The cost of living crisis, competitive landscape and ongoing war in Ukraine are causing major headaches for the legal industry
2023 carries on where 2022 left us: in a protracted cost of living crisis that’s causing significant damage to every industry, from real estate to grocery shopping. And the consequences are making their way to the legal sector.
An industry survey of 200 partners by Financial News found 44% are facing client pressure to reduce fees in the face of increasing costs, while 46% said clients are moving to less expensive competitors.
And the invasion of Ukraine further complicates matters too. Continued stringent checks for anti-money laundering (AML) and source of funds is needed while firms are banned from doing transaction work for Russian clients. This is particularly prevalent in conveyancing, but it applies to all areas of law.
There is also an expectation for greater cybersecurity and verifications for online activity as IT professionals are wary of increased risks of cyber attacks.
And then there’s the long-awaited (and much-delayed) replacement for the UK GDPR. In 2022, we saw Boris Johnson’s Government introduce the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill but its progress through Parliament was stalled following his resignation – and stalled again by the resignation of hawkish lettuce Liz Truss.
Despite the reshuffling at Number 10, the UK Government remains keen to make things simpler for businesses and has since announced plans to replace the UK GDPR with a new British data protection system. The UK Government will want to retain its adequacy status under the EU GDPR, so reforms are likely to be subtle.
Against this backdrop, it’s clear that legal firms are facing trouble on all sides.
While there’s no one magic bullet to solve all of these problems, APLYiD’s customer onboarding and ID verification software comes pretty close.
First let’s tackle the fallout between Russia and Ukraine: our simple, seamless biometric ID verification checks automatically meet all AML compliance requirements – include PEP & Sanction checks – so you don’t need to worry about exposure to Russian clients or firms.
Our checks protect against cybercrime too. Law firm Russell McVeigh first started using APLYiD in 2020 and has found the service meets 100% of its due diligence needs. Every onboarded client and transaction has been 100% risk free, AML compliant and has eliminated fraud.
Finally there’s that other big problem: customers demanding reductions in fees, or – worse still – going to cheaper competitors. You wouldn’t think that a paid service like APLYiD’s technology is going to make it easier to save money.
But it does.
Our onboarding tech works directly on customers’ phones with no downloads. There’s no formfilling either by the client or by your firm – it’s all handled automatically with OCR reading technology. It’s completely paperless, formless and automatic. This can save your firm thousands of hours in chasing clients for identification verification purposes, and manual data entry work.
Partner Learne Hurd of Cavell Leitch found that there has been a 50% increase in clients onboarding since using APLYiD? She says it’s a “really fast, efficient way to verify client due diligence.” Which means you can spend more time finding and retaining customers.
To find out more about how APLYiD works, check us out here.
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