Over the last few years there have been a host of City law firms opening offices in cheaper locations. This has provided those firms with low-cost service hubs and allowed them to shift process heavy legal work out of London. Most of this work has been undertaken by the paralegals but there is now a new player in the game: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
We have been hearing about AI for a while now and how it will take over jobs from humans. Many of us may not have taken this news particularly seriously but is it about time we consider the consequences of AI for the legal industry?
A growing trend for City law firms and financial services alike has been the adoption of AI technology. We are told that AI software can be used to undertake tasks such as due diligence, in general Corporate and Real Estate matters.
So, with AI having the ability to undertake these types of work, what does this mean for the lawyers? Is it safe to say that adoption of AI by law firms will sooner or later end the need for the army of paralegals previously employed to carry out the more routine tasks associated with larger transactional work? Will the cost of technology be less than the cost of labour and result in lower fees charged to clients? Will this be the beginning of a march into more sophisticated work for the lawyers?
These are all questions for the future; I wonder if a Robot could answer them?
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has become the latest law firm to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) technology, after trialling its use in the firm’s Manchester legal services centre. The magic circle firm has agreed a deal to work with software provider Kira Systems, which already has similar arrangements in place with DLA Piper and Clifford Chance.