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Digitally legal

8 February 2018

Prof. Richard Moorhead

A diverse audience of legal practitioners, business leaders, academics and students have heard how innovations in technology are transforming the legal service sector in the latest Executive Education Breakfast Briefing at Cardiff Business School.

The event, led by Richard Moorhead, Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at UCL, introduced current uses of technology which demonstrate what the future of legal practice might look like.

Organising his discussion around the concept of online dispute resolution, Professor Moorhead highlighted examples of how technology is being used for information and intake, triage, mediation and negotiation, preparation and adjudication.

He demonstrated how expert systems harness artificial intelligence by programming legal rules in a way that interacts with the client to produce advice. Similarly, he showed how chatbots are a new way of making this type of automated client consultation more user-friendly.

Solutions rather than nuance

Covering data analytics, visualisation and systemisation, Professor Moorhead argued that rather than capture the legal complexity of client cases they make processes simpler, focusing on solutions rather than nuance.

The presentation was followed by an engaged audience question and answer session in which Professor Moorhead made the case for practitioners to embrace these processes.

“Find the time to learn a bit about it and see if there are ways in which the technology can help run better businesses and provide better legal services.”

Professor Richard Moorhead UCL Faculty of Laws

And, while some felt anxious about the technological advances being made within the sector, Professor Moorhead closed proceedings optimistically, adding: “In the main, what is being automated are the boring bits. What is left is the interesting bit, the creative thinking, the thoughtful application of law to a client’s problem and the delivery of a strategy.

“All of these things lawyers will remain in charge of for quite a long time to come, if not permanently.”

Visit Professor Moorhead’s blog, Lawyer Watch, for more on law, legal services and technology.

If you were unable to attend, catch up on our live stream.

Register now for the next briefing, entitled Diversity & Merit, on 22 March 2018.

The Executive Education Breakfast Briefing series is a network that enables business contacts to find out more about the latest research and key developments from industrial partners.

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