Challenging the status quo of legal advisory - opportunities for a new kind of service model

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Information and Service Management (ISM)
The legal field has a long history of doing things in a certain way. Traditionally, companies needing external legal services are shoved to buy the services from law firms at a relatively and comparatively high price where the traditional billing hours model is being used. This model creates incentives for inefficiency, lacks transparency, discourages innovation, and generates difficulty for clients to predict costs. Now, the field is experiencing a shift in its operating model, driven by technological advancements, the trend of insourcing legal work, and increasing competition which creates incentives to differentiate. The arrival of alternative business models is challenging the traditional legal service delivery model and providing opportunities for innovation and increased efficiency. These models can offer clients more flexible and cost-effective ways of meeting their legal needs. The B2B legal service clients would together enjoy several yet uncommon service elements such as transparent pricing and communication, a dedicated team of lawyers, and proactive legal actions. However, the expectations of clients may vary based on several factors like the number of in-house lawyers, and thus clients should be served with differing standards. Small clients often prefer to focus on their core business and can centralise their legal service needs with an outsourcing model, open-minded mid-sized clients may consider a continuous co-sourcing model, and large clients can rather seek cost-efficiency through outsourcing certain legal bulk work such as monitoring of legislation. This research was conducted as a part of a broader business project made for EY Law Finland which wanted to improve its client experiences and service quality. Since not much research has been done about the needs of Finnish business clients considering the change of legal service delivery model, this research was seen as valuable. This study challenges the existing practices and seeks whether there is room for improvement. The empirical research is carried out as semi-structured interviews with executives and in-house lawyers to form a better understanding of customer needs. Based on perceived insights, this study proposes suggestions for an alternative service model.
Thesis advisor
Rossi, Matti
legal advisory, legal services, service design, service development