Law Firms

Big Firm Tech Spending Up

The nation’s top law firms increased technology spending by 16 percent this year, with a big focus on online collaboration tools to increase productivity and client service, according to a new survey.

Firms responding to an Am Law 200 survey spent an average of almost $33,000 per lawyer in technology operating expenses in 2007, compared to about $17,000 per lawyer in 2006, according to American Lawyer.

Many firms are using more online collaboration tools such as extranets, which permit clients and lawyers to communicate on a private Web site, the story says. Seventy-seven percent said such tools increase productivity and 75 percent said they offer better client service.

One law firm that embraced the technology early on is Fenwick & West in Mountain View, Calif.

“We now create standard extranet spaces for every client matter,” Fenwick’s chief technology officer, Matt Kesner, told the legal magazine. “We use them in all litigation matters and for almost every corporate deal. We have conducted a number of multibillion-dollar acquisitions in these virtual spaces.”

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