Roger Phillips

Roger Phillips

Senior Counsel – International Counsel Bureau, Kuwait

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?

The main challenge has been business travel and areas of contact with clients such as business development. This has been a hindering fact on new business. In terms of executing work, increasingly this has been done from home and remotely to ensure safety and efficiencies. With Teams and other communications, we can have virtual meetings but this is not as effective as being together as ‘one team’ in the office environment. The key positives have been a recognition of team spirit and support to team members during difficult times. The use of remote technologies has also been positive. On the less positive, face to face meetings have been missed and clients have been struggling which is negative. Business development is very much less effective without personal contact. Some legal services such as employment legal advice have been key for clients and opportunity areas but pricing is not easy.

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?

The way of working will harness increasing use of technologies and encourage plans for remote working but it will not fundamentally change the way of working in itself. We do not see changes to the size of the physical office and ‘being in’ the office remains a priority.

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

Yes, legal technology has been incredibly important. As well as use of lap tops and mobile technology applications, the communication tools of Teams and Webex have been essential.

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

Covid has been a further impetus to what was happening already. Communication tools will continue to advance and online briefings and training by webinars wills become more important. E-Law if you like will be a key driver for successful delivery of legal services and there will be increasing need for security from use of remote and mobile services as well as e- solutions which provide for contract reviews and sign off of contracts with certain key clients.

5. Has your firm changed its remuneration structure during the crisis? Will the firm consider using a “Keystone” or hybrid remuneration model in future?

No changes.

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

More awareness of risk management and business continuity arrangements.

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