New Suits

Review of a comprehensive book on developments in the legal industry

When I founded an online legal advice service together with colleagues 20 years ago, the Supervisory Commission on Attorneys at Law opened proceedings against us. We were accused of advising clients exclusively online, of being impossible and therefore dubious. Today I advise clients almost exclusively online and I am no longer alone (!). The case shows three things. Firstly, the legal industry is extremely conservative and is mostly closed to new developments. Secondly, times have changed enormously. And third, the legal industry cannot escape the changes.

For lawyers like me, who are obviously always a little ahead of their time and who have trouble with the conservatism of the legal profession, the book «New Suits – Appetite for Disruption in the Legal World» by the editors Michele DeStefano, University of Miami School of Law, and Guenther Dobrauz, PwC Switzerland, is balm for the soul! More than 40 international authors (!) from various fields explain on almost 700 book pages the development of the legal industry, including teaching, law firms, inhouse legal services and administration in recent decades and look into an exciting future. Legal Technology (Legal Tech) is an important point in the future development. However, «New Suits» sheds light on the industry far beyond Legal Tech. Thus, topics such as the organisation and management of law firms and legal services, their personnel development, the development of the legal professions as well as the changes in legal services are also discussed. These developments will of course be driven by Legal Tech in the future. Thus, topics such as legal marketplaces and platforms, PropTech, e-Government, e-Justice, Blockchain and Smart contracts, eDiscovery, RegTech, SupTech and Artificial Intelligence are also important issues of the book.

Since «New Suits» interests me mainly as a university lecturer, I read the book from A to Z. I found some very exciting information, but there were also many long chapters with many commonplaces and banalities. As an example of this, one author found out that more and more lawyers are using computers in their daily work … That’s why it’s particularly advisable to pick out topics in the book that interest you. On the other hand, it should also be noted that there were topics that I didn’t think I was interested in, but the authors explained the topic in such an exciting way that I found it unexpectedly fascinating!

The book «New Suits – Appetite for Disruption in the Legal World» is an extremely comprehensive presentation of developments in the legal industry. It is likely to have involved an enormous amount of work for the editors. Even if this might also be a «Mission Impossible» for the editors, it would be very much appreciated if they could «vaporize» the next edition of the book on the really exciting topics. This should make the book a standard work that explains the developments of the ever faster turning Legal World and looks into its future again and again. So that even conservative lawyers do not miss the new suites!    

New Suits, Appetite for Disruption in the Legal World, Editors: DeStefano, Michele, Dobrauz-Saldapenna, Guenther, Stämpfli Publishers Ltd., 2019, 1st edition, 710 pages, ISBN978-3-7272-1035-8, ~ CHF 89.00. Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book.

Ueli Grüter, LL.M., Attorney at Law, University Lecturer,,,,,