IRIS Legal World – Are you ready to face the future of Legal Services?

IRIS the legal software provider that claims to have 40% market share and over 550 clients held “IRIS Legal World” conference today in Manchester.  Today’s Conveyancer went along to listen and learn what the large software house had to say to conveyancers in this difficult climate.
Doug Hargrove the Managing Director, IRIS Legal opened the conference explaining that lawyers had a choice to “Change or be changed” and that as a customer centric organisation IRIS was determined to put “the demands of the client …. at the forefront of our minds”.
He went on to explain that it isn’t just alternative business structures that we need to fear it is the fact that clients are comfortable with price comparison websites, and the social networks and media will be an increasing threat and opportunity.   He explained that lawyers need to get used to the fact that “a bad experience can be emblazed across the web” and firms should consider a web strategy.
IRIS has in recent years become an aggregator of other case management systems including AIM and OPSIS claims to have 93% customer retention rate despite a number of its clients publically expressing concern about the support for older packages.  Doug Hargrove firmly stated that there would be no switch over day for legacy systems and he that “we do not end of life products”.  Acknowledging that this message has not always been clear he closed saying “I appreciate there has been a level of frustration”… “We are going to listen to you differently”.
The message clearly led on relationship building rather than technical innovation to improve conveyancers rate of return on investment.
Professor Stephen Mayson of The Legal Services Policy Institute spoke passionately without notes or slides.  In his usual engaging style he spoke how the changes would be less of a “big bang” and more of a “whoopee cushion” and encourage us to “re think how we do legal services”.
Of the winners and losers over the coming months he felt that if we adopt a wait and see approach you will fall into the loser category.
He explained that we need to consider four moving parts of a legal business.
1)      What to provide?
2)      How to deliver?
3)      How to get returns?
4)      How to wrap it?
In a detailed and entertaining presentation he pointed out that “winning or losing isn’t a result that happens to you it is a choice” he sees as many opportunities as threats for those that are prepared to adapt.
The question is really which conveyancers will adapt in a successful way?
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