Morning Briefing: Lawyers should embrace technology to survive

by NZ Lawyer26 Mar 2015
Lawyers should embrace and augment technology to survive
An academic and adviser to Deloitte Analytics says that with automation increasingly infringing on roles traditionally performed by human lawyers the smart thing to do is embrace it and augment it. Writing in the Wall Street Journal Thomas H Davenport says that automation doesn’t end with e-discovery; there are “a variety of other intelligent systems that can take over other chunks of legal work.” He advises that rather than fear the technology or be resigned to it taking over lawyers should learn everything they can about how innovations can boost their own work. Working with the technology he argues can lead to a long and successful career and he concludes that the ‘race against the machine’ can be won by running alongside it.
International firm advises Sierra Leone on Ebola crisis
Herbert Smith Freehills has been advising the government of Sierra Leone on handling the Ebola crisis. The help has been part of the firm’s pro bono work with the country which began in 2010 under corporate partner Gavin Davies. To date the firm has provided the equivalent of AU$2.2 million to the country but does not have any offices in Africa. As well as advising on the ongoing crisis HSF has been helping businesses that are seeking investment and business opportunities in Sierra Leone and the wider continent.
Addleshaw Goddard adds 18 to the partnership
Another law firm has promoted a large number of lawyers to its partnership. Addleshaw Goddard; which has offices in the UK, Europe and Middle East as well as Hong Kong and Singapore; has promoted 18 new partners this year compared to eight a year ago. Last year’s March promotions were all male, although there was a female promotion in the summer, but this year around a third of those added to the partnership are women.
US tech firms facing new EU privacy battle
Firms such as Facebook and Google are facing new challenges to their business in Europe after a law student contested the practice of storing EU customers’ data in the US. If the European Court of Justice decides to rule in favour of Max Schrems, who claims that the data is not stored according to tougher EU standards, it would mean around 4,000 American firms having to create new data storage facilities in the EU. Schrems initially complained to the Irish authorities but they rejected his claim triggering a court battle.