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Tim Pullan predicts big changes for legaltech in 2018

2018 looks set to be as unpredictable and challenging as any in recent memory for the legal industry worldwide.

This is certainly the case when looking at the substantive changes looming: a rapidly evolving trade agreement landscape; new regulations with global impact such as GDPR and MIFID II; and new deregulation with global impact such as the net neutrality repeal. Here in the UK, there is also the imponderable complexity of Brexit and the fast approaching exit date.

Here are some predictions on what’s in store for the coming year in legal tech:

  • Distinctions in the market will become sharper. One of the defining features of the market in 2017 were the number of legal tech landscape charts in general circulation that made little sense when you considered what companies did, who they were grouped with and what the category labels were. Little wonder people get confused. What we have been looking at something akin to the stirrings of a primeval swamp with various early stage businesses attempting to harness raw technology capabilities into the sweet spot use case propositions that really deliver in the complex world of lawyering. In 2018, a combination of adoption acceleration and highly publicised success stories will heavily focus demand in key areas and thus drive clearer categorisation.
  • New categories will emerge out of nowhere and mature fast. Some of the new categories of advanced legal technology are fast finding secure footholds. A great example is litigation outcome prediction which is finding very receptive markets in insurance and elsewhere – see here for an example.

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