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Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin case study

A case study about the rise of new ideas in the legal industry.

Sam Nickless, partner and the Chief Operating Officer at law firm Gilbert + Tobin, says barriers to change have fallen as new technology becomes cheaper and more accessible.

Tasked with driving the firm’s investment in technology and innovation, Sam says: "I think we’ll see some unbundling between more complex advice, which will remain human-expert driven for some time, and work that can be automated.”

Sam says Gilbert + Tobin is pursuing three different aspects of innovation: partnerships with NewLaw firms, investments in technology and rebundling traditional legal services in unfamiliar ways.

More efficient

He cites the firm’s relationship with LegalVision. “It’s a model in which Gilbert + Tobin provides high-level guidance or escalation for very complex matters, but most of the day-to-day work is done by LegalVision’” he says.

Meanwhile, the firm is working to develop its own technological capabilities through a specially created internal team.

“They spend a lot of time looking for tasks that could be automated or made more efficient by talking to lawyers about the things they do,” he says.

Lower costs

The firm’s other area of innovation involves unbundling and rebundling legal services in new forms. Often that means taking a partnership approach, where Gilbert + Tobin manages multiple providers to offer a lower cost service through a co-ordinated team.

“That’s going to be what clients are expecting of us — that we we’ve got the best people at the right price for each task,” Sam says.

Things you should know: This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. The information in this report is based on a survey of 40 decision-makers from mid-tier and top-tier law firms across Australia. This survey was carried out by beaton Research + Consulting in May 2017, on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank. Any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made, based on the information available at the time of this report’s compilation, but no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made or provided as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any statement made in this report. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.