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Mathias Oberndörfer, General Manager, KPMG Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Legal tech brings complexity under control

Daily business is becoming ever-more complex with the likes of increasing compliance demands and mounting regulation, international networking, cooperation with competitors and across industries, as well as liability risks for top management. The list can be continued ad infinitum.

Phenomenon of mass litigation
Businesses are also increasingly dealing with an entirely new breed of protagonists at the customer’s end – especially when products or services fail to live up to expectations. New legal-service providers are using standardised lawsuit procedures to support dissatisfied customers; in doing so, they cover the full client spectrum, ranging from consumers (e.g. air passenger rights) to corporates (e.g. truck cartel).

This new system of pursuing claims can fast become perilous for organisations that fail to take timely countermeasures; for while it was once only individual claimants who would sue for a defective product or service, it can now be hundreds, or even thousands, of disgruntled customers simultaneously.

In-house or external legal advisors are crucial if companies are to handle such abundant proceedings effectively. Nevertheless, most companies remain ill-equipped to oppose a tsunami of standardised suits. Hence, suitable technical tools and expertise are key in order to normalise responses to standardised legal action.

Cooperation of legal, IT and process-management functions
While no computer is able to substitute many years of arduous studying and intricate technical expertise, standardised procedures and new digital tools can help us in our work. Moreover, standardisation will be unavoidable if we continue to offer our clients relevant services and help them meet their challenges in the future.

For this reason, KPMG Law has made legal tech a central element for tempering our law firm for the future. On the one hand, this includes developing new technological tools, either on our own or together with other players such as legal startups; and, on the other hand, law firms will henceforth need staff to collect large volumes of data, maintain databases, and evaluate results which are then selectively provided to the individual solicitors. I believe that a new job profile will emerge at the interface between IT, legal and process-management functions.

Although this trend is still only nascent, one thing is already certain: in just a few years’ time, legal counselling will be very different from today. KPMG Law is working on shaping the change for its clients, ensuring the firm can continue offering them pertinent and cutting-edge legal advice in the future. If you are interested in further information, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Legal Developments in Germany

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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