Reed Smith’s Solution to Pandemic Demand Lull? Build More Tech
While the firm's "Now and Next" initiative was launched in response to slowing demand for legal services during early months of the pandemic, Reed Smith stressed that it's likely to continue in some form in the future.
When COVID-19 restrictions spread across the globe, many firms turned to government assistance, austerity cuts and job reconfigurations in response. While Reed Smith did make some budget cuts, it also took a slightly different tech-based approach by creating work opportunities for its staff during a recession. In April 2020, the firm quietly launched an internal initiative to proactively address clients’ legal needs by building tech-based solutions, with an aim to divert “spare lawyer capacity” to those projects during a pandemic.
The initiative, dubbed Now and Next, saw Reed Smith partners, associates and knowledge management teams from various practice groups and offices collaborate to create tech-based tools and resources. In a press release, Reed Smith highlighted various tools its Now and Next teams created, including investigations and remote proceedings best practice resources, a fintech legislation tracker and an insurance clause analysis tool.
Reed Smith Europe and Middle East managing partner Tamara Box noted that the pandemic was an opportune moment to focus on more “horizon scanning” for client needs as legal service demand cooled. “We had a moment of time that we could grab spare capacity [because] some of our practice areas and office locations were being affected differently.”
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