Insight: The impact of technology

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9 November 2015


The fourth issue of Legal Futures Insight takes on arguably the biggest issue in the market today: what technology means for legal practice.

The purpose is not to look at what has become commonplace technology, but instead to look to the future, such as to artificial intelligence. We investigate how advanced data processing and contract analysis have delivered some spectacular results already, while virtual assistants could lead to a new breed of ‘knowledge worker’, who will not be a lawyer or accountant. Is AI the end of the lawyer, or actually liberation from more routine work?

Then there is online dispute resolution, which looks likely to be introduced in a new HM Online Court. It may mean many local courts may no longer be needed, but is this credible given that court technology is currently in the Stone Age?

And what does technology mean for client interaction? Where should the tech end and direct dealing with clients begin?

Finally, one man with always his eye on the future is Professor Richard Susskind, and we evaluate the radical predictions he and his son make about the advance of technology in their new book, The Future of the Professions.


Legal Futures Blog

Be careful you do not leave anything behind: will we see the end of chambers?

Charles Feeny

Experience of practice by digital support suggests that working practices will become much more informal and spontaneous, not requiring support by specific entities or even contractual arrangements. This is likely to be particularly true of the Bar, which is or should be a profession focusing on individuals. The future of the Bar is more likely to resemble a library as seen in Scotland and Ireland – albeit an electronic library – rather than the traditional chambers structure.

January 18th, 2017