Journalist Cat Rutter Pooley of the Financial Times wrote some incredibly kind words about GLS and our ongoing quest to innovate the legal industry. Her Special Report was released alongside the confirmation that GLS had been shortlisted as "The Most Innovative Law Firm in the Asia Pacific" and is reproduced below.
GLS would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the Financial Times for its recognition and to Cat for her generous praise and kind words. Whilst GLS's primary motivation has always been, and remains, to make world-class legal services more accessible to businesses, it is obviously very gratifying to know that our efforts in this regard have been noticed and recognised.
Financial Times Special Report - Law firm Experiments in Getting Things Done
Cat Pooley’s Review of GLS Law Firm – Shortlisted as the Most Innovative Law Firm Asia Pacific
While some leading firms have backed the growing law-tech scene, other developments in the region have been driven from outside the traditional law firm structure. “Rejecting technology and efficiency is a logical step when you rely on the billable hour” says Matt Glynn, a former private practice lawyer who was spurred to found Global Legal Solutions (GLS), a tech-driven business based out of Singapore.
GLS offers its clients both legal advice and technological answers to legal problems. Firms have experimented with alternatives to charging by the hour, such as value-based billing or fixed-fee arrangements, but the time sheet remains at the heart of most private practice business models.
GLS’s law firm arm operates differently, however. It uses a technology platform to help its lawyers, most of whom completed their training (and at least 5 years PQ) at international firms, to answer what the company describes as the “80 per cent of legal problems all businesses have” for 20 per cent of the cost.
“We don’t do the publicly listed deals,” Mr Glynn says, “because most companies don’t. For “bet-the-farm” mergers and acquisitions deals, there is no one better than a Slaughters or a Linklaters . . . But they have no business going in and charging $600 an hour for reviewing an employment contract,” he adds.
The GLS Law Firm innovation is not simply a question of offering external legal professionals to clients as needed to help them cut in-house salary bills. GLS does that, but Mr Glynn says: “You can only do cheaper manpower once.”
It has instead also developed sets of templates, legal policies and negotiation playbooks, plus technology that can automate other common processes for clients, as well as offering add-on technology to help troubleshoot for in-house counsel once the initial work is done.
Moreover, it supports smaller businesses that lack the internal resources of global firms.
“We’re still trusted advisers. We’re just now free from time sheets, with a new platform and new working practices, and we are solving challenges,”