Mumbai: The Law Society of England and Wales (The Law Society) has chosen Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading IT services, business solutions and outsourcing organisation, as a strategic transformation partner, following a diligent process of evaluation.
TCS will work with The Law Society initially on a significant system development project, which aims to create a more effective online service for The Law Society and its members. This marks another step in TCS’ foray into the global legal services industry — a sector that can benefit tremendously from technology solutions that can improve the working environment for law firms, drive higher efficiency levels and ultimately their profitability.
In the UK in particular, the legal services industry is forecast to undergo material change as the Legal Services Act (LSA) 2007 comes into implementation in 2011. This act is aimed at liberalising the legal services market and bringing the entire market under one regulatory framework by creating ‘alternative business structures’ — which will allow non-lawyers in management and ownership roles. Once the LSA comes into effect, competition is expected to increase and new entrants into the sector will necessitate better regulation and robust systems to meet their demands. “Following the successful launch of our flagship Legal Management Solution (LMS), we are committed to helping the UK legal services sector during this defining period and strengthening our capabilities as a preferred technology partner to this industry,” said AS Lakshminarayanan, vice president and head, TCS Europe.
The application to be developed by TCS will enable The Law Society to manage the changes brought on by the LSA by streamlining operations and improving efficiencies. This will be done by a systematic review of the society’s business processes, information practices and systems needs, many of which have previously comprised simplistic, fragmented and silo-ed solutions. The TCS application will also help the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) towards regulating not just individuals, but firms and alternative business structures — by improving internal processes resulting in more effective regulation and reduced cost structures.
Commenting on the partnership, Steve Jeffree, chief information officer and operations director, The Law Society, said, “As a result of the changing nature of the society, we not only needed a platform that provided the maximum opportunity for the transformation, but also a partner with legal domain knowledge and deep competencies in application development and its implementation. TCS has the depth of expertise and wealth of supporting tools which allow us to implement these changes and ultimately help us become an agile organisation.”