We all know just how the world is a strange and wonderful place - how little real control we have over anything. All that we can control is what we think and feel, what we say and do. Whether you call it a "virtual law firm", a dispersed law firm or a platform law company - they all share one thing. A greater degree of personal control.
Of course, technology and new ways of working, enabling the rise of the individual, can also address the innate human characteristic of seeking relationship and contact.
Co-operating, connecting, collaborating are, in my view, the stuff of the future. Law is like a third mover in the change market. As a profession we are the late adopters. Late we may be, but we have the opportunity to learn and rapidly adapt to the dynamism which markets now demand. We can take the learning from other sectors and evolve and adapt it anew. The very real prospect exists for the emergence of a new type of law firm. Neither a traditional structure, nor a virtual firm. A hybrid law firm. A business model that adapts and flexes to client need with exciting, fulfilling and rewarding working lives for those it serves. For let us remember a law firm really has two types of clients to serve. The lawyers to whom it gives a home and the end clients those lawyers serve.
A hybrid law firm, applying people, processes and applications in a flexible way to actually serve all of its users...now that's my tribe. A tribe of like-minded members choosing to cooperate and serve.
We all face a world changed by the current COVID-19 pathogen, where we seem to have so little control. Yet platforms provide a reassuringly familiar route to collaborating. Large commercial firms need not fear platforms and vice versa. They offer a glimpse of the emergence of the hybrid that may just become the pre-eminent model for the 21st century professional.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of lawyers working in ‘virtual’ law firms in the UK, new research has found.