Anna Beaumont & Karen Bexley

Co-Founders – Bexley Beaumont, England

Karen Bexley, Co-Founder (left), Gordon Lane, NED (middle), Anna Beaumont, Co-Founder (right)

1. How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the way you work as a lawyer? What are the key positives and negatives that have emerged out of lockdown?

At Bexley Beaumont we were fortunate that our systems were already designed for flexible and agile working. However, the pandemic hit in our month 3 of trading, which certainly wasn’t in our business plan! Our challenges involved growing a new law firm, recruiting in a pandemic and creating and nurturing an inclusive and collaborative team culture with lawyers who had never met each other in person. We have grown to a Team of 18 partners in our first year. Our Team culture (and ensuring our lawyers have opportunities to get to know each other) is and will always remain a key focus for us. As two co-founders we have a strong vision and a huge amount of passion for the Bexley Beaumont model and it’s great to see other firms embrace remote working.

2. Will you and your company continue to use flexible and agile working in future? Will you reduce the size of your physical office space?

Our office space is already more of a collaborative workspace due to our business model, it is a place where you can work, hold meetings, take calls however it also has a café on the ground floor where you can have a coffee with colleagues or contacts, an auditorium to hold events and a games/TV room. There is no requirement for the Bexley Beaumont partners to come in the office each day.

3. How have you employed legal tech during the crisis?  What has been successful and what has been lacking?

Our systems were already designed for our business model, so the Bexley Beaumont partners can work securely from anywhere and at anytime. We have however used Teams and Zoom far more for Team events than originally envisaged as we haven’t been able to hold in person events. We are very much looking forward to the day when we can all meet!

4. How do you see the advancement of legal tech affecting the legal industry in the next 10 years?

We expect more firms will adopt a more flexible and agile way of working and as that happens legal tech will be challenged to enable different ways of working and providing services to clients. Artificial intelligence will enable some bulk work to be carried out more efficiently and with greater speed and accuracy. It will also enable businesses to undertake some of the work previously carried out by law firms such as their own contract reviews, they will more easily be able to review trends and therefore be able to make better informed decisions and more easily and quickly review contract analytics. With legal tech taking over some aspects of  legal work, there will be an even greater requirement for the “in person” lawyers to support clients with the depth of their legal, sector and client knowledge which will enable clients to interpret the artificial intelligenceoutcomes and also implement a commercial view.

5. Name one key thing that will be different in the legal profession in 10 years’ time.

Hopefully when a woman takes on a senior/leadership role in a law firm her gender won’t be part of the headline!

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