Added4th November 2015 by Riverview LawRiverview Law

Customers are the winners when the iTunes moment hits law

The below is an article written by our CEO, Karl Chapman, in the Legal Business report ‘AI and the law tools of tomorrow‘ which was published in November 2015 in association with Riverview Law.

Customers are the winners when the iTunes moment hits law

Change is in the air. You can sense it. Actually you can experience it, now!

We see a rapidly growing desire among our customers to understand how the technology revolution we’re living through will impact business models generally, their business, their function, and their people specifically. Twenty-six years after Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web there is a realisation that none of us are immune from the exponential impact of Moore’s law. A law that has had (and will have!) many consequences, including IBM Watson (a computer), beating the two all-time (human) champions on the TV game show ‘Jeopardy!’. Law is definitely not immune from this revolution. Neither are other professional services (TurboTax), taxi drivers (Uber), hotels (Airbnb), record shops (iTunes)… The regulatory barriers that protected sectors are falling, failing or being overtaken by customer action. Trust in brands and professionals is being replaced by alternative trust systems. LegalZoom is the best known legal brand in the US. None of us needs to trust in a hotel brand now that we have the combined experience of contributors to TripAdvisor. Accepted norms and ways to do things are being challenged, daily, by increasingly connected customers, whether consumers or businesses. Start-ups and technology have no blinkers, they do not know it cannot be done. Think about the implications of the wonderful comment from the IBM executive who said: “Watson doesn’t know it won Jeopardy!” In legal this growing desire to understand has to be measured against a low starting point. When we set up Riverview Law in 2012 and talked about the impact on the delivery of legal services and lawyers of automation, expert systems, analytics and visualisations we were greeted with the same shrug of irrelevance and ‘you don’t understand the law, dear boy’ as we do now when we talk about computable contracts, blockchains, virtual assistants, and the rise of the knowledge worker.


However, over the last year there has been a change. Our annual customer seminar in June – The impact of global technology trends on your business, the role of the legal function and what you can do about it today – was oversubscribed.

Increasingly bigger in- house legal and IT teams visit our Wirral Service Delivery Centre to see how people and technology can work seamlessly and effectively. In the last two weeks I’ve been asked three times ‘so when is the iTunes moment in law?’ There will be no one date for the legal equivalent of that iTunes moment. But the direction of travel is very clear and we can already identify the most likely source of this moment: the arrival of category re-defining virtual assistants. The race is on to create virtual assistants that will help customers, whether consumers, small businesses or large corporations, access legal (and other) support and guidance quickly and cost-effectively. They are already here in other areas: Hive, Cortana, Siri  and Indigo. They are emerging in law: ROSS, Amelia, Ravel and Judicata. Like Uber, which owns no taxis, and Airbnb, which owns no bedrooms, these assistants will put knowledge in the hands of customers. They will change where value sits. They will disintermediate large swathes of the current supply chain. This is great news for customers. They are the winners when the iTunes moment hits.

For more information, please contact:

Karl Chapman, Chief Executive, Riverview Law T: 0844 257 0027 E: