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At the end of September, Shoosmiths, who recently unveiled a platform called CIA powered by our automated review technology, took part in the prestigious GC Strategy Summit. The virtual three-day event provided a stage for thought-provoking discussions from leading figures within law. New formats included keynote presentations, fireside chats, panel debates and intimate virtual roundtables that provided effective learning and networking opportunities for the event attendees.

Future Proofing’

The key focus of day one was the current state of business with the aim on future-proofing strategies by examining trends and predictions. It was clear from discussions that digital transformation was on the mind for a lot of CEOs, since the outbreak of COVID-19 they have seen an incredible uptake of technology across all sectors.

What was also great to discuss was the urgency in relation to bringing legal departments into the conversation with the leadership team, and to understand the impact of lawyers on the business as a whole, as is common with other teams such as finance or sales and marketing.

‘Purpose & Strategy’

Day two’s focus was updating business strategies, and how to adopt sustainable and transparent approaches in light of COVID-19.

In the legal profession, COVID-19 has seen a lot of organisations rethink contracts. With so much change during this period, legal firms need to ensure they are in a strong position post-COVID, shifting their objectives and taking positive lessons away from the situation. We heard that the winners will be those that adapt and maintain a strong team dynamic despite increased pressure in middle management and greater difficulty in communicating - especially whilst working virtually.

The International Olympic Committee cited that the legal department’s perception of risk has changed as a result of the current business climate and cited an awareness of the increased burden on the middle layer of management to navigate the challenges of team members while they are working remotely.

‘People, Process & Tech’

On the final day of the summit, the discussion turned to processes that are helping legal teams deal with challenges associated with cost and productivity.

We heard from Bill Deckleman, Executive Vice President, General Council DXC Technology, who shared the company’s transformational journey and lessons learned. Bill stated that the ability to view a portfolio of contracts for thousands of customers on dashboards was helping the organisation drive efficiency, giving them more scope to analyse and predict future trends. What was also incredibly valuable was building a roadmap for digital transformation that colleagues could see and build upon. The exchange between decision makers and the legal teams was highly beneficial for moving projects forward in a way that made sense for all.

On the whole, it is clear that the points discussed during the summit are very much in line with our current focus at ThoughtRiver. With digital transformation accelerated due to COVID-19, we hope that law firms will continue to benefit from the positive change and the adoption of tech to streamline traditional processes. ThoughtRiver is positioned to help in-house counsel lay the foundation through automated contract review, empowering the legal team to become a valued partner in closing deals with the business, as well as providing valuable insights.

We were delighted to be part of the event, and to hear from all the other speakers. A big thank you to those who organised it and we look forward to next year's (perhaps in person?) event.