Last week, the Clifford Chance Applied Solutions team were lucky enough to attend the largest ever Legal Geek conference in London. As the default event for all things legal technology, it was full of interesting topics and ideas and it certainly did not disappoint. Here are some of the highlights!
Kicking off the day was the inspiring Rob Martineau, ex-lawyer and founder of the charity TRIBE which the conference sponsors. After neglecting his health during his legal career, he became an ultra-runner and founded the running club to raise funds for the disadvantaged. It was inspiring for many entrepreneurs attending - with willpower anything can be done!
Innovation and the client relationship
"It is not the end of our work, it is the end of how we work."
Chris Grant, LawTech Director at Barclays Ventures, was one of the main speakers at the event, with three enlightening talks regarding: law firm collaboration, core expectations of clients, and translation services.
We had a particular interest on the second topic which was understanding how innovation is key to building a successful client relationship and "essential for maintaining profitability". The practice of law has been following the same processes for decades, and needs to evolve to answer the demands and challenges we have today. Clients are looking for better customer service from law firms. One way this can be achieved is through an innovation commitment, such as using software and applications to ease communication and streamline legal mechanism. Law firms are on the front line and have to take charge in order to moving forward.
One of the few academics interested in the LegalTech scene, Mari Sako, professor at the Oxford Said Business School, introduced her research on the impact of AI on legal business models, "Unlocking the Potential of AI for English Law". Meanwhile, Oxford University has announced a new undergraduate Computer Science with Law course, which is expected to infuse new blood and inspire more research surrounding AI and data ethics.
Human element to technology
Simon Davis, The Law Society, tackled the fear felt by many lawyers when it comes to technology - will this technology eventually replace me? He reminded us of the value lawyers can bring - their human element - which a robot could never replace. Getting the balance right between highly talented people and technology is key to a successful future.
Increasing access to Justice
Lastly, Susan Acland-Hood from Courts and Tribunals Service at Ministry of Justice showcased how her team has modernised the Service by focusing on empathy, data and user-centered design. The presentation impressed many in the audience and it was encouraging to see that the Service is making great strides to improve access to justice.
(Clifford Chance Applied Solutions team: Yasmin Kang, Virginie Denaiffe and Hayley Kwan)
We look forward to the event next year to see how some of these discussions have evolved.