Three Reasons why Law Firms need to adopt Document Digitisation

Posted 30th March 2023

Digitisation could save lawyers time and money, from chasing signed contracts to printing long documents. Since the pandemic, people expect to be able to do any task virtually, and millions of companies have already put this into practice, including banks and shops. Is it time for law firms to do the same?

Concerns have been highlighted about technology in the legal sector, only 44% of companies have invested in automation to improve processes and productivity, according to Thomson Reuters. Law firms are falling behind, and could potentially be missing a trick.

In this blog, we will highlight the three main reasons why law firms need to adopt document digitisation:

 

1. Reduced Turnaround Times

Firstly, reducing time could lead to increased customer satisfaction. You don’t want your client waiting around for a week to sign a document, and that’s not taking into account mail strikes, and the time it takes for them to return it to you. A fast and reliable electronic signature service can lead to recommendations to others and high customer retention. Documents can be signed in one click!

Searching for paper documents can be time-consuming, whereas digitised documents can be quickly located and retrieved in your inbox. The easily accessible documents can allow lawyers and staff to spend more time on billable work and less time on administrative tasks.

Of course, ditching paper documents doesn’t just save time, it also helps to reduce carbon emissions, which brings us to our next point.

 

2. Environmental Benefits

Using electronic signatures means you can eliminate the need to print out your business documents. This can help you reduce your paper waste and the associated carbon footprint. 

We recently conducted research with Liverpool John Moores University which shows that digitisation technologies could save the UK millions of pounds. The research states that posting and delivering fewer documents to clients would reduce carbon emissions from transport – saving 805.895 kilos of CO2e for each medium law firm annually.

Reducing carbon emissions is especially important for law firms as they can amass millions of pages per year. This could help firms who are going for BCorp, and who want to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Increasing your environmental credentials can benefit your business in many ways, such as helping you win business, retain staff and prove your values with real-world examples of what you’re doing to shift the dial.

 

3. Financial Savings

Digitisation can help law firms save money by reducing the need for physical storage space and paper. This can lead to lower rental costs for office space and reduce the need for additional staff to manage physical documents.

According to our research, each law firm could save around £400,000 annually by reducing printing costs. Medium-sized UK law firms could save up to £336m each year.

The estimated savings assume that a medium-sized law firm (2-250 employees) will handle 18,000 legal documents yearly. Researchers at LJMU calculated efficiency savings from digitisation, such as printing, delivery and return costs, storage and administrative time.

The study calculated annual savings of £416,892:

  • Printing Colour Pages £210,000
  • Printing B&W Pages £84,000
  • Paper Colour £15,428
  • Paper B&W £15,092
  • Postage £73,800
  • Administration £18,572
  • Storage £107,583

 

Summary

To summarise, digitisation including electronic signatures can save medium law firms time, and money, and increase their environmental accreditation. It makes their life, their business’s life and their client’s lives easier, with the good certainly outweighing the bad. It is time for law firms around the country to step up and adopt document digitisation.

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