Future of Finance


Why the law is such a compelling use case for AI and what law firms are doing about it (14 December 2021)

A Future of Finance webinar with Lawyers, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Technology Companies and Academics

Tuesday December 14 at 2pm UK time

The legal services industry in the United States generates about US$350 billion a year in fees. In the United Kingdom, the second largest market for legal services in the world, a 2020 report by KPMG for the Law Society estimated legal services generated value of around £60 billion a year after costs. So law is a substantial industry on both sides of the Atlantic, but its product is antiquated, expensive, opaque and of variable quality. Which is one reason why artificial intelligence (AI) is making inroads into the law already, chiefly by classifying, assembling, reading, comparing and managing documents, or at least helping less expensive employees to complete these tasks. However, there is a more fundamental reason that law is imperilled by the combination of digital technology and digitised data. This is that the product customers buy from lawyers – namely, specialist knowledge – is not physical. Since the analogue economy gave way to the digital, that knowledge has accumulated in digital form. Like any piece of digital information, the marginal cost of reproducing it is effectively zero. It can be consumed repeatedly, and by anyone, without any of its value being lost. In other words, the nature of legal knowledge means that digital technology condemns the law to a steady process of commoditisation. Resistance by lawyers, though it is bound to be ingenious, is futile. The legal profession must embrace its Nemesis, as many legal firms now are, by using AI to cut costs and enlarge their range of services, by being willing to trade exorbitant billable hours for fixed price sales volume and by seeking amalgamations with similarly threatened professions such as accountancy. This webinar will explore why the law has become an early use-case for AI, how legal firms are deploying AI in their practices today, what investment and technical challenges they must overcome, what benefits and problems they are encountering and what forms of resistance they are putting up.

Among the topics to be discussed at this webinar are:

  1. How are law firms using AI in their practices today?
  2. What sorts of tasks are most amenable to AI?
  3. Is AI affordable by large firms only or can it empower smaller firms too?
  4. Which AI technology platforms are law firms using?
  5. How easy is AI for lawyers and their assistants to use?
  6. What are the benefits of AI for law firms, their employees and their clients?
  7. What are the challenges that AI poses to law firms?
  8. Will AI undermine the economics of the legal profession?
  9. Is AI improving the quality of life and work of senior and junior lawyers?
  10. Should law firms establish partnerships with other professions?
  11. Are lawyers resisting AI – and, if so, how effectively?
  12. Is AI creating entirely new fields of legal knowledge?


Nigel Brook, Partner at Clyde & Co https://www.linkedin.com/in/nigelbrookclyde

Nigel Brook is a partner at Clyde & Co and specialises in insurance. He has extensive knowledge of emerging technologies and has been active in the field of smart contracts, distributed ledger technology including blockchain, the Internet of Things and related technology for some years. He is a co-founder of Clyde Code, the firm’s smart contracts consultancy.

Francisco Webber, CEO at Cortical.io https://www.linkedin.com/in/franciscoeduardodesousawebber

Francisco Webber is co-founder and CEO of Cortical.io and inventor of the company’s proprietary Retina technology, which applies the principles of cerebral processing to machine learning and natural language understanding (NLU) to solve real-world use cases related to big text data. Cortical.io solutions are based on the actual meaning of text, rather than on statistical occurrences. Francisco recognized that the brain was the only existing reference system when it came to processing natural language. While closely following developments in neuroscience, he formulated his theory of Semantic Folding, which models how the brain represents language data.

Nathan Evans, Partner at Harrison, Clark, Rickersby https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanmevans

Nathan is a specialist tech, IT and outsourcing lawyer with expertise in complex strategic projects, from systems/platform/app builds and technology consultancy to integration services, networking contracts, arrangements and financial services.
His clients range from start-up disruptors to large multi-nationals, global banks, insurers and other regulated businesses.

Moderator: Dominic Hobson, Co-Founder at Future of Finance https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-hobson-49b8222

Dominic Hobson has worked for himself for 30 years. He was one of the founders of Asset International, a transatlantic financial publishing, events and survey business, which was sold in 2009.

Since then, Dominic has contributed to the work of two data businesses covering financial markets, run a peer group network for hedge fund managers, and co-founded the Future of Finance, which hosts events on innovation in finance.

As one half of Hobson Cardew, Dominic also provides consultancy services to a number of financial services businesses and market infrastructures.

If you would like further information please contact Wendy Gallagher on wendy.gallagher@futureoffinance.biz