or on a project basis, depending on the company’s global presence (or lack thereof). For example, firms with offices in multiple countries will likely have lawyers who regularly collaborate on cases or other projects together. Virtual assistants, project managers or call centers can be an optimal solution to meet constant needs. The goal would be to configure internal spaces in a way that consistently promotes and promotes global collaboration. Today, companies without a physical global presence often face cross-border issues requiring expertise or processes outside of their operational standards. This is where contracting with vendors with expertise or language capabilities in this area would be optimal. Sometimes a global dispute will require an in-country eDiscovery review. Vendors with a physical data center or flexible attorneys in this region are valuable resources to meet this need. Even without review mandates, conducting reviews remotely or in other countries will help companies reduce costs while getting a quality work product in a timely manner. As noted, processing and hosting can also be done in many of these global hubs, so consolidating these services can further streamline work execution and create cost predictability.
As mentioned, businesses can partner with a trusted vendor who supports and guides transformation efforts while prioritizing global needs. Consultation and planning to identify areas needing improvement will result in meaningful change. Look for expertise and innovative technologies that match the company’s global business requirements. Flexibility is essential to help standardize workflows while allowing room to adapt to the demands imposed by specific regional locations and to adjust scale. Leveraging support will accelerate global business transformation while delivering national benefits, which will help streamline day-to-day operations and drive successful case resolutions faster.