The Innovators: David Hepburn, President, Actionstep

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself

It has been an amazing 25 years since getting my Chemical Engineering degree in the UK.  I’ve found myself on operations as a young officer in the British Army, figuring out how technology can deliver better patient care in places like Vietnam, Turkey and the USA – building high performing teams and businesses along the way.  Leading our team at Actionstep is the culmination of so many parts of my journey.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation should always be about how to deliver better value, outcomes or services to clients. But many lawyers aren’t sure where to start. When firms are willing to challenge the status quo to bring quality and service issues into the light – and then commit to solving them – we see real legal innovation.

The area where we are seeing most innovation is where firms realise that the future of their firm means less reliance on the ‘human glue’ in their service delivery and processes. Whether that’s to work out the fat in their business processes or to free up lawyers to do higher value work – the outcome is often the same – a better experience for their clients.

These firms are moving the goal posts for everyone else.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology is often the enabler for firms to fulfil their innovation goals. We have a saying at Actionstep that “changing software is easy, changing process is not”. When firms want to change the way they do things, they need systems to support behavioural change.

The right technology systematises innovation into better processes so everyone gets on-board – suddenly they have a consistent “new way”. Baking their process, their innovation and their IP into their systems.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Law firms are facing pressures from every angle – competitive pressure from more innovative firms or from alternative legal service providers. The pressure to deliver more within fixed fees – heightening the need for efficiency and automation. The commoditization of some areas of law puts pressure on firms to refocus on higher value activities that might not be everyone’s comfort zone. The demand from clients to be kept informed in a world of immediacy.  The need to find and keep good talent – again, something technology can help with as younger talent typically demand technology that reflects the collaboration, automation and tracking tools they are used to in their personal lives.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

We are seeing the rise of ‘data driven lawyers’. This has been accelerated through COVID as people have had to rely more on electronic records rather than face to face updates. Legal teams now realise that inconsistencies and gaps in data lead to mistakes on documents, incomplete files and skewed reporting – all things easily solved by discipline around data capture.

When legal teams focus on really good data, they spend less time getting lost in documents and drafting and more time delivering great legal services to their clients.

We also see that immediacy and access are more important than ever for firm clients. Clients expect access to their lawyers directly. Corporate structures are falling away and clients see gate-keepers and support staff as barriers.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought to you?

15 years ago our Founder saw an opportunity to get ahead of the wave of law firm innovation. Actionstep was the first fully cloud based legal tech provider and still remains the most configurable and flexible – so legal innovation is really the cornerstone Actionstep is built on.

The reason we have such a configurable product is to allow firms to run their firm, their way – to enable legal innovation – because there is no one size fits all when it comes to law firm technology.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Innovation can seem quite daunting. To develop an innovation mindset, you start with just one thing. Because incremental step-changes lead to transformation. How do you pick? Listen to your clients – what are they telling you to improve? What process or activity is fundamental to that? Pick that. Try another way. Replicate and iterate. Trying to change everything at once leads to frustration and failure.

Get the best out of the tools you already have. Explore ways to use them more fully or in different ways.

Listen to what younger lawyers are doing. They should be your eyes and ears for how technology will change your practice in future.

Post Covid, what impact do you see in how legal services will be delivered?

Two things I think people have learned from COVID – firstly, clients remember the lawyers who called them up and asked them what they needed, rather than trying to sell to them. I think lawyers learned a lot about the value of being close to their clients and that will be a key focus of service delivery going forward – less about production & more about advice.

Second, I see lawyers, paralegals, practice managers and everyone else embrace self-sufficiency. Doing more yourself does not mean taking away someone else’s job, it simply means you aren’t reliant on other humans to get the information you need, the process to work or the document triple checked.  People had to upskill during COVID and can now use those skills to their advantage.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Because if they don’t continue to innovate, they will get left behind. Our core belief at Actionstep is that lawyers are Awesome. The reason we believe that is not because of how good they are at document turnaround or their legal knowledge – it’s the impact they have at key milestones in our business and personal lives. Lawyers need to be able to get their heads out of the admin and repetitive tasks that so much legal work has turned into. Technology facilitates that – it takes care of the data accuracy, the document production, the matter management and client processing – so that lawyers can focus on advisory, interpretation, breaking new ground on legal matters and doing great work for their clients.

 

Andrew King is the founder of Legal Innovate (https://legalinnovate.nz/). He helps lawyers and organisations successfully innovate through leveraging technology to help improve the way they deliver legal services Legal Innovate includes LawFest (https://www.lawfest.nz/), LegalTechHub (https://legaltech.nz/) and E-Discovery Consulting (https://www.e-discovery.co.nz/).


The Innovators: Katie Bhreatnach, General Counsel, Airways New Zealand

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

Tēna koutou katoa. I am the General Counsel and GM of Customer and Regulatory Partnerships at Airways. In my current role I lead a talented and diverse group of functional leaders in Customer Management, Legal, Regulatory and Policy. Our team manages our stakeholder relationships with our regulator, industry associations, customers and the third parties we partner with. The aviation sector is fascinating and the work we do at Airways has a powerful purpose – we keep the skies safe today and tomorrow, and our vision is to create the aviation environment of the future. It’s an exciting and challenging time to work here – while the aviation sector and our organisation have been significantly impacted by Covid 19, transformational change that was already part of our strategy has been accelerated.

On a person note, my whanau is a big part of who I am. My three daughters, husband and dog offer a totally different kind of joy and challenge outside of work. I enjoy tramping and camping (preferably with no hot water, electricity or cell phone coverage), live music, travelling, comedy and the arts. I also love rugby and am a loyal Blues fan (and not just in 2020). Whenever I get the chance I head up to the far north where my parents live and everything is warmer and simpler.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

As the saying goes, innovate or die. Businesses are constantly innovating, and those that don’t risk obsolescence (just ask Kodak or Nokia). The same is true for in house legal functions. As in-house lawyers we need to be able to ensure we meet the needs of the business, and to adapt in order to remain relevant. As Charles Spillane once said years ago when he was the General Counsel of Auckland Airport, a good in house lawyer will help you navigate the top of a cliff by providing you with rope, not tell you to stay away from the edge. (Probably more eloquently though!)

What role does technology play in innovation?

When I started out in law school I hand wrote my assignments. When I started out as a law clerk, paper files and faxes were the norm. Technological change has revolutionised lawyering. It has allowed us to be more efficient and it will continue to do so. It has even changed the way in which we work. All of the lawyers in my team work remotely, part time and flexibly – and it is technology that facilitates this. We have cloud-based software that manages matters and contracts (thanks LawVu). We also have great dashboard reporting, which allows us to demonstrate to our internal stakeholders the value we offer them on a regular basis, and provides data and insights that support innovation.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Like our non-legal counterparts, there is pressure to do more with less, and to be able to demonstrate the value that we bring. For me this is a key reason why the money in my budget spent on analytics and reporting is money well spent.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

Although there are six lawyers in my team, we rely on external support in order to meet the needs of our businesses, and will continue to do so. There are times when gold plated advice is exactly what’s needed, but other times it isn’t. The disruption and innovation that is happening in external law firm offerings is exciting. When I think back to the beginning of my career in house lawyers made up a small portion of the legal community. Now we make up 25%, and increasingly take up leadership and executive roles in the organisations we work in, as the combination of legal and commercial skills is highly valued. I think these trends will continue, and I look forward to more disruption.

How have you gone about getting buy in for legal technology?

People often ask me how they can convince the organisation they work in to invest in dedicated legal software. My answer is to develop a business case that solves other people’s problems or challenges. When I come in to an organisation I spend a lot of energy finding out what my internal stakeholders’ drivers are – what’s not working for them and where can I find solutions to problems or challenges. From that I build a business case that demonstrates how matter management and contract management systems can solve their problems, rather than focus on the advantages to the legal function. Once approved, I work hard to continually demonstrate value through dashboard and KPI reporting – just like my non-legal counterparts. It’s also a great way to make future business cases for additional resource!

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

An innovative mindset to me is seeking out problems and finding ways to solve them. To do that, think creatively and include lots of perspectives and people who will challenge your thinking. I’m a huge fan of diversity of thought, and getting to the right outcome rather than being right.

 

Andrew King is the founder of Legal Innovate (https://legalinnovate.nz/). He helps lawyers and organisations successfully innovate through leveraging technology to help improve the way they deliver legal services Legal Innovate includes LawFest (https://www.lawfest.nz/), LegalTechHub (https://legaltech.nz/) and E-Discovery Consulting (https://www.e-discovery.co.nz/).


The Innovators: Sabina Bickelmann, General Counsel, icebreaker

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve recently joined Icebreaker as General Counsel and am stoked to be part of such an iconic NZ company which is part of global movement striving to create a healthier and more sustainable future for our species and the planet.

I’ve always sought out as many different experiences and opportunities as possible. When I finished Uni with law degree in hand, I went straight to London where I worked for a US law firm before starting a graduate position in Sydney at DLA Piper (which was Phillips Fox back then). Prior to Icebreaker, I worked in the Cayman Islands and Auckland in private practice and at Pfizer and most recently led the legal function for nearly four years as general counsel and company secretary at Vend, a NZ headquartered global tech company.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Innovation is about implementing something new or different that is useful or delivers value in some way. Creativity, which is the ability to come up with novel ideas, is the seed of legal innovation, but unless it is activated and scaled, it is just still an idea and not innovation.

Legal innovation doesn’t always need to be disruptive or breakthrough, it is just as important to have a pipeline of small innovative ideas. For me, some of the best innovations are the simple ones where you slap you hand on the table and go “duh, why didn’t I think about doing it that way before!”.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Innovation and technology are not the same thing. Technology can be used to implement innovation, but the technology itself doesn’t always produce innovation. There are a few instances where technology is simply used to meet the status quo. However, in the majority of instances technology drives innovation by allowing us to do more with less, improving our organisations and lives in the process. Just look at how we are working and living our lives today.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

The demand for legal tech will continue to increase. There is so much cool legal tech out there, it’s really a no brainer. In-house legal functions will continue to implement new technology to automate routine processes. The use of analytics will extend beyond managing legal costs into predicting areas of risk and exposure before issues arise. I doubt we will see robots replacing humans in the legal department, but machine learning will increasingly be applied to legal tasks.

External legal providers will continue to respond to demands from legal teams for disruptive offerings that assist in managing cost and add value. I’ve experienced first-hand the benefits of subscription-based fee models which have provided me with predictable spend, as well as “crowd sourced” legal advice enabling access to high quality, specialist advice at a fraction of the cost. The demand for virtual GC/in-house legal on demand services will continue to rise, driven by “new law” firms responding to demands for flexible resources provided by highly experienced in-house lawyers seeking to live and work differently.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

I’ve been really lucky to have worked for companies where innovation and technology are part of the DNA. As a lawyer working in those environments, the internal culture of continually seeking to improve things including trying out new software tools quickly rubs off. It has been awesome to feel empowered to try new things, find out that they don’t work, and then pull the plug without fear or shame.

From a technology perspective, I’ve implemented plenty of technology solutions in a number of areas including to streamline workflows and approvals, create documents, automate record keeping and manage signatures, audits and notifications. However, to be honest, some of the best in-house legal innovations I’ve been involved with have not utilised technology, and instead are the result of great execution of a really simple idea that makes things better for the legal team and the business. For example, creating a new framework for the legal team to determine the level of legal input or rigour required around a decision based on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ “one-way/two-way door” strategy.

Legal innovation has obviously created efficiencies which have freed up me and others in my team to focus on higher value, more strategic work. In many cases legal innovation has removed pain points for the business, deleted legal work the team doesn’t enjoy and driven overall engagement.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Working in start-ups has taught me to not be satisfied only with making improvements. Instead, to strive to understand the source of a problem and continually ask “how would we approach this problem if there was no solution in the first place?”.

I think a great place to start is to pick a clear focus. Perhaps start by thinking about the processes or tasks that personally annoy you and that you really want to change. That’s the “why” for innovation.
Give yourself (and your team) the time and space to think. Google encourages its staff to spend 20% of their time on side projects, which is why it is one of the most innovative companies in the world.

This might sound obvious or patronising, but stop staring at your computer screen and sitting at your desk. Personally, I do my best creative thinking when I am being active and outdoors. Walking meetings and strong coffee in diverse environments are great cognitive enhancers!

You could take a formal course or read up on the internet on systematic methods of innovation where you can learn about idea management, idea selection and pipeline development. Innovation is essentially another competency which can be learned along with, for example, leadership.

As well as being a competency, I think innovation is a state of mind—it is an attitude and a culture. It helps to surround yourself with people who come from diverse backgrounds and challenge you to not just accept the status quo.

Post Covid, what impact do you see in how legal services will be delivered?

During lockdown, many lawyers who have previously feared technology suddenly found themselves seeing it as a lifeline to their survival. The realisation that technology is not to be feared will accelerate the pace for technology uptake in the profession which will in turn impact on how legal services will be delivered.

We’ve proved that working entirely through google hangouts and collaboratively through cloud-based tools such as google docs is not only possible, but manageable long term (and pretty bloody awesome!). As a result, there will be more remote working which will enable in-house legal teams and external legal providers to achieve better work life balance and do more of the things they love, which in turn will increase engagement and productivity (and a reduction in emissions from less commuting!).

I’m also hopeful that as a result of the lockdown, we have all become more conscious consumers. In-house legal teams will more than ever seek out external legal providers who can demonstrate a fair and inclusive culture (including gender equality) and a strong commitment to the environment.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

At a minimum, we need to continue to innovate and leverage technology to stay relevant. We are in a time of unprecedented change. What may have helped the organisations we support be successful in the past could potentially cause that organisation to fail in the future. Just as companies need to change and grow, their in-house lawyers and external providers need to do so also.

As lawyers we need to support our businesses to confidently adopt technology at pace. We can do that by embracing the technology tools of our customers, trying out our own new tools and upskilling generally in the areas of privacy and cyber security.

Andrew King is the organiser of LawFest, New Zealand’s premier legal innovation and technology event, and the founder of the LegalTech Hub – the go to resource for legal tech in New Zealand. 


The Innovators: Josh McBride

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a barrister practising in commercial litigation at Richmond Chambers in Auckland. I was admitted to the bar in 1998, worked in Sydney and London from 2000 to 2004, and commenced practice as a barrister sole in Auckland in 2010. Law is just one of many passions – I love boating, fishing, skiing, tramping, and mountain biking, preferably with my family.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Developing new ways of accessing and synthesising legal knowledge and process. Challenging orthodox approaches to the development of the law that has historically been constrained by limited access to legal knowledge and know-how. Finding ways to engage with and respond to more sophisticated queries from clients.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology, being a scientific solution to a practical problem, has always enabled innovation. The change that we are witnessing today lies in the scale and ambition of our expectations. We now demand that science delivers us answers not just to practical problems, such as how to put a rocket into space, but to assist us with assessing and judging human behaviours, such as likely jury reactions, or synthesising a complex pattern of share trades to demonstrate market manipulation.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Mooers' Law tells us that information will be accessed and used in direct proportion to how easy it is to obtain. Historically, the law has not been accessible. Buried in bound volumes in member-only libraries or law firms, or in proprietary document management systems, the public have had no option but to consult with lawyers if they wanted to understand their legal rights and obligations.

That paradigm has changed. Access to legal information today has never been so easy. Paradoxically, however, making sense of the law has never been so hard. Clients routinely dump vast tracts of electronic information on their lawyer for review, much of it difficult to extract and understand without significant contextual background. Against the rise of “big data”, lawyers now have unprecedented access to legal materials, such as online statutes, commentary, and case law, from a multitude of jurisdictions. Clients routinely email their lawyer with the results of online searches for cases that might assist their own position.

The Courts have responded to this increased complexity by insisting that lawyers reduce the size of submissions, streamline discovery, eliminate irrelevant evidence, and reduce authorities bundles to only the most relevant cases. The hope is that this will somehow make litigation cheaper or easier, as the material ultimately presented to the Court is diminished.

That in turn puts huge pressure on counsel to make difficult judgment calls as to what is in or out, and to ensure that the claim is put forward in the most focussed and best possible way. The enormity of this task cannot be overstated, both in terms of the workload and the difficulty of the decisions that must be made.

Once these trends are coupled with increasingly demanding and sophisticated clients, it is readily apparent that practice at the bar is not for the faint-hearted! While technology can assist to a degree with streamlining and automating some of the processes, ultimately counsel needs to have the experience, wisdom and most importantly courage to make difficult judgment calls at every step of the litigation process, to reduce the number of documents and legal authorities, and produce a coherent – and justiciable – package for the Courts to consider and rule on. That task is well beyond the capabilities of the average lay litigant.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

The market will continue to consolidate and concentrate as high volume, low value work (such as debt recovery) migrates to online platforms with automated processing. Time-consuming and routine tasks, such as discovery, will be out-sourced. Automated processes will allow documents to be sifted for relevance.

Conversely, there will be increasing demands on senior counsel to advise on difficult judgment calls at each stage of the process, such as “what is relevant?”, “what should we look for?”, “what areas of law should we research?, and “what should our evidence address?”

The role of the senior advocate and adviser will accordingly become even more relevant and critical.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

The ability to offer creative, independent solutions that take a “pick and mix” approach to the suite of collaborative and analytical tools available in the market. I find mind-mapping programmes invaluable for devising a strategy and framework for the legal theory of the case. The traditional file-sharing apps such as DropBox are now being supplanted by more collaborative and adaptable programmes such as Teams and Slack that integrate readily with video calling and allow bespoke, client focussed, teams to be constructed for specific projects. This provides a very flexible, dynamic, client-focussed way to work, and it also enables a degree of co-operation and - dare I say it – collaboration with your opponent that traditional adversarial models eschew.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Accepting that innovation requires some co-operation and goodwill. Challenging conventional wisdom. And in the words of Sir Peter Blake, always asking ”But how does this make the boat go faster?”

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Because we cannot survive without it. Both the Courts and our clients expect us to synthesise huge volumes of data and legal research into punchy, focussed claims. That task is simply not possible without learning how to automate and streamline some of the traditional legal processes, such as discovery, and then using innovative technology to make sense of that data and present it in a compelling way. If we cannot master this skillset, we will lose relevance, and our clients will ultimately be forced to look elsewhere for solutions.

Andrew King is the organiser of LawFest, New Zealand’s premier legal innovation and technology event, and the founder of the LegalTech Hub – the go to resource for legal tech in New Zealand. 


The Innovators: Simon Tupman

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

I started out as a litigation lawyer in London specializing in criminal defence. After five years, I became dissatisfied with my working life and so, after gaining a post-graduate degree in business administration, I ventured into the field of business consulting. After emigrating to New Zealand in 1992, I worked with Auckland law firm Hesketh Henry for two years as their first ever Marketing Manager before deciding to work for myself. Since then, I have been mentoring lawyers and law firms internationally. I live in Ohakune, New Zealand.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Innovation is more than improvement. It is about being inventive and creating valuable new ways of delivering legal services. Innovation is fostered by the culture of an organization. The culture of law firms (and the legal sector) is generally conservative, hence, relative to other industries and professions, I would suggest that many law firms would be in the ‘late majority’ or even ‘laggards’, to use Everett Rogers’ definition.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology is a valuable tool that lawyers can use to make innovation happen. It has the potential to bring about much needed changes the legal system and also to improve the accessibility and affordability of legal services.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

At the time of writing, New Zealand is in the midst of a COVID19 lockdown. As a result, legal organisations are facing some unprecedented pressures. In the short term, there is the need to simply keep operating and to safeguard cash flow. In the longer term, organisations will have to be more inventive, collaborative, tech-savvy and customer-centric if they are to have a future. Transition will be swift; there will be added pressure on organisations to adopt a fresh approach to leadership; people from all corners of the organization will be encouraged to step up and lead, irrespective of their tenure or title.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

Automation is redefining how many legal services are being delivered. Consequently, many traditional roles are being eliminated; conversely new role are being created thereby introducing new skill sets into legal organisations. Market dynamics, not the regulator, will determine the shape of the legal services industry and an array of technological platforms will work to help organisations deliver legal services much more effectively.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

I have been able to achieve better results working with organisations who already have an innovative mindset and culture, who are receptive to new ideas and who don’t like to stand still.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

COVID19 has exposed many legal organisations who may have been less than innovative in the past and who now find themselves particularly vulnerable. Leaders of those organisations now have no choice but to change the mindset of their culture. Innovation starts with uninhibited thinking that challenges the status quo. Look around, both outside and inside your organization for trends, ideas and solutions. Be totally transparent about the reality of your situation and involve all your stakeholders in finding new ideas and solutions. Start by asking them these three questions:

‘What do we need to do as an organization to survive and thrive in future?’

‘What do we need to keep, let go of, add to, or change?’

‘How can we better serve our clients in future?’

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Legal professionals play a significant role in society by helping people and businesses get ahead in life. We are now living in the age of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, - a digital revolution that is transforming the way we work and live. Lawyers are very much a part of this world so they had better adapt or face the consequences!

Andrew King is the organiser of LawFest, New Zealand’s premier legal innovation and technology event, and the founder of the LegalTech Hub – the go to resource for legal tech in New Zealand. 


The Innovators: Wayne Rumbles, Associate Professor, University of Waikato

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

I have been a legal academic for the past 20 years. I began my academic career at the University of Waikato teaching Law and Information Technology and Criminal Law in 2000. In these early years, I quickly understood the importance of technology to law and the potential impacts of technology on law and the legal system. I have been fortunate over the years to continue to explore technology and its interface with law by developing a suite of technology related law papers at Te Piringa and sharing these with a continuous stream of students.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation in my view requires a holistic vision of law; lawyers, law firms, students and academics must know what they wish to achieve. Innovation requires an understanding of where you are, where you want to be and the ability to plot the necessary pathway to achieve this goal. Innovation occurs along this journey by applying flexible knowledge and skills to available technology.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology provides us with the tools to innovate. It is the means by which we progress and re-imagine law, legal education and legal services.

What pressures are law faculties facing in the delivery of legal education?

Law schools are challenged to respond to a rapidly changing legal service environment that is evolving in response to disruptive technologies.
Law schools need to prepare graduates to practise in a new law paradigm where flexible, high-level skills are valued that allow practitioners to adapt and change, embracing new technologies and opportunities.

Law schools need to bring both students and academics along this journey against a background of increased expectations for student numbers, research outputs and sourcing of externally funded projects.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

As an academic working in this space since 2000, legal innovation and technology has been a constant inspiration for my research and the development of new law courses for future lawyers. Alongside papers in CyberLaw, Law and New Technologies, Digital Privacy, AI and Robotics in the Law we also teach a joint Masters in Cyber Security with Computer Science.

One of my recent opportunities has been the Technology in Legal Education for New Zealand project (TeLENZ) supported and funded by New Zealand Law Foundation. The vision for the project is that all law students in New Zealand are exposed to technology and legal innovation throughout the core law curriculum. To achieve this vision, I am teaming with academics from across the six New Zealand Law schools TO BUILD GREATER DIGITAL CAPABILITY, to develop a set of tools and resources that any NZ legal academic can use to integrate technology and the impact of technology into their core law courses. This unique and exciting project allows me to further focus my area of passion in partnership with all NZ law schools as we work together to create better prepared graduates for the changing legal workspaces.

What are some of your tips to develop an innovative mind-set in law students?

The basis for any innovative legal mindset is a firm and solid understanding of legal principles. Law schools in part need to keep doing what they are doing teaching critical analytical legal skills.

Students also need to have a range of flexible skills relevant to the current legal environment and be able to see linkages between disparate areas of learning. We cannot teach individual (or all) technologies due to rapid advancements where technology is quickly updated/replaced. However, students need to be aware of the possibilities and potential technology will continue to bring to the profession. We need to expose students to technology and the impact of legal tech throughout their legal studies.

We need to inspire curiosity and excitement about the possibilities of technology and legal tech, we need to instil a growth mind-set in future lawyers. Technology is not the end of law and lawyers but the path to opportunity and diversity of legal services.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

I say in my welcome speech for new students at the Law Faculty, studying law is the study of life, the universe and everything.

Technology and innovation is everywhere; it is what our clients, business and students are using, living and consuming. Lawyers and provisioners of legal services need to be able to interact, represent and facilitate the use of (and control the misuse of) these technologies to be relevant to the current and future users of legal services.

Andrew King is the organiser of LawFest, New Zealand’s premier legal innovation and technology event. 


Sian Wingate

The Innovators: Sian Wingate, Senior Legal Counsel, Ultrafast Fibre and ILANZ President

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m Sian Wingate and I absolutely love being a lawyer! I wear a few hats in the legal profession.

I am president of the In-house Lawyers Association of New Zealand (ILANZ). This is a great, voluntary role that focuses on working with our wonderful in-house legal community to ensure they are connected with each other and the wider profession, supported by member events, CPD, development opportunities and led by a team of volunteer committee members and dedicated Law Society, Te Kāhui Ture staff to ensure their interests are covered.

I am senior legal counsel at Ultrafast Fibre Ltd. We build broadband fibre networks across New Zealand. I look after the legal operations of the team and the day-to-day matters.

I run my own online legal service called Tradie Terms. This is a coaching service that offers legal T&Cs packages to tradie business owners and wraps coaching around this using webinars and short videos and checklists accessed from a portal to help them use them effectively.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Always designing your legal output with your client audience in mind 100% of the time.

What role does technology play in innovation?

It’s a facilitator to achieve the output that meets clients’ wants and needs. I believe that technology products and services lawyers have started to use are not in themselves the “innovation” (sorry legal tech companies!). The innovation is the mindset shift by lawyers to realise it must be used, it can be used and that it meets our primary brief: to look after our clients.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Time is the single biggest pressure:

- Time to think about what the organisation needs from a legal team.
- Time to scope out the options, learn about them and understand them.
- Time to implement any changes needed.
- Time to upskill in crucial skills like business analysis, user-experience design thinking and customer service skills.

Every organisation I have worked with or for suffered from being time poor. Every in-house member who chats about leveraging technology to roll out a great new onboarding process or a self-service template area or a legal matter management system all have the same thing in common. They take an age to achieve it because they have the day-to-day work to do as well, plus they are learning from scratch.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

I have seen some fantastic developments in the in-house arena.

Here’s a few:

- Thinking of efficiency first and then working out how to buy in or design a product to achieve that;
- Using training and workshops to collaborate with in-house clients to help them learn how to use a new service or gather their feedback first before launching it;
- Being creative and resourceful – in-house lawyers are especially awesome at this.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

The opportunity to feel confident to just get started. You’re not innovative if you don’t actually do something. Thinking about it and waiting until you think it’ll be perfect is a lawyer’s greatest risk to innovation.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

I’d strongly recommend the three pillars I teach at our ILANZ mindset workshop:

1. Value your function. If you know that you are offering genuine value to a client, you will know if it’s worth spending some extra effort to make it the best function you can in the time and with the budget you have.

2. Value your time. If you want to try something new, you need to know that your time is worth spending on learning new skills, reading about legal technology options or meeting a former colleague to ask them to show you what they have used. It’s essential to value that this is time well-spent.

3. Value your audience. If you are designing a new legal function, a new product or learning how to create a new compliance framework for your business it’s only ever going to work if you value the input from your audience. Ask them, check with them and ask them to road-test options with you. They’ll love you for it and they’ll be more likely to adopt whatever fancy new function, system or programme you roll out.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

All of the above! But on a more serious note, it’s less about importance and more about necessity. No-one is willing to pay for a service or product unless they know what it involves and how it adds value to them. This translates to legal services whether in-house or privately delivered.

Sian Wingate will be speaking at LawFest, which will be held at the Cordis Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Maria Sopoaga, Solicitor, Auckland Council

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

I’ve been fortunate to have fallen into this world of tech and innovation so early on in my legal career. I’ve always been somewhat inclined to think about how things could be done differently, more efficiently and more collaboratively. It wasn’t until the Young Legalpreneurs scholarship opportunity with the Centre for Legal Innovation (CLI) came up earlier this year that I realised how innovation and tech could really drive positive change. I am by no means an expert, but I come to the legal profession with fresh eyes and a new perspective, and that’s really what I think innovation and tech are all about.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

For me, legal innovation is fundamentally about being open to change. It’s about understanding that improvement is a continuous, iterative process, and not a destination. We work in a notoriously conservative profession, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that much of what we do and the way we work is unsustainable. Innovation speaks to our ability as both individuals and as an entire community to accept that there are areas in which we could do better, that this is okay as long as we are willing to try new solutions, and importantly, that failure is part of the process, and not a reason to give up.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology can be a fantastic tool in supporting and enabling innovation; one need only look at something like automation to see how tech can increase efficiency exponentially. In the same vein, technology can provide as much hindrance as it can support if implemented improperly, or particularly where organisations are required to make best use of outdated legacy systems. A huge learning for me has been understanding that innovation and tech are not the same thing. I’ve found that there are many in our profession that also confuse the terms, marred by their own experiences with poor technology and systems, and apply the same hesitancy and suspicion toward innovation and design. For me, we need to get the innovation part right before looking to buy/create/apply tech solutions.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Clients continue to demand more for less from their legal service providers. The growth of in-house capability shows that clients are wanting legal services even more quickly and for less money. On the other hand, the legal profession has been asked to take better care of its people, with mental health and wellbeing a huge priority across a multitude of sectors and industries. I believe when done properly, innovation and tech can be a huge leveller in this space, maximising the capability of existing individuals while also increasing the efficiency of legal systems and services.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

With AI taking over much of the low-level work of law firms and organisations, younger members of the profession will need to leave university with better legal expertise and strategic skill right off the bat. On the flip side, this requires buy-in from law firms, willing to allow younger legal professionals greater influence and input into higher level work, particularly given clients continue to demand better legal services at a lower cost.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

Aside from the CLI scholarship opportunity and the amazing connections I’ve been able to make – both of which I am incredibly grateful for – legal innovation has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities for legal services. The law can be isolating and discouraging for many who might not fit in the stereotypical idea of what a lawyer should be. Legal innovation has taught me that thinking differently is something to be valued, and puts me and others like me, on the forefront of change.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Just start! It sounds easy enough, but most people who may be thinking about alternative ways of doing things don’t realise that they’re thinking innovatively. There are so many free resources online for those who may be new at things like innovation and tech so look for them next time you’re perusing Google or LinkedIn.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Without overstating the fact – because it would be irresponsible not to. You wouldn’t use a pen and paper to draft pages and pages of written submissions (or at least I hope not), so it makes no sense not to learn about what’s next in innovation and technology. Whether you like it or not, change is already here, so might as well look into now.

Andrew King is the organiser of LawFest 2020, an annual legal technology event which will be held at the Cordis Auckland on 18 March.


Tila Hoffman

The Innovators: Tila Hoffman, Special Counsel and Business Transformation Manager at MinterEllisonRuddWatts

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

To me, legal innovation is changing legal practice so lawyers can deliver even better value to their clients. It is that simple. If it does not add value to your clients, then it is not innovative – or necessary.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology plays an important role but it should not be confused with legal innovation. Some innovation involves technology but you can be innovative and add value to your clients without using or developing new technology.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Law firms and in-house teams are faced with the same issues as other businesses and professions. There is pressure to do more with less, to add value and to continually improve – it is no longer enough to do what you have always done.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

There are many opportunities to improve on business models that don’t serve either lawyers or clients. Typical client demands mean lawyers sometimes work long hours, often late into the evening and on weekends, to meet deadlines and ultimately to prove their worth. If we add innovation and some legal tech to the equation, lawyers may be able to meet the deadlines without working longer hours. There will always be one-offs, but with a few changes they won’t be the norm.

I would love to see lawyers working collaboratively with their clients to carefully identify issues, analyse options and offer solutions to fit a particular client’s needs.

What I enjoy about my role is getting to work on ways to free lawyers up so they can focus on their clients, using tools that cater to specific client needs, and ensuring a consistent delivery model.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

I’m naturally curious and solutions focused. I like to visualise what can be and then actually turn the vision into reality. My current role allows me to draw on my experiences as a lawyer (in private practice and in-house roles here and overseas), to think about how a little (or big) change can positively impact our firm’s legal team and clients. I get to identify pain points, consider and trial options, implement solutions and support our people and our clients to ensure solutions are embedded and actually have a positive impact.

Legal innovation has created that opportunity for me and I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a firm that deeply values innovation.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Start somewhere – take a step and give something new a shot. A good place to start is thinking about a task you do more than once a day and think of ways to streamline that task. If something frustrates you, think of how to remove the frustration (for you and others). Get your content right and then add the legal technology tool on top.

Always keep the needs of the people you are innovating for top of mind – stand in their shoes and see your project or initiative from their perspective(s).

Be prepared for resistance but don’t become inactive because of it.

Don’t be so concerned about perfection that you never introduce your initiative – this is a common risk with law firms. If you keep trialling, your solution may be obsolete before it’s implemented.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

In my opinion, our value as lawyers is our ability to communicate, develop trusting relationships and be in “partnership” with our clients. To be a trusted advisor and partner, you need to focus attention on your client’s business. If you streamline processes and embed some legal tech into your organisation, you will have the time to truly focus on your client. If you don’t, another lawyer will.

Tila Hoffman will be speaking at LawFest 2020, which will be held at the Cordis Auckland on 18 March 2020.


Mary O'Carroll

The Innovators: Mary O'Carroll, Director, Legal Operations, Technology and Strategy at Google

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Tell us about yourself?

For starters, I’m not a lawyer. My background is in finance and management consulting, but I’ve been doing legal operations for over 16 years. I started that journey working for Orrick’s COO focusing on firmwide profitability. After that, I was asked to join Google as their first legal operations hire. Today, Google’s legal operations team has grown to over 50 team members who are responsible for overseeing key aspects of financial performance management, outside counsel management, systems/tools, and internal operations. In addition to my role at Google, I am the current President of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium), a global organisation whose mission is to help legal operations professionals and other core corporate legal industry players optimise legal service delivery models.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

To me, being innovative just means taking something that currently exists and trying to do it a little differently.

What role does technology play in innovation?

While technology is a fantastic enabler of innovation, it is not a requirement. There are plenty of ways to innovate and make a massive impact without any technology. That said, in today’s day and age, technology does create so many opportunities for us to unlock value through automation, improved accuracy, increased efficiencies, data, etc. We’ve already seen technology enable law firms and legal departments to gain insights into productivity and value. This transparency has driven increased demand for big changes across the legal landscape.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

We’re all facing more pressure to be responsible stewards for our companies and to ensure we are maximising the value of all our resources whether that is money, people, vendors, tools, etc. As the demand for legal services continues to grow and the complexity of the legal and regulatory environment we operate in increases, we’re being forced to think more creatively about how to meet these needs.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

In recent years, we’ve seen increased disaggregation of legal services, the emergence of alternative service providers, an explosion in legal technology, and new career paths for lawyers and legal professionals. Corporations are demanding a change in the way legal services are delivered and it can be seen in the way we are purchasing.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

I’ve been fortunate to have built my legal career at places like Orrick and Google – organisations that embrace legal innovation and challenge the status quo. As someone who did not come from a legal background, I always approached this industry as an outsider and continually asked “why?”. Through this, I’ve found myself in a wonderful situation where I get to work alongside the smartest people I know, collectively tackling some of the industry’s greatest problems.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Look for problem statements, ask why, launch and iterate, believe in continuous improvement, measure everything, and remember that fast is always better than slow.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Because the legal profession and the way services are delivered in the future are going to look vastly different than they do today. We’re living in a unique time where we have the opportunity to shape the future and not just wait to see what happens. I, for one, find that extraordinarily energising.

San Francisco-based Mary O’Carroll will be the keynote speaker at LawFest 2020, which will be held at the Cordis Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Charlotte Baker, Legal Design Engineer at Wavelength

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation is about improving the way the legal system works. It means reimagining the future of law, questioning entrenched norms and establishing better ways to deliver law to people.

As a legal designer, I innovate by applying design thinking to the law – combining legal expertise with a design thinking approach by embracing visualisation, plain language, simplicity and smart use of technology. This allows us to improve any aspect of the law – from legal contracts, policies and legal advice, to workflows and organisational structures that lawyers operate in.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology can really enhance legal innovation, making legal solutions more interactive and digitally accessible. However, technology does not equal innovation. With all the hype around legal technology and the ‘race to innovate’, we’ve seen many legal teams hastily buy tech solutions. But technology tools are not a ‘quick fix’ to solving your problems. We need to start by understanding the crux of the problem we’re trying to solve – our users’ needs and pain points – then design a solution that solves that problem. If this requires technology, we select the most appropriate piece of tech to help.

What people often miss is that technology is just one piece of the puzzle – tech must be implemented in conjunction with good design, legal engineering (eg, training a machine learning tool) and project and change management.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

The modern-day legal client – just like consumers in most other sectors – expects robust design. There is mounting pressure to deliver legal services more clearly, visually and enhanced seamlessly by technology. When you’re used to the great design offered by Apple, Google, IKEA et al, it’s natural to have the same expectation of legal services.

Legal service providers are facing more pressure than ever to deliver top quality legal services more efficiently and under new cost structures. In-house clients are often under-resourced and feeling the pressure to “do more for less”. Law firms can no longer be complacent – their clients expect them to be embracing efficiency, automation, new fee structures and smarter (cheaper) ways of working. Many businesses are driving efficiency in their legal divisions and exploring new business models around the use of data, which pose tricky questions for counsel. All these challenges can be tackled with legal engineering and legal design – the sensible use of technology, data science and design within law.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

Lawyers are starting to see the value of putting their clients at the centre of their service delivery. There has been a realisation across the market that, in many cases, the way we deliver legal services is not appropriate for the users or consumers of those services (eg, contracts written by lawyers, for lawyers) and organisations are starting to embrace legal innovation and design.

We are seeing lawyers collaborate more. Legal design thinking advocates working collaboratively with a diverse team (like data scientists, technologists, designers, HR professionals, psychologists, as well as lawyers) to generate the best and broadest range of ideas for approaching legal problems.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

The rise of legal innovation has allowed me to move away from traditional legal practice and build my career as a legal designer. It’s given me the opportunity to work towards making the law more engaging, accessible and understandable – something I feel passionately about and suits my character and skillset.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Start thinking about the user. Who is the consumer of your legal advice? What do they really need to know, and what do they not care about? Would it be easier for them to understand your advice if you wrote it in more ‘human’ language (without jargon or unnecessary complexities) or reformatted your advice into a visualisation? If you shift your mindset to put the user at the heart of your legal service delivery, you’ll be innovating before you know it.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

It’s important that all legal professionals are working toward making the law more user-friendly – more engaging, accessible and understandable. This is likely to mean adopting legal technology and embracing legal design to do things better.

The legal industry is experiencing massive disruption (about time!) and those who refuse to embrace legal innovation are going to be left behind. There are so many opportunities for us as lawyers to do better by our clients – and we should all be welcoming this positive change.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, and Charlotte Baker will be on of the speakers. LawFest 2020 is held in Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Michael Heron QC

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Just giving something new a go that will make your service better quality, or faster, or both. One recent example, on an inquiry I was running, was to use a secure document sharing site which enabled us to know exactly who had access to the draft report (with two-factor authentication) and to control that access in a way that they were not able to share or print a copy. The technology was pretty cool but I confess I was worried about using it. Ultimately, with some trial and error, it worked well and made the whole process of sharing versions of drafts and minimising the risk of leaks much more manageable.

What role does technology play in innovation?

I think technology enables you to try something different. If the technology is simple to use and makes a process easier, then it is worth a try. It might be sharing your screen on an AV conference, signing documents online, or recording advice sessions on an AV application. Perhaps it is the ability to search across hundreds or thousands of documents to enable key documents to be located much more quickly. In a recent arbitration, the fabulous Crown Law team organised the hyperlinking of footnotes and documents referenced in submissions (every single document) within the space of a few hours. We finished them late in the evening and they were hyperlinked and ready in the morning for the hearing. We could go to any document referenced at the touch of a link.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Understandably, everyone wants more for less; or at least more for no more. And speed. I think clients are expecting answers more quickly, partly because time is money. The growth of in-house capability reflects that. As well as a more collaborative approach to delivery, with multiple firms, barristers, in-house lawyers and others being involved in bigger projects.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

I suspect that we will see a bigger influence of AI in the lower level information gathering exercise that is involved in law. Also, the increasing availability of online legal services – not just by email, but genuine online and automated services where the customer can get all sorts of legal documents and advice without leaving their desk, when it suits them.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

The ability to practise flexibly and give something new a go. New chambers, digital practice (as much as I can) and a start-up in online dispute resolution (a passion of mine). CODR and other online providers are focused on trying to improve access to justice (and legal services) for ordinary Kiwis – people without the money and time to use lawyers in the traditional way.

There is a developing range of offerings from some really innovative services – Automio, LawHawk, Justly, McCarthy Finch to name but a few.

CODR is offering a more efficient way of resolving issues in the areas of modest civil disputes and relationship property issues. ODR will (in time) provide the ability for people to get fast and fair decisions in smaller disputes from experts without having to go anywhere or print anything. I think it is time to look at this for our Disputes Tribunal and possibly even the District Court. So, legal innovation gives us the ability to try to solve the really intractable problems we have in the law.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

I think I’m just starting myself and would not profess to be a real innovator – there are plenty more expert than me. Just give it a try, be curious, listen and iterate, I reckon.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Imagine if we still sent all our advice by letter. Or only used hard copy texts and reports. How many times do we think there’s probably a better way? May as well give it a go…

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, which will be held in Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Warrick McLean, CEO, Coleman Greig Lawyers

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

It means doing things better. It means being able to step back and watch how you could join the dots differently. Interestingly, this is a skill not everyone has, and lawyers often tend to be challenged by transformation.

Legal innovation is important for our clients, firm productivity and also for our current and prospective staff. Fifty-four percent of my firm’s staff is millennial, so we get staff to think about and find new ways of doing things that are exciting, interesting and challenging. Firms need to challenge and engage their younger staff to think differently and add value to the work. Engaging millennial staff the right way can get the best from them and will help to potentially retain them for longer. It costs a lot to train quality talent, so retaining them for as long as possible is important.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology plays a crucial role in getting a firm excited about the opportunities that innovation can bring, as innovation is the key and technology is simply an enabler.

Getting partners to join the innovation bus. It is all about bringing people along for the ride from traditional law firms. Having automation champions and drivers of change is the key. These staff may not be tech-savvy, but they seek opportunities for improvements.

The biggest opportunity lies in automating tasks and workflows. Many firms may use your existing software rather than investing in new technology.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Firms are very competitive. Changes are impacting on the profession as it is being driven by pro-active firms and legal entrepreneurs. They are keen to cash in on an industry that has been historically slow to change. Clients are pushing some of the changes but on the basis of our experience we need to challenge our clients with different offerings and ways of doing things.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

Many smaller and mid-tier firms are now able to “get in on the action” as the price of technology drops and the number of legal technology start-ups increases. The challenge lies in execution. Many of the legal start-up offerings make the execution of legal tech and innovation a whole lot easier for firms compared to what it was five years back. There are plenty of AI platforms but for many firms this is an area left to the big boys. Delivering automation to much of our daily routine is the key where smaller firms can improve service delivery, turnaround and productivity. AI will happen and is happening but only to a niche few at this stage.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

The push to change the way we deliver our services is much less of a push these days. Lawyers are actively highlighting the opportunities and seek assistance from practice service teams. It means legal innovation is no longer an internal sell and is now really gaining a life of its own.

If process improvement is your thing then it is an exciting time to be in law and for me, I simply enjoy reflecting on how far our firm has come over the last ten years. We have not been bold but have just been very consistent at improving the way we do things.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

A few years back we picked a few innovation champions to assist with developing a programme of hackathons. From these hackathons we developed some key outcomes whilst actively promoting and celebrating each win we have had internally. Lawyers are a competitive bunch, so there is nothing like a little bit of peer pressure to get things moving.

Another key lesson we have learnt is to try and get things done quickly – if you are going to fail … fail fast and get on to the next project. Lawyers want things perfect and educating lawyers about delivering a project requires it to be delivered in a way that is 70% complete and then work on the next 30% during testing. Once we get teams past that hurdle, then the take-up has been really positive.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

The challenge has been finding the right platforms to assist us with our journey. Many practice management software offerings in the 75 users-plus range, struggle to deliver an effective API [Application Programming Interface] let alone a workflow that would be considered leading in 2019 terms. Software offerings need to be easily integrated and vendors need to be willing to “play nicely with the others in the sandpit”.

Working with our legal tech start-ups on the other hand has been a real pleasure. The legal tech partners that we deal with are keen to grow, to adapt. Working with a service partner that is agile makes a real difference as they have touched all parts of our business and in client areas. So, it would be difficult to change like family law.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, which will be held in Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Nick Whitehouse, Co-founder and CEO, McCarthyFinch

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Innovation isn’t about doing things differently because you can, it’s about the client. There are two approaches to innovation, the first approach involves iterative innovation to sustain the existing business model; the second approach involves radical innovations that ultimately disrupt the current business model. I’ve seen a lot of sustaining innovation in the legal profession, and outside of eDiscovery, I haven’t seen a lot of disruptive innovation, which is why we started McCarthyFinch.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Innovation starts with a willingness to put the client and their problems front and centre, to think competitively about problems and to take long-term action to solve them. While technology is more often than not the mechanism through which we execute innovation, it’s not all about tech. Exploring new business models, working agile, partnering and so many other non-tech actions are very innovative. Successful innovation is very much rooted in non-technology based thinking.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Time, money, scale! If you look across the industry, every law firm is working harder, the largest in-house teams are being overwhelmed, courtrooms are at capacity and more and more legal consumers are looking elsewhere for advice. Where once the industry accepted each year as a new normal, we’re now seeing growing demand for change.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

The big shift we are seeing internationally is in the legal ops space. Corporate clients are taking legal efficiency very seriously and are beginning to invest both their time and resources into achieving outcomes for their businesses. This focus will force the hand of reluctant firms and provide opportunities for legal tech players.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

Our entire business is built upon legal innovation and the demand for it.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Take a long term view of your clients’ needs. Understand their business, and in particular the pressures being put on them to go faster as they respond to more and more change. Talk to them about what frustrates them and do the same internally. More often than not your own people are banging their heads against brick walls doing things in ways that also frustrate clients.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Toddlers are on iPads, five-year-olds are learning to code, 42% of China’s commerce is done online, Google is the largest advertiser in history – the world is becoming overwhelmingly digital. Digital natives are creating companies at an unprecedented rate and it’s estimated that 75% of S&P 500 will cease to exist in the next nine years. Not understanding this digital wave, how it impacts our clients, and how we serve them, is equivalent to expecting to serve clients while talking in a different language. Luckily there’s an app for that.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, which will be held in Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Titus Rahiri, Director at KorumLegal

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation has become a popular phrase in today’s legal ecosystem. Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, defined it best when he said: “Innovation is a change in the process by which an organisation transforms labour, capital, materials, or information into products or services of greater value.”

Legal innovation is about truly doing things differently. It’s a changing of mindsets. It’s offering a new way of service delivery. It’s using technology as an enabler. It’s being absolutely focused on customer centricity – creating value in outputs rather than inputs.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Christensen describes three distinct types of innovation an organisation can engage in: market-creating, sustaining and efficiency. Market-creating innovation creates a market where there was not one before. Sustaining innovation improves existing services and is typically targeted toward customers that are demanding better performance. Efficiency innovations enable doing more with less. Efficiency innovations are about streamlining internal operational processes to improve profitability.

Technology can play a role in all of these types of innovation but it doesn’t define innovation. Having said that, there are a growing number of legal tech companies coming to market globally with suggestions that the legal tech industry is worth more than $16 billion and increasing. Investment and acquisitions in the legal innovation space is heating up as noted in my August 2018 post on Korum Forum, “Are we at the tipping point of the ‘law company’?”

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

A 2016 Deloitte ‘Future Trends for Legal Services’ report surveyed a number of general counsels globally and asked what they saw as their biggest challenge – doing more with less came out as the biggest challenge (44%). This was followed by rising regulatory compliance pressures (26%), the speed of business (17%) and use of technology (11%).

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

My thoughts align with legal innovator and thought leader Mark Cohen’s analysis that law has two components – law practice and legal services delivery. The latter leverages differentiated legal expertise and shifts many other former practice activities to non-legal professionals, and even machines. Furthermore, new skills including legal operations, process and project management, tech expertise, and data analytics are required.

This practice versus delivery distinction goes far beyond semantics; it is a reconfiguration of the lawyer role and the structural and economic models from which multidisciplinary, tech and process-enabled expertise are provided. At KorumLegal, clients are coming to us for these exact reasons – they want a more efficient and effective delivery model for legal services.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

Legal innovation has enabled the founding of KorumLegal. As a former general counsel, I was frustrated by the lack of innovative solutions being provided by traditional players – and therefore decided to be the change that I wanted to see. In our early days, we had the support of some forward-thinking clients and a legal consultant community who believed in our product and services. I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing people and companies who continue to pave the way for legal innovation – and an awesome HQ team at KorumLegal. We’re shaping the new reality in legal solutions.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Legal services have long been whatever lawyers said they were. Lawyers, not clients, dictated what was required, the timetable for delivery, and the blank cheque cost of their services. Now, legal services are whatever buyers need to solve business challenges. Put yourself in the clients’ shoes. And then ask, how can I do things differently and deliver what the client wants – that’s developing an innovative mindset.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

If legal professionals and the legal services industry are going to be serious about innovation, the journey must begin with the voice of their customer. If your customer wants an easier to use work product, lawyers should utilise design-thinking principles to develop plain-language tools that empower non-lawyers to be a sophisticated consumer of legal services. This may mean giving your client a flowchart rather than a memo. If your customer wants cheaper legal services, the challenge for their lawyer is to abandon the billable hour and replace it with technology-enabled solutions that are still sold at a profitable price. In the end, innovation is about re-imagining processes to generate value and value is about listening to clients and focusing lawyers’ efforts on clients’ demands rather than the lawyers’ skills.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, which will be held in Auckland on 18 March 2020. Titus Rahiri will be one of the speakers at the event www.lawfest.nz


The Innovators: Erin Ebborn, Principle Lawyer, Portia

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation, to me, is the means of progression a law firm (or lawyer) uses to improve their service offering and profitability.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology is an essential part of innovation: that is where efficiency is realised. For almost its entire history, humankind has used one tool or another to increase the output of the individual person. Technology is a multiplier of effort, meaning that one person is able to produce several times more output than normal. For example, a person harvesting 100 trees with logging machinery will be more efficient than if the person used a chainsaw, though a chainsaw is more efficient than using an axe.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

of legal services are mainly external: a tight labour market; changing social values, greater competition and substitutes; consumer sensitivity to price; greater expectations as to speed. Internally there is the pressure of partners wanting to exit firms, so finding the cash to pay them out. In a regulation sense, the restrictions around third-party investment and diversification of governance boards. Some of the change is well overdue (eg, #metoonz).

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

More video-enabled services allowing lawyers to beam in to remote areas, or work away from the law firm’s location. A revamp of what practice management software does with more focus on CRM, document management functionality and a move away from hourly billing. Some use of enhanced machine learning services provided from offshore – this is now possible due to the settlement of the Microsoft v US Government case (with the CLOUD Act passed into law last year).

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

Legal innovation has enabled me to expand into other parts of the country fairly quickly. For example, hiring lawyers to work in Blenheim has been challenging, so we don’t yet operate a branch in Blenheim. Our lawyers from Christchurch and Timaru service the area, which accounts for around 20% of our caseload.

We’ve grown our business at a good clip and we have done this almost exclusively on legal aid. Surely, this is evidence that innovation has a direct relationship with efficiency! We are taking all the profit we realise and sink it back into the business to continue this growth. For those who don’t know, legal aid fees are between 30% to 50% of what we charge privately. So we also have the choice of charging what other law firms charge, and returning hyper profit, or offer competitive pricing strategies to take market share from other firms.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Read some books. I recommend The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt; Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter, and; Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors by Michael E. Porter. If you don’t have your head firmly in the strategic space, you won’t be able to effectively choose your technology path.

Hire someone who knows the law profession and technology. Don’t try to feel your way around … it’s too important a decision to just go with who has the shiniest brochures, or what vendors tell you that you need. You need to project future need rather than focus on instant solutions.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

The biggest challenge firms face around innovation is about the gaps that exist between the profession and other sectors of business; so the critical task to consider is need identification. Because law firms have weakened governance structures (due to any non-lawyer being statutorily banned from partnership or directorship status) there is a tendency to have a low risk horizon, resulting in a lack of strategic insight.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, which will be held in Auckland on 18 March. Erin Ebborn has been a speaker at the legal innovation and technology event LawFest.


The Innovators: Renee Knake

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

Renee Knake holds the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Royal Melbourne Institute for Technology University and is Professor of Law and Director of Outcomes and Assessments at the University of Houston Law Centre.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation means developing ways to make law more accessible for those who need it, whether on the street corner or in the corner office. It also means ethical innovation. Lawyers have a special obligation to ensure that innovations in the delivery of legal services are ethical, not only complying with professional obligations but also protecting clients from harm.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology plays an important role in legal innovation, both in the development of new tools to make law more accessible and affordable, but also in showing the way toward innovation through investment, trial/error, user-centric design, etc. Technology alone, however, is not itself true innovation, unless it becomes adopted and disseminated.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Better, faster, cheaper, more-for-less – the pressures facing all sectors certainly also pertain to legal services. But, a unique pressure for those delivering legal services is adoption, whether it be convincing lawyers or their clients to try new tools or methods. Lawyers, by nature, are often risk-adverse and clients may not understand the value of legal services. So, this creates an extra hurdle or added layer of pressures for those who want to innovate in the legal services space.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

I believe we will increasingly see more focus on the needs of clients, whether corporations, government bodies, or individuals, as well as stronger efforts aimed at better understanding the lived-experience for those who need legal help. Even as technology changes the tools legal services providers use, one-on-one human interaction will remain centrally important.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

My work in legal innovation has brought a number of opportunities. It has expanded career opportunities for students of mine, for example as legal solutions architects/designers or innovation counsel, jobs in the profession that did not exist when I was a student at the University of Chicago Law School 20 years ago. From 2014-16, I had the privilege of serving as a Reporter for the American Bar Association Commission on the Future of Legal Services, which led to the creation of the ABA’s Centre on Innovation. And, currently I hold the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Royal Melbourne Institute for Technology University, a six-month fellowship through the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. In this capacity, I am building upon my prior research to better understand the role of entrepreneurship and innovation in the delivery of legal services globally.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Look beyond one’s own profession or discipline for inspiration. My essay “Cultivating Learners Who Will Invent the Future of Law Practice: Some Thoughts on Educating Entrepreneurial and Innovative Lawyers”, which, while written for legal educators, offers insights for anyone who wants to think differently about how we approach the delivery of legal services.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

In the United States this is an ethical obligation for lawyers; American Bar Association Model Rule 1.1, governing competence, requires keeping abreast with changes in relevant technology. But even more significant, for legal professionals around the globe, learning about innovation and leveraging technology is essential to best serving our clients.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2020, which will be held in Auckland on 18 March 2020.


The Innovators: Tamina Cunningham-Adams, Co-Founder & Director, Evolution Lawyers

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What does legal innovation mean to you?

Legal innovation is the continual evolution of legal practice. Innovation may occur by adopting or developing processes to better serve client needs. It can enable a firm to reduce waste and compete more efficiently in the market. Legal innovation is far wider than just technological innovation, however. There are many ways that a firm can innovate without spending significantly on digital technologies.

What role does technology play in innovation?

Technology is a key part of innovation in all industries. It changes practices and procedures, which can also affect the people within those industries. In some ways, the legal profession has been slow to adopt many of the technological developments embraced by other industries much earlier. For example, electronic signing, cloud-based data storage, video conferencing, digital templates, and digital marketing. Perhaps this is why some criticise the legal profession and the continuation of expensive, cumbersome, and paper-based practice.

That said, technology is not the only way to innovate practice. There are firms that appear to still serve their clients well, despite using outdated technology like fax machines and avoiding accepted technologies like email. While they may not be innovating in a technological sense, perhaps they are innovating legal practice by investing more in effective communication, face-to-face dealings, updating their clients more frequently, collaborating with other firms, or perhaps charging fees that are far lower than the average.

I believe that technology has a large part to play in legal innovation. However, there are lots of ways to embrace technology, and lots of ways to innovate without adopting technology, especially the expensive technologies.

What pressures are organisations facing in the delivery of legal services?

Increasing regulatory compliance and the constant threats of digital intrusion are two overriding issues for solicitors, especially those with trust accounts. The costs of practising in an AML/CFT environment is challenging, as is complying with our duties to report under various legislation. Changes to property tax and overseas investment rules have increased the number of documents required for simple property transactions. Some practitioners will charge more as a result of time; some firms will simply bear the cost internally.

Digital intrusion is a real issue. Intrusions can be slow and insidious. There could be a keylogger taking note of every word you type or a virus forwarding every email sent from or received by your account to another, controlled email account, all without your knowledge. Practices must be vigilant and proactive, and stay up-to-date with the creative ways hackers and thieves are using digital technologies to intrude into systems. Updating systems immediately, training your staff to spot issues and report them early, and adopting other proactive digital safety measures, could be the key to avoiding business interruption, comprised devices, breach of privacy, confidence, and privilege, and incorrect disbursements of client funds.

What developments do you see in how legal services are delivered?

There appears to be a trend towards using bots to interact with clients. This is an interesting technological development that may be beneficial for people who do not like communicating with people. However, in my experience, clients still want to speak with a real person, especially if they consider their issue to be stressful or significant. For example, in dispute resolution many clients simply want to know that we have got their back or that someone is in their corner. They are looking for empathy, assurance, confidence, and other things best provided by human beings.

Culturally, there are many who prefer to do business ‘kanohi ki te kanohi’ or face-to-face. So, while bots may have their place, such as dealing with routine communications and non-contentious work, I question whether clients feel special when their first interaction is with a bot. While lawyers should use every tool at their disposal to provide better client service, including automated technologies in many cases, the service provider should be a person whenever possible, in my view at least.

What opportunities has legal innovation brought you?

Evolution Lawyers has adopted or developed whatever technologies or innovations we believe we need to provide the type of legal service modern clients would expect. Our aim is to practise as leanly and agile as possible. By simplifying practice, our lawyers have more bandwidth to work on legal problems and complete tasks accurately. Administration and paperwork can burden a legal mind significantly, and the cost of a person to attend to that administration is significant for small businesses.

We are fortunate that many of our clients have similar philosophies to us. For example, Evolution Lawyers works closely with Arizto Real Estate, a company that documents and processes its residential property contracts digitally. Like us, they have an in-house software development team. By working and keeping pace with innovative clients, we create opportunities for our young firm.

What are some of your tips to start innovating or developing an innovative mindset?

Keep it simple – identify a problem and find a solution. We do not need to be tech-experts to do this in practice. Indeed, this is what lawyers do on a daily basis. Many of Evolution Lawyers’ innovations have come from having to deal with something unsatisfactory in existing, normal practice. Rather than tolerating the issue, we find a way to fix it – immediately, if possible.

There are many excellent, cost-effective steps that firms could take right now. For example, two-step authentication, digital signing, legal working day calculators, and more. Some of those benefits are free. One just has to investigate and try them.

Work with professional developers. As lawyers, we see the consequences of the bush lawyer or the legal dabbler trying to do their own legal work. We engage a competent professional to build our software, so that it can be maintained by any professional in the future. For us, we see it as a risk to build sustainable software ourselves, and a heavy time commitment to learn to code. So, we leave that job to the experts.

Why is it important for legal professionals to continue to learn about legal innovation and leveraging technology?

Lawyers should be continually learning. That is part of being a professional. Legal innovation is part of that continual learning practice. Like anything, the more you know, the more you can leverage that knowledge to create opportunity and benefit for yourself and others.

Andrew King andrew@lawfest.nz is organiser of LawFest 2019, which will be held in Auckland on 21 March. Tamina Cunningham-Adams will be one of the speakers at the event.


The Innovators: Pauline Glancy, Practice Manager, Haigh Lyon Lawyers

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What has been your experience or interaction with legal innovation and technology?

I feel that I have had a positive interaction with both. People are now not afraid to question why we do something in a certain way. Instead, people like me are asking, how can we do this more effectively and efficiently and what are the technology tools that are available that might help us along the way.

What changes have you seen in your firm, team or organisation recently?

My firm is not afraid of change and are embracing it. It is also not left to the management team to implement new ways of working but rather it is open to everyone in the firm to contribute ideas and solutions. The words paper less isn’t a scary concept anymore. A clean and paper free desk can be seen around the office. With the use of dictation technology such as Bighand lawyers are becoming more and more armed with the tools needed to work smarter. This also allows our secretaries to be more than typists. Instead they are more involved in the file and thinking one step ahead of what might be needed from them next.

What challenges or barriers do you face when innovating or looking to use new tech?

Most new technology is great but what happens if it doesn’t interact with your current software? I find this the biggest challenge. E.g. This new trust admin system can do everything from A-Z but it won’t integrate with Infinity our current practice management system. Or this new cloud phone set up is top of the line but it won’t work with our current computer system.

What opportunities do you see with legal innovation?

A move away from time billing and to value based services for clients. Using technology to improve productivity of legal authors by flexible ways of working. Lawyers can now access their files from anywhere and don’t have to be next to them at their office cubicle.

With greater adoption of tech and more innovation, how do you see your role evolving in the future?

Instead of just managing people to deliver the outcome it has evolved into utilising the combination of people, technology and innovative ideas to deliver better outcomes for or clients.

LawFest is focused on innovation and tech in the legal profession, why do you think it’s important for legal professionals to attend an event like LawFest?

Aren’t we all looking to achieve the same thing? This is a great opportunity to get in a room with like-minded people who are looking to make a positive change or people who have already trialed it who are willing to share their thoughts.


The Innovators: Susan Bennett, Principal Sibenco Legal & Advisory, Co-founder and Director Information Governance ANZ

LawFest organiser Andrew King continues a series of interviews with key legal professionals with their innovation and technology stories.

What has been your experience or interaction with legal innovation and technology?

When I commenced as a lawyer there was only the traditional paper ‘discovery’ and the technology to enable ‘eDiscovery’ had not yet been developed. I was a user of the initial versions of several eDiscovery technology tools and established a legal technology support team to support litigation matters and due diligence in M&As. I was also involved in one of the earliest commercial litigation trials in London that used live transcript – that was back in 1995. I was involved in the first electronic trial in a major commercial litigation case in the New South Wales Supreme Court, which was back in 2000-2001. As is often the case with technology, it takes time and improvements both to the technology and with the skills of the users before the full extent of the benefits are realised. The first electronic trial was also accompanied by multiple sets of an initial 165 folder trial bundle set, and almost everyone insisted on hard copy print outs of the transcript each day over the course of a 12 month hearing.

Further development of litigation legal technology in recent years has continued. In particular, the development of AI capabilities in eDiscovery software has been impressive. Technology Assisted Review (TAR) operating in conjunction with eDiscovery software, enables vast amounts of information across an organisation to be searched, identified and collated, and then utilising the sampling, training and prediction functions of TAR can result in significantly reduced number of paralegals and review lawyers.

The courts have also been active in deploying technology, from the use of electronic trials on a regular basis (with little or no paper), to the ability of court users to file documents on line, which is a huge time saver and reduces costs.

What changes have you seen in your firm, team or organisation recently?

I’m now a lawyer who is a NewLaw provider and technology is key to enabling practitioners like myself who choose to practise law outside the traditional large law firm model. Soon after Microsoft built its cloud in Sydney, I moved to a fully electronic legal practice and now use a number of software programs to carry out my work. Technology is also the enabler to allow consultants and contractors who work with my firm to work remotely. The upside of email, mobile phone and web conferencing is that it enables lawyers to respond and communicate with clients with ease, even when they are not in their law firm office. Whether I am travelling overseas and/or working remotely, I find it is a non-issue for clients – the key issues are that you are accessible and available to do the work and then deliver.

What challenges or barriers do you face when innovating or looking to use new tech?

I think a key challenge is properly understanding both the scope and the limits of new technology. I often ask for an explanation as to how a product being demonstrated differs from its competition to understand what the product does differently. The gap between what lawyers do and think they need and what the technology does, needs to be understood in order to get the best solution. Increasingly it is likely to be the lawyer who will need to change the way do their work and/or how they deliver their services. However, sometimes it is less about which software you are using and more about having the right skill set using it.

What opportunities do you see with legal innovation?

I see great opportunities for those in the legal profession who innovate and are able to compete in a legal environment that will be completely disrupted by technology. The technology revolution is in its early stages and we will really begin to see some of the profound changes that technology will bring to the legal industry as technology becomes embedded and/or replaces traditional areas of practise. eDiscovery technology tools and Legal Process Outsourcing (LPOs) have now reduced the size of law firm paralegal and lawyer teams on document review. Other examples include the increasing use of AI software in contracts and blockchain, which will have a profound impact on contract and commercial legal areas.

Technology disruption to law presents innovation opportunities for lawyers who can see and seize the opportunities. For students and young lawyers, combining technology and legal skills will open up new frontiers – such as the development of legal apps or legal Chat bots. Students who combined technology and law qualifications are likely to have more employment opportunities and faster career progression given there will be an increasing demand for the combined legal and technology skills.

With greater adoption of tech and more innovation, how do you see your role evolving in the future?

For current and including older lawyers, we all need to be continually learning, seizing opportunities and innovating. Experienced lawyers can combine their skills and expertise with new learnings to deliver new services. For example, my background in large scale document production in litigation and Royal Commissions and my involvement with the development of eDiscovery led me to write and speak on the importance of good document and information management and defensible disposition of records to reduce discovery and litigation costs. I now deliver services in Information Governance, including frameworks, policies and processes to manage the exponential growth in data within organisations from a strategic organisational perspective. This work also includes – privacy frameworks, privacy impact assessments, data impact assessments for data analytics projects including an ethical based assessment as part of the overall assessment framework. The legal work in data protection and privacy is a rapidly growing area of law, which exists because of the technology developments.

LawFest is focused on innovation and tech in the legal profession, why do you think it’s important for legal professionals to attend an event like LawFest?

Everyone attending LawFest will learn something new from a diverse range of leading innovators and leaders in law and legal technology. It’s a great to hear the speakers explain current trends and latest developments with their insights and practical experience.