February 24, 2015, London, UK – 78 percent of legal professionals are struggling to meet the productivity levels demanded by their profession, according to a new Smarter Working report by Workshare. The report polled over 220 legal professionals and found that despite legal firms adopting strategies to improve organizational efficiency, 68 percent view improved productivity as one of the main business drivers for 2015.

The report reveals legal professionals have insufficient access to effective technology to help them stay productive. 78 percent of respondents say their firm/company has adopted technology in an attempt to drive efficiency, however a staggering 65 percent still think more processes could be automated, particularly for admin-intensive tasks associated with document review.

The survey found that document collaboration is an integral part of legal professionals’ daily workflow. With ineffective review processes hindering the progress of documents, 65 percent of respondents state they need a central workspace to share, review and collaborate on documents. This workspace has to be accessible from a mobile device, and deliver functionality above and beyond their document management system (DMS).

“With commercial pressures on reducing fees higher than ever, today’s legal professional is struggling with delivering the same value to their clients, in fewer hours. With time at a premium, wasting it searching for documents or confirming that a draft is up-to-date is unproductive and inefficient”, commented Anthony Foy, CEO of Workshare. “A new breed of applications offers efficiencies in accessing content, streamlining processes, and sharing knowledge. As such, it is at the forefront of service-delivery innovation for law firms, allowing lawyers to stay productive and reach their potential.”

Other findings include:

  • 59 percent state that slow document turnaround is one of the main reasons for progress on a document being held up, with the next biggest roadblock to progress cited as consolidating feedback (49 percent) and comparing documents (29 percent).
  •  86 percent state it is important to have visibility over a document’s editing history, including what changes have been made, by whom, and when to provide a full audit trail.
  • 44 percent face issues with version control, such as working on the wrong version or difficulty finding the latest version of a document when working with teams.