In response to the question "Why do you think technologies such as AI and predictive coding are apparently gaining momentum in terms of their uptake in the UK legal market?", this is such a great, succinct response; but the market factors that support such change have been staring lawyers in the face for so long that the mind boggles as to how the industry has, almost collectively, remained so reluctant in its uptake. Arguably, if it wasn't for the Legal Services Act 2007 change would still be beyond the horizon - firms would still be primarily focused on PEP, because, well, that was the norm and customers would be in the same position regardless of the firm(s) they retain.
In any other industry, organisations set themselves apart by differentiating themselves in order to compete with their rivals. If a new process or system comes along that increases efficiency or reduces costs (or, dare I say it, both) then it makes good business sense to do it. Law firms, on the other hand, maintained their ways - "bill more hours", "get more people on this" - it is almost tantamount to collusion with the only thing justifying differences in price being reputation and experience. It is for this reason that the uptake of technology across the sector today is such a leap into the unknown; because we haven't had the gradual improvement and advances that other industries have. It's like moving from the abacus to Apple. Reputation and experience are still going to be primary USPs for firms fortunate enough to be part of the Magic (or even Silver Circle), but for those on the outside (those who we are more frequently seeing entering into mergers to exist), they need to start thinking outside of the box.
First and foremost, the legal market isn’t an isolated bubble. There is so much happening right now in the world at large about AI and cognitive computing that the legal market simply can’t be immune. Our behaviours in the workplace are driven (and increasingly so) by our experiences in the rest of our lives, so when there’s a constant stream of mainstream news about AI, it’s inevitable that it must impact the legal market. Add into the mix a number of other legal market factors – the increasing price sensitivity of clients, the explosion in data, the long-standing feeling that there must be a better way to do repetitive knowledge tasks than simply adding more junior lawyers – and you’ve got the perfect conditions for these technologies to take hold.