The Future of Law Contracting

We were recently pointed at this blog post by @Ronfriedman on The Future of Law & Contracting (live from IACCM) … this sparked a lot of debate within the sharedo team which we thought we would share with you, the basic premise is as such:

.. there are only two approaches to create value: (1) complex systems run by highly skilled professionals with the major process being ‘humanistic’ and (2) volume operations run in an industrial manner where process runs on speed and minimal variation’

and that

‘the rules for operating, improving and innovating the two models are not only different but the opposite. The first approach embraces and harnesses ambiguity to convert it to advantage. Volume operations try to flush out ambiguity, which is inconsistent with the goals of volume, speed, and consistency.’


‘the volume operator gets better and better and the end customer says “this really works for me”. The end customer does not care about how – it cares about outcomes and costs. So eventually, volume operators take over all the work.’

and hence for the complex operator to survive, it has to move onto the next complex problem.”

So why does the sharedo team care about this and how are we going to help all types of ‘operators’ to not just survive but to thrive.

Early in the sharedo platform development we recognised that we needed to create a ‘language for defining work’. A language that would be capable of describing both volume work types but also those that were more creative – internally we describe these as being assistive rather than prescriptive.

So for us it was about creating a set of tools to help you model work types, either highly bespoke or commoditised. However it is more than just work type models, these same tools must be capable, over time, of transforming complex problems into commoditised ones.

Internally we describe this as sharedo’s ‘matter management’. For us it’s about simplifying the tools we use to configure volume work types so they can also be put in the hands of fee earners to define adhoc and highly bespoke work types – now there’s a usability challenge!!