Since the establishment of the Microsoft Solution Provider Program in 1992, now known as the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), the number of partners has grown to over 500,000. As this count accelerates, so does the need to ensure your business is running a tight ship, legally speaking, to protect yourself from risk, stay within budget and thrive in the digital age.

For this reason, we wanted to explore how the MPN felt about legal services and how their actions are affecting their business and the wider UK MPN. We commissioned a survey to find out, which culminated in our ‘Specialist Legal Advice: The key to higher profits’ report.

What do partners think of traditional legal services?

We’ve established close relationships through our extensive work with Microsoft partners over many years. It seemed to us that the majority have always struggled to get the most from legal services. We wanted to test this and to get a measure of what partners think, want and expect of modern legal services. So, we went out and spoke to over 50 leading UK Microsoft partners about their experience with legal services.

Let’s take a look at a couple of the key findings from the report and discuss what they could mean for your business.

80% of partners would consider using an AI tool for legal services

Partners have access – and many design and build – some of the most advanced technology on the market. It’s no surprise that most desire the same quality of tools for their legal needs. This sentiment is backed up further by Microsoft’s “Accelerating competitive advantage with AI” report, released at Future Decoded. The report revealed that organisations already using AI at scale are performing, on average, 11.5% better than those that are not.

So, what does law practice look like when AI and humans work hand-in-hand to produce better results for their clients?

Every legal document, of which there are many, needs to be created and reviewed. This eats into valuable time and can become repetitive and tedious. This leaves businesses susceptible to costly input errors, time-consuming data entry and searches, and delays waiting for signatures. This is where AI shines. From document generation to eSignature capabilities, AI can help Microsoft partners improve how they handle internal processes.

When specialist MPN input is not required you can, without any legal knowledge, access a bank of generic contracts written by a qualified lawyer, use the tool to search for existing patents or claims, accelerate your research – and more. These capabilities cut a sizable amount of costs and free up time by reducing manual work and the potential for human error – allowing you to concentrate on high-value tasks such as strategizing, building relationships and growing your business.

50% of partners pay traditional fees but want more flexible models

The outdated and traditional billing method for commercial law firms relies on charging by the minute or by the hour and depends on ambiguous, confusing price structures. You would pay a retainer, equal to an agreed number of hours. Once you exceed the retainer, you’d be charged by the hour and receive a hefty bill in the post at the end of the month.

This process puts businesses at a huge risk of overpaying for legal services and can lead to far greater costs than initially agreed. When you add that most lawyers are not MPN specialists into the mix, you occur extra time and extra costs while they get to grips with what is a fast-changing technology ecosystem.

Microsoft partners want cost-effective and rapid IT legal services that help their business grow. Our survey found that 79% of partners would prefer to engage with a law firm that has expertise of the MPN, which makes sense. Legal processes are much simpler and efficient with fixed fees and transparent, flexible price structures.

Make legal simple with Law 365

As the MPN continues to grow, new innovations enter the market and regulations change. Legal firms need to adapt and bring themselves in line with what partners want. It’s our job, as lawyers, to simplify and streamline our services to help businesses thrive, not slow down progress. Our report gauged what partners expected from the modern legal firm, and the answers give a clear sense of the direction the legal industry must take.

Law 365 is a modern law firm that specialises in providing insider-level knowledge of the Microsoft Partner Network. We listen to what our clients need, and our report is one big step of many as we go about achieving this goal. Our single purpose is to turn legal services into a value-driven resource for businesses.

By integrating the insights from our report into our practice, our clients can concentrate on growth and innovation rather than struggling to understand legalese and ambiguous pricing structures. We use a combination of modern technology and expert legal knowledge to offer a range of industry-tailored templates suitable for businesses that want simple, high-quality legal documents.

We buck the traditional payment model to offer flexible, affordable and fixed-price services as well as a subscription-based package. Law 365 is the right law firm to work with to ensure your business thrives in the modern digital age.

If you want to see the full outcome of our survey and learn what the modern legal firm should look like, then grab your free copy here.