As we say farewell to 2020, we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support of Beeman & Muchmore. To say that 2020 has been an interesting year would be an understatement, as abrupt changes swept across the globe in nearly every profession and walk of life.
With the launch of our firm in June of this year, we proclaimed that Beeman & Muchmore was a 'New Law Firm for a New World'. Our guiding principle was that seismic changes were underfoot and that business as usual was a thing of the past, and put simply, our assessment still holds fast. In our profession and in countless others, the COVID-19 pandemic was destined to be “the game-changer of our lifetime."
That said, for the first time since we launched, we have ample reason to be optimistic with regards to the pandemic. As worldwide distribution of the Pfizer vaccine has begun (and it appears that distribution of the Moderna vaccine will follow closely on its heels), we remain hopeful that on a global level, we are about to turn a corner. While it is hard not to harbor concerns that the pandemic may have another surprise or two in store for us, optimism for 2021 is higher than we – or anyone else – had any reasonable right to expect.
The question, however, remains: if the pandemic was the game-changer that we (and others) believed it to be, what can we anticipate the future to look like?
With 2021 waiting in the wings, it is too early to offer anything but speculation as to how the next year will unfold in the legal industry. Our speculation (and the speculation of many industry analysts) is fairly straightforward: more of the positive changes that we were witnessing even before the pandemic.
And that can only be a good thing for our clients and other consumers of legal services.
The quote above is from the CEO of Shopify in an article from Business Insider asking CEOs how their businesses will be transformed due to Covid-19. We consider it an apt epitaph for 2020, the year of the pandemic.
To be clear, in the months and years leading up to this past year, things were already shifting in the legal world, especially in the ranks of BigLaw. Clients were in the position to demand more for their money, thus creating a classic ‘buyer’s market’. Technology and innovative delivery of legal services were changing the rules as to who could provide legal services, how they could provide them and at what cost to the client. New areas of competitive legal service options and creative fee models were already becoming the norm.
And now, as observed by Mark Cohen writing for Forbes, "Covid-19 has exposed the fragility of traditional legal models. The labor-intensive, lawyer-centric, insular, monolithic models of legal education, delivery, and the courts quickly buckled under the weight of the pandemic. Technology and process—the business of law— prevented a collapse of legacy delivery models by being green-lighted to deploy latent technologies and processes. The genie is out of the bottle.”
While law firms will never become obsolete, analysts believe that the best chance for success lies in those willing and able to “offer unique expertise and experience, which, channeled through the right dynamic market models, can compete effectively in changing market conditions—now and in the future.”
To say that we have been pleased with our decision to leave BigLaw in order to create a flexible and responsive 'GigLaw' firm is an understatement. We spent the second half of the year endlessly experimenting with models and methods in which to offer our tailored software auditing and licensing legal services to our clients in the most efficient and streamlined way possible. As a result, our clients are better-served now than ever. Our relentless creativity in finding ways to deliver client services will continue into the New Year.
As will our relationship with LicenseFortress. The last year brought to life our unique partnership with the highly acclaimed Software Asset Management firm LicenseFortress, which continues to be a dynamic and thrilling way to serve our Oracle licensee clients. Our ground-breaking endeavor was recently featured at Database Trends and Applications--an online magazine dedicated to “covering data and information management, big data, and data science.”
Nor do we intend to ease up on our commitment to bringing our unique perspective on legal issues concerning software licensing directly to the public. Among other issues, we have recently blogged on the Oracle Securities Litigation as well as Oracle’s move to Austin, TX. We are also pleased to announce that we have put the finishing touches on an article for Law360 regarding Oracle, Techlash and TikTok that should be published in the first quarter of 2021.
Finally, our commitment to relaxing the legal burden on our clients is not limited to creative fee arrangements and offering rates that are a fraction of those within the realm of BigLaw. We will continue our single-minded commitment to assisting our clients in evading litigation, perhaps the single most expensive, distracting and wasteful threat to a company’s health and ability to innovate and thrive. We look forward to unveiling new and creative alternatives to the drain of litigation as we round into the New Year.
* * * * *
And so, friends and colleagues, we do not hesitate to close 2020 with the same optimistic words with which we launched our firm in June: “The Best is Yet to Come.”
We look forward to seeing you in a lighter, healthier and more prosperous New Year.
Published on 12/31/2020
Software licensors are known for vague contracts—they’ve made a business of it.
Read the latest industry news.