Key Takeaways from the 'Thriving in the New Normal and Beyond through Legal Technology' Webinar

20 October 2020 | by LexisNexis Hong Kong

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Professor Kam-Fai Wong (Director of the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CINTEC), The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Eric Robinson (Solution Architect/Senior Consultant of KLDiscovery) and Sam Yip (Co-founder of TranslateFX), new technologies specialists, spoke at the LexisNexis Knowledge Sharing Webinar on 23 September 2020, in which they discussed on how the adoption of technology affects the legal industries and how lawyers could get themselves prepared to meet the new trend.

1. The adoption of legal technology and its advantages

There are widening adoption of legal technology, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, there are virtual hearings in the UK and the US. Despite there are similar policies in Hong Kong, HK has recently switched back to actual hearings.

Adoption of legal technology has its advantages. For instance, when dealing with due diligence, by adopting legal technology, it could increase the efficiency of the process. For due diligence, the documents usually have certain structure, and the legal practitioners usually have to look for certain clauses. Those clauses are usually drafted similarly across all jurisdictions. The legal technology provides legal practitioners first round of screening, telling the legal practitioners what kind of documents they have to pay attention to.

2. The limitation of legal technology

Despite the widening adoption of legal technology, legal technology has some limitations.

One of them is the issue of “explainability”. When adopting the legal technology, apart from simply adopting the solutions provided by the legal technology, the legal practitioners have to be able to explain on why the legal technology has generated such solutions.

Another issue is that legal technology could not make the decisions for the legal practitioners. For instance, when drafting contracts, legal technology could assist when working on the first draft of the contract. However, legal practitioners would need to make comments on the agreements and make decisions.

Apart from the above issues, legal practitioners have to pay attention to data protection, for example the GDPR. In the future, legal technology has to improve to address both “explainability” and “trustworthy” issues.

3. What could legal practitioners do?

Legal practitioners are not taken over by the technology. In fact, technology creates new opportunities for legal practitioners.  Legal practitioners have to be prepared of the new trend. They have to be aware of the legal tools around to boost the efficiency of the legal practice. They need not become the experts in technology, but they have to at least have some knowledge on the technology. Also, as there is no single legal technology that could cater the needs in all practice areas, therefore, legal practitioners have to know and choose the legal technology that is useful to their specific needs.

This article is provided for reference purposes only and are not intended, nor should they be used, as a substitute for professional advice or judgment or to provide legal advice with respect to specific circumstances. If you require any legal advice or other expert assistance, please consult a competent professional adviser.

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