How Technology Is Changing Law In Asia

Law is an old profession. Old, but not immune to change, and technology is changing law and the legal sector in many, varied ways.Asia is at the heart of this development. The need for legal services is growing apace with economic development, but in a more diverse and challenging environment than elsewhere in the world.
This challenge makes Asia the engine for global growth in legal services. This is supported by the continuing trend of international law firms entering or expanding their presence in Asia, and regional firms expanding their footprint in Asia-Pacific.
Here’s a framework to assess the impact of technology on law, and how successfully your legal service provider is adapting to it:
Change in delivering legal services: Legal services will always require grey hair wisdom and experience. While legal services that depend on human experience and judgement cannot be replicated by technology, everything else is open to change. Legal research can be off-shored or automated. Due diligence and discovery can be automated. Basic commoditized services, formal registrations and legal products need not be given by humans. Simple contracts can be delivered bysmart contract technology. Apps can increase document collaboration, and simplify execution and completion processes.
Change in law firm management: No sophisticated client blindly accepts charges by the billable hour. Caps, collars and value billing are the future. There are profitability tools that measure profitability of work on a real time basis. Client relationship management is also being transformed. Applications already allow clients to see the status of their work and their current level of fees in real time.
Change in staffing: There is less need for junior lawyers or trainees. The work traditionally given to them, is being performed more accurately and efficiently through outsourcing or offshoring, or by technology. Agile working is becoming a new norm. The virtual workplace we experience now means the physical office is no longer the daily ritual.
Change in the legal sector: Legal services are now delivered by a variety of service providers, not just private practice law firms. Work streams have been analysed and disaggregated. Many legal services do not require legal advice. Legal consultancies have come to the fore to deliver commoditized or process driven legal products, without advising on the law. These consultancies are technology driven, with an agile scalable team, and no need for premium office space.

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