HSF loses partner to MoFo
James Robinson is leaving Herbert Smith Freehills in Tokyo to join the corporate team at Morrison & Foerster. The firm is strengthening its links between Japan and Europe and Robinson is English-law qualified and also a registered attorney in Japanese law which makes him a natural bridge between the two jurisdictions.
India’s young lawyers break with tradition
As the legal profession expands in India many relative newcomers to the profession are choosing to shun a career with the big firms in favour of doing their own thing. Boutique practices are springing up fast in India with clients keen to stick with lawyers they know and trust. Currently the biggest law brands in the world are not permitted to practice in India and that is certainly helping the boutiques thrive however that may change in the future when the global heavyweights are allowed in. With economic growth in India there is plenty of work available to sustain the new start-ups which typically focus on a single niche. In many ways India is showing a fresh approach to the business of law with firms also embracing alternative billing and technology faster than many established markets.
Lawyer with artificial intelligence
Academics at Canada’s University of Toronto have created what could become the next generation of law associates. He’s called Ross and he’s a computer programme! Students used an artificial intelligence system called Watson as the basis for Ross; the system was able to win TV show Jeopardy a few years ago but was given data on legal cases this time rather than general knowledge. The system is able to research cases in seconds, often shaving hours off the time a human lawyer would take. The students say it is like the iPhone’s Siri, but for law firms. Ask it a question and it will not only give you an answer but will give an example from a real case. It also never complains about its bonus!
Warning of email scam using NZ lawyers’ details
The New Zealand Law Society is warning lawyers to take extreme care if they receive an email purporting to come from genuine New Zealand law firms and giving details of a payment. The emails use the name and email address of practising lawyers. The short message in the email states that funds have been wired to the recipient and the instruction to see the attachment for details. The attachment is believed to install malware on the recipient’s computer and may look suspicious from the file type, typically a .zip file.