AI in legal and accountancy firms

This project seeks to understand and address the challenges facing mid-sized professional services firms in law and accountancy in adopting and implementing AI technologies. Focused on addressing the needs of mid-size accounting and law firms to deliver high value client-focused professional services, the project uses a 'design thinking' approach to identify and develop strategies for evaluating, adopting and implementing AI. 

We are interested to hear from mid-size accounting and law firms who would be interested to explore the opportunities for AI and who wish to get involved in the project. For more information or to find out how your business participate in the research and design sprints you can contact us here .

Core Research - Designing the future of next-generation of services 

There  are three key phases to the NextGenPSF project that define our approach towards supporting mid-market firms working in the legal and accountancy sectors to think differently about the challenges and opportunities of AI. The project takes a human-centric role towards understanding and supporting the adoption and integration of transformative AI technologies.  It will explore the 'threats' and 'opportunities' to existing ways of working in accountancy and legal firms, as well as analysing the potential barriers to AI-based business model innovation, through a practical process of collaborative design. To find out more about the project click here.

Academic Insight

Our team is working to undertake research to develop insights about how firm level strategies, and the wider landscape in which legal and accountancy firms operate,  affect the implementation of AI.

Scenario Planning

Building on our research and working with businesses and stakeholders we will develop scenarios, as a structured way for organisations to think about how AI will transform the future of law and accounting.

Design Sprints

Our team has expertise in hosting design sprints, and taking a structured approach to supporting legal and accountancy firms will  help to address and overcome firm-level challenges to implement AI technologies.

Key  outputs and publications 

There are a series of key non-academic applied outputs of the project aimed at professional services firms. These include our AI READINESS TOOLKIT which can be accessed here, including all of the downloadable tools and associated resources. In addition there are 4 reports  that present key insights from the project

Landscape Report

AI in the Professions Report

Scenarios Report

 White Paper

Related Research Projects

In addition to the core project looking at the AI readiness of mid-tier legal and accountancy firms there are a series of related scoping projects exploring different aspects of AI, digital and technology in the professions. For more information about these projects read more here

Enhancing services through emerging technologies

 Focusing on General/In-House Counsel in a variety of organisations, the project explores how they utilise technology and the implications for legals services firms they work with. Read more here

The global evolution of AI related industries 

This project explores how digital technologies drive change within Professional Service Firms, to explore technological evolution and the digitization of the professional service sectors. Read more here

The incubation of NextGenPSF start-up businesses

Incubation impacts the ways that start-ups develop , and this project examines how different incubation models  shapes the orientation and behaviour of start-ups. 

Powering an Open Age of Professional Service

The Next Gen PSF team also partnered on Collaborative R&D project led by Engine B on 'Powering an open age of professional services’ was funded under the Next Generation Services challenge The project explored how making data more accessible though an innovative open data model promises to transform the future of audit.  The reports from the project can be accessed below of you can read more and watch the event video here

"The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s next generation services programme is not only supporting industry to harness new technologies, but by funding projects that address human-behavioural issues"

"Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we want to build on our history of innovation to develop and deploy AI to create new opportunities and improve services across the whole economy."

“This new funding will foster innovation and increase understanding of AI to strengthen the UK’s reputation as a global centre for legal services and emerging technologies.”

Next generation services and the Industrial Strategy

The UK's Industrial Strategy aims to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure. This project forms part of the research announced to develop the next-generation of services for the accountancy, insurance and legal industries.

Given the importance of professional service firms to the UK economy, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is committed to realising the UK's position as a world leader in AI and data driven technologies to transform the future of professional services. However, beyond the technical challenges associated with the implementation of these technologies is the need to understand the human and behavioural challenges to their effective adoption. 

Read more here