Hong Kong Lawyer

MARCH 2018

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給《香港律師》的信 Letter to Hong Kong Lawyer 12 www.hk-lawyer.org • March 2018 By Amy Chen, Associate Simmons & Simmons Disruptive Technologies in Legal Practice The business concept of disruptive innovation becomes noteworthy in the legal practice. It refers to a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors. In his book Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future, the legal futurist Richard Susskind commented that our legal profession will be dismantled in favour of increasingly capable systems. He highlighted the emergence of various disruptive legal technologies to challenge and change delivery of current legal services. Document automation, document analysis and legal project management are three currently widely-adopted technologies used in big law firms. Document automation can automate a time-consuming and repetitive manual task into an almost instantaneous deliverable in minutes, whereas, in the past, junior lawyers and paralegals would have taken numerous hours to complete. This provides a much more less costly client solution and eliminates human errors. Document analysis is particularly relevant to litigation and regulatory investigation work which often involves review of a large volume of documents. For instance, an e-discovery platform can enable lawyers to focus on the analysis of relevant information extracted from big data analytics. Legal project management involves new methods, systems and techniques to meet a client's particular needs with a level of efficiency akin to mass production. These strategies can improve communication amongst different stakeholders in the matter cycle, eliminate any wasteful steps, minimize complexity, diagnose bottlenecks and keep monitoring performance. Innovation always starts from intrinsic motivation. Lawyers need time and space to experiment and explore without fear of being disadvantaged because of their contributions and at the same time law firms need to be able to efficiently develop and assess new ideas and get them to market. The future generations of lawyers can look for premium advisory work that would likely favour human judgment and capabilities. At the same time, they can directly get involved in building technological products that would ultimately automate some of the time-consuming manual repetitive work at the lower end. Law firms can inspire their fee earners to develop own innovation capabilities and become original thinkers. In the UK, lawyers are now encouraged to pitch for time off from billable hours for exploration and reflection. An innovation group led by qualified professionals can be set up to encourage organisational collaboration and bring innovative ideas which will be a source of sustainable competitive advantage for law firms and for the clients. Afterall, a clear strategy, efficient delivery and engaging effectively with emerging technologies will be essential but disruption starts with people and their ideas. 在法律實務使用破壞性技術 在法律實務中,破壞性創新成為值得留意的營商概念。 它指的是一個過程,產品或服務最初以簡單應用的方式 在市場底層扎根,然後向市場上層長驅直進,最終取代 成熟的競爭對手。 Richard Susskind是法律未來主義者,他在自己的著作 Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future 評論說,法律界會改轅易轍,採用能力越來越強的系 統。他強調會有多種破壞性法律技術出現,挑戰並改變 目前提供法律服務的方式。現在,文件自動化、文件分 析及法律項目管理是三種獲廣泛採用的技術,也是大型 律師行所使用的技術。 文件自動化能夠在數分鐘內將耗時並重複的工作自動化 到幾近彈指之間就可交付,反觀過往,初級律師及法律 輔助人員要花多個小時才可完成。這樣,所提供的客戶 解決方案成本更低,連帶人為錯誤也被消除。 文件分析特別關係到通常需要檢閱大量文件的訴訟和監 管調查工作。例如,電子文件披露平台使律師能夠集中 分析從大數據分析提取的相關資料。 法律項目管理需要新的方法、系統和技術以滿足客戶的 特別需要,效率與大規模生產的相若。這些策略可以改 善事物週期中不同利益攸關者之間的溝通,省卻任何費 時失事的步驟,盡量降低複雜性,判斷瓶頸並繼續監察 表現。 創新總是由本身的動力開始。律師需要時間和空間試驗 和探索,也需要不怕自己因為作出貢獻而失去優勢,同 時,律師行需要有能力有效地開發和評估新的想法,並 將想法推向市場。新一代律師可尋找相當可能較多需要 人的判斷和能力的增值諮詢工作。與此同時,他們可以 直接參與建立最終會自動化某些耗時並重複的低端人手 工作。 律師行可以激勵他們的賺取費用者發展本身的創新能 力,成為原創思想家。英國現在鼓勵律師從計劃時間中 抽時間探索和反思。律師行可以設立創新小組,由合資 格專業人員帶領,鼓勵機構合作,構想創新概念,對律 師行和客戶來說,這會是可持續競爭優勢的來源。畢 竟,明確的策略,有效的服務提供,實際參與新興技 術是必不可少的,只不過,破壞也是始於人和他們的想 法。

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