Major law firms announce ‘robot hires’

by Steve Randall18 May 2016
Major law firms announce ‘robot hires’
Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions have been added to two large law firms. International firm Linklaters has hired tech firm RAVN to provide AI services including discovery and contract processes. Linklaters is the first of the Magic Circle firms to implement AI.

Meanwhile in the US, BakerHostetler has supplemented its 50-strong bankruptcy practice team with a ‘robot lawyer’ called ROSS. Using IBM’s Watson technology ROSS will be focused on legal research.

“ROSS surfaces relevant passages of law and then allows lawyers to interact with them. Lawyers can either enforce ROSS’s hypothesis or get it to question its hypothesis,” Andrew Arruda, chief executive of ROSS Intelligence, explained to The Washington Post.

While the new solution will save time and money, it raises questions about the future entry-point for newly-qualified lawyers who typically handle tasks such as research.
International firm opens fourth Asia-Pac office
US-based law firm Vinson & Elkins has opened its fourth Asia-Pacific office, in Taiwan. The Taipei office adds to the firm’s capabilities in the region, currently served by offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

V&E partners David Tsai and Christopher Kao will oversee the office, which will serve as a platform for offering a wide range of litigation, transactional and strategic legal counseling support, with a particular emphasis on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, renewable energy and corporate matters.
O&G specialists joins Pinsent Masons
Pinsent Masons has hired two oil and gas industry specialists as partners in its Singapore office. Ashley Wright joins from Norton Rose Fulbright and has 20 years of experience in Southeast Asia. He is joined by Steve Potter from Jones Day where he has spent the past 3 years of his 18-year career so far.

The firm is keen to expand its global energy capabilities and considers Asia as a major region of opportunity for the oil and gas sectors. Pinsent Masons has had a presence in Asia since the launch of its Hong Kong office in 1983 and has since launched offices in Beijing and Shanghai and formed the joint law venture Pinsent Masons MPillay in 2010.
Hong Kong practice head named among top 250 women in IP
Gabriela Kennedy has been named as one of the top 250 women in IP by Managing Intellectual Property. Kennedy is head of Mayer Brown’s IP team in Asian and co-leader of the firm’s global IP practice, and the Hong Kong based lawyer joins three other women from the firm’s US offices in the list.