The solution to the problems facing a nation does not lie in simply enacting more legislation or establishing new agencies. It is important to implement existing laws and for governmental organizations to approach their duties with dedication, accountability and an attitude of optimal service. Thus it was observed that:
…we need not simply more entities with oversight mandates or new commitments to crack down on corruption or goals to achieve greater accountability, but rather leadership from within the state to promote these values and transparency from without so (sic) demonstrate those values are being promoted.
Richard Susskind put forward the view that we are indeed on the brink of a shift in legal paradigm where many features of legal service and legal process of today will be displaced by a new way of legal life underpinned by a fresh set of basic assumptions about the law and lawyers. This means that the evolution of society and commerce would force a shift which will happen and make us emerge from the traditional way of thinking to the fully fledged information technology based society. The hindering technology lag that had hitherto created a digital divide between technologically advanced and the less technologically advanced societies would be bridged. The same would be seen for the divide in use of technology between professions and legal systems across several jurisdictions.
The capacity to manage legal information will somewhat aim to equalize with our ability to create and disseminate legal information. Practically all the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can be accessed by the mere typing of the law in a Google search engine. The same goes for yahoo, Microsoft network and other search engines.
For business managers, the ability to negotiate and enter into contractual terms will be the key distinguishing factors for competitive advantage. Contractual templates are available electronically on the internet with varying degrees of sophistication. However, templates not only make the writing of contractual terms easy, they also present the manager with points that need discussion and agreement one way or the other by the parties.
The Legal paradigm shift according to Susskind will see us transit from advisory to informative service. This means that information and communications technology will enable and encourage legal service to change from being a form of advisory service to a type of informative service. This will certainly vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from practice area to practice area. What is important is that we envisage and prepare for an information technology enabled platform for the delivery of legal service. Without this, a major source of competitive advantage is lost on the Lawyer as a service or solutions provider. With the exception of specialist lawyers and judges, the work of the lawyers will move gradually in a leftwards direction along the ‘the Legal Information Continuum, both serving & liberating the latent legal market’.
From the point of view of delivery and consultation, law would shift from a one-to-one to a one-to-many. As legal service becomes a form of informative service, and lawyers continue to package knowledge experience as informative services designed for direct consultation by non-lawyers, the work will no longer be only for one case, but also for many in a reusable form well suited for repeated consultation. A good example is a well drafted employment contract drawn up for a client company. This contract would necessarily be reused by the Human Resources Department for several contracts unless and until specific circumstances warrant the change thereof, or new experiences warrant the rewording of certain clauses to suit the lessons learned from those experiences, or a new legislation or regulation makes it necessary to modify the existing template.
The legal paradigm of the future is predicted by Susskind to see a shift from reactive steps to proactive action. Once it becomes practicable and financially viable for non-lawyers quickly to obtain usable legal guidance, earlier legal input in the life cycles of transactions and disputes will become commonplace. Lawyers may no longer need to be instructed and involved at the start of projects. Companies will develop suites of legal information products, the embodiment of proactivity which will overcome the paradox of technical reactive legal service. This ofcourse will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and with the nature of the service needed. For instance, this shift may not occur in the area of litigation and arbitration, but could occur in the drafting of power purchase contracts for example.
There is also envisages a migration from lump sum billing through time-based billing, to commodity pricing depending on the nature of the service. With the work product of lawyers becoming reusable, the time and effort expended cannot sensibly be allocated amongst those paying for the service, there can be no question of hourly billing or least of all, percentage billing. The time billing will be seen as penalizing the efficient and rewarding those perceived to be indolent. It will now be left to the bargaining power of the client vis-à-vis the bargaining (or fee commanding status) of the lawyer. This would come from perceptions as to expertise, years at the bar, standing or status, brand, firm, etc.
Law will shift from being restrictive to being empowering of its users. With the demystification of the law from the availability of information on the fingertips,  and its far wider availability will emerge the perception that law does more than set up obstacles in the path of domestic, social and commercial arrangements. Law will indeed transit from being restrictive to a source of empowerment to the exploitation of business opportunities and contractual relationships. It will also transit from being a defensive mechanism to a pragmatic one. The availability of legal information services is envisaged to give rise to improvement, but not perfection in making the law more usable and available. The marketplace will establish mechanisms for drawing attention to unreliable or defective services. The users of legal services are far more enlightened in the mechanisms of the law today than they were two decades ago, so it means that users would be able to decipher good from poor services.
There would be an increase in business focus as against legal focus. The users of legal services are more interested in their business interest than whether a particular area of law is developed by the novelty of their claims or needs. This simple fact will see an increases shift from legal focus to business focus. Clients look at the time value of money in deciding whether a particular case is worth pursuing irrespective of the advised merits or demerits of the case. The successful informative service providers of the future will be those that provide legal guidance with a far greater business focus than mere technical arguments, stipulations or specifications.
We will also see a shift from the lawyer knows it all to information sharing as service points. The expressions “hereinbefore” and “hitherto” in agreements will give way to simple intelligible language that communicates effectively. The shift is towards Plain English Texts (PETs). With PETs, any Manager can read, analyse and interprete a simple agreement without resorting to lawyers unless it becomes necessary out of prudence. Segmentation of Agreements into Technical Specification Schedules will give way to cumbersome agreements that embody all sorts of issues
Susskind in his contemplation of the future of law and business also sees a shift from legal problem solving to legal risk management.Legal problem solving will in the future diminish in significance in the future. Emphasis will shift towards legal risk management supported by proactive facilities in the form legal informative services and products. Early consultation will help people understand and identify their risks well ahead of their becoming problems, and take steps to prevent or control them before they escalate or get compounded. It would be a case of practicalising the old proverbial of a ‘stitch in time saves nine.’ It is for this reason that companies embark on due diligence (legal and financial) before embarking on deals or committing themselves to business transactions. It is for the same reason that big companies set up compliance programmes designed to pre-empt legal problems, and when they inevitably occur, are able to manage the disputes effectively with minimal reputational, financial and other costs. This is what would evolve in a shift from dispute resolution to dispute pre-emption. The effective control of legal risks prior to their escalation will mean that disputes will be pre-empted and avoided, so that they do not progress to any formal or alternative resolution process.