By Loubna Imenchal, Head of Logitech for Enterprise Business AMECA
“In 2018, a judge presiding over a case in the KwaZulu-Natal Local Division of the High Court determined that an 80-year-old Yugoslavian witness, who couldn’t afford to travel from her home country of Montenegro to Durban for the case, could provide evidence and undergo cross-examination remotely using video conferencing (VC) technology.”
Three years on, the pandemic has fuelled VC technology’s meteoric popularity growth in the legal industry, making it more than just a tool for isolated court cases and a catalyst for change in legal firms throughout the world.
The rise of virtual law firms
Historically, technology has been a mechanism for change, allowing companies to adopt more competitive business models, and law firms are no exception.
According to a study by Hazelwoods, 1,270 lawyers worked in virtual offices in 2020 in the UK alone, which is a 22% increase from the previous year’s figures. This growing trend occurs globally as more legal organisations redefine traditional law firms by transitioning to virtual operations.
When comparing a virtual law firm’s day-to-day operations to a traditional one, it’s easy to see why this alternative is so appealing. Using VC technology, law firms can conduct face-to-face consultations, depose witnesses, and finalise deals more effectively than their traditional counterparts, saving time and money.
The 2018 High Court case shows that VC technology allows legal firms to consult with clients in different provinces or countries. This technology also minimises the time and effort legal firms spend communicating with clients in person and travelling from one location to another.
VC technology also has a significant security advantage over phone conferencing as without video, lawyers often can’t see who has joined the group conference call.
In most cases, lawyers rely on non-verbal communication cues when deposing witnesses and interacting with clients. Legal professionals can pick up on these cues during video conferencing, which creates a more realistic environment than audio-only calls.
How traditional legal firms can shift to virtual operations in 2022
With VC technology, law firms can change to a hybrid or entirely virtual way of working. Like the commercial law firm Hill Dickinson, VC technology, like Logitech’s range of VC solutions, also helps legal professionals navigate the current challenging climate while maintaining and building relationships with colleagues and clients.
By using VC technology, more law firms will be able to handle clients’ rapidly changing needs while maintaining a healthy profit margin and providing the best service possible.