LawTech.Asia

Asia's Leading Law & Technology Review

LawTech.Asia: Media Partner for TechLaw.Fest 2019!

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We are proud to be recognised by the Singapore Academy of Law as an official media partner for TechLaw.Fest 2019!

Organised by the Singapore Academy of Law, TechLaw.Fest 2019 (happening from 5 to 6 September 2019) is a signature convention in Singapore that will be the focal point for leading thinkers, leaders and pioneers in law and technology.

Key highlights of TechLaw.Fest 2019 include:

  • A main conference themed “The Net Effect of Data: Commerce, Connectivity & Control”, which will provide deep dialogues and deeper appreciation of legal and regulatory issues around responsible data use, access and control of data, data security and 5G, and the role of data in commerce.
  • Over 60 prominent speakers speaking and leading panel discussions on law and technology. Notable speakers this year include Singapore’s Minister for Law Mr. K. Shanmugam S.C., Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web), Mr Bill Deckelman (Executive VP, DXC Technologies), Mr Antony Cook (Regional VP, Microsoft Asia), and many more!
  • Deep Dive seminars, Innovation Journey dialogues, Firehose sessions, Legal Tech Exhibitions, Tech Talks, Business Networking, and more activities — allowing participants to engage, learn, share, inspire, innovate, connect, and be a part of shaping our collective future in law and technology!

From now to September 2019, LawTech.Asia will be bringing you regular interviews and shout-outs covering prominent speakers and the topics they will be speaking at TechLaw.Fest. These speakers include key leaders from:

  • Bucerius Law School
  • DXC Technologies
  • Legal Mosaic
  • Singapore Management University
  • And more!

Our readers will also receive special perks, including a promo code that provides a 20% discount off tickets for TechLaw.Fest. To stay updated, do subscribe to our mailing list, follow our LinkedIn page, and like our Facebook page!   

We’re raring to have you join us in exploring the constantly-moving intersection of law and technology. Remember to check back on our site regularly to ensure that you get the latest coverage, updates and news about TechLaw.Fest 2019!

The LawTech.Asia Team

The World Legal Summit: Informing and Taking Action – Physically and Virtually

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Written by Josh Lee and Aileen Schultz (Founder, World Legal Summit)

The World Legal Summit (WLS) is a 30+ city, 20+ country initiative designed to bridge the gap between legislative understanding and emerging technologies. Part One will occur in physical locations simultaneously across a 24 hour window on August 1, while Part Two will occur between September 6  to 8. The WLS will also provide global networking and remote participation opportunities in a virtual world. 

Introduction

Technology and global systems are evolving at unprecedented rates, with humanity now poised at the tip of the exponential curve of technological evolution. There is, however, a lack of incentives to create required legislative and regulatory frameworks for the proper governance and responsible use of such technologies. Further, legal advances in technology governance – typically developed in silos – are not keeping pace with the development of technology. In turn, this creates a governance and trust deficit between emerging technologies, their associated global systems, and the necessary frameworks for a globally sustainable future.

While the legal industry has seen global initiatives to drive technology in legal practice (such as through global events such as the Global Legal Hackathon), the World Legal Summit (“WLS”) tackles the converse challenge of legal and regulatory issues relating to new technology. It is primarily focused on emerging technologies that are global in nature and that are facing complex regulatory challenges. In its inaugural year, the WLS will be focusing on the following three technology categories: 

  • Identity and Personal Governance;
  • Autonomous Machines; and
  • Cyber Security and Personal Data.

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LawTech.Asia: Strategic Media Partnership with Singapore Academy of Law

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LawTech.Asia is proud to announce a Strategic Media Partnership with the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL)!

Through this partnership, LawTech.Asia will be qualitatively supported by SAL through its networks, platforms and information, for LawTech.Asia to be the portal on all things law and technology in Asia.

With a proliferation of publications and platforms showcasing legal innovation and technology in the Western Hemisphere, lawyers in the US, UK and the Europe have no lack of sources of information and inspiration to embark on legal transformation.

But what about Asia? This is not a space lacking in innovation – from the blockchain courts in Dubai, legal tech firms in Korea, to Singapore’s Legal Technology Vision, Asia has long been a hotbed for legal industry innovation. There is a need to share this innovation journey with the rest of the world – to let them know that innovation is an essential element of the DNA of Asia’s legal industry.

Commenting on the strategic media partnership, Paul Neo, Chief Operating Officer of SAL shared, “This strategic media partnership with LawTech.Asia is a timely one. It allows us to support a neutral and credible partner in growing and driving thought leadership in law and technology in Asia.” 

Huiling Xie, Head of Partnerships & Revenue in LawTech.Asia, said, “We are proud that SAL has chosen LawTech.Asia to be its strategic media partner. This is a testament to the credibility and quality of LawTech.Asia. We look forward to paving the way forward in the law and technology space with SAL, and driving Singapore and more broadly Asia as a hub for innovation in this space.

LawTech.Asia is proud to embark on this ambitious journey to cover and push the frontiers of innovation in Asia’s legal industry!

The LawTech.Asia Team

Legal Technology and its potential to improve client collaboration

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Guest Post By Marc May | Edited by Josh Lee

“Legal technology” (or “legal tech“) a term that is incredibly broad and encompasses any technology or software that is able to improve the provision of legal services. Many a time, the mention of legal tech brings to the minds of lawyers technology that bring internal process improvements, such as improved legal research, contract review or drafting. 

However, aside from the promise that legal technology can free up time for lawyers so that they are able to build better client relationships, there are also innovative ways legal technology can help lawyers directly to become more collaborative with clients. Here are two ways legal technology could do so:

  1. Collaborative drafting; and
  2. Automation-as-a-service.

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LawTech.Asia’s Response to Public Consultation on Model AI Governance Framework

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On 23 January 2019, the Personal Data Protection Commission (i.e. the Info-comm Media Development Authority) (the “PDPC”) published its Model Artificial Intelligence Governance Framework (“Model Framework”). The PDPC also launched a public consultation to receive feedback on the Model Framework.

As an organisation committed to thought leadership in law and technology (with AI regulation a key area of focus), LawTech.Asia produced a response to the public consultation on 24 June 2019.

LawTech.Asia’s response comprised the following two sections:

  1. A framework tailored for the implementation of the Model Framework to the legal technology sectors. Tapping on LawTech.Asia’s familiarity with the legal and legal technology sectors, LawTech.Asia produced a customised framework tailored specifically for the implementation of the Model Framework to the legal technology industry. We hope that this customised framework may shed some light in allowing legal technology firms deploying AI to have greater guidance in aligning their practices with some of the implementation guidelines set out in the Model Framework.
  2. Comments and feedback on each specific section covered by the Model Framework. These sections are, namely: the overall principles set out in the Model Framework, internal governance measures, determination of the AI decision-making model, operations management, and customer relations management. Tying our comments together is the thread that the Model Framework could go further in elaborating on some of the guidelines that it had set out, as well as to set out more specifically the ends that the Model Framework is targeted at achieving.

Our response may be downloaded for reference here:

In closing, we emphasise that the views set out within our response are wholly independent. They do not represent the views of any other organisation save for LawTech.Asia.

LawTech.Asia is also grateful to our partner and friend, Ms Shazade Jameson from the World Data Project, for her guidance and assistance in the preparation of our response.

The LawTech.Asia Team

Disruptive Legal Technologies – Is Ethics Catching Up?

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Written by Alvin Chen and Stella Chen (Law Society of Singapore)

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the August 2018 issue of the Singapore Law Gazette, the official publication of the Law Society of Singapore. Reproduced with permission.

In December 2017, DeepMind, a leading AI company, sent ripples through the AI world when it announced that it had developed a computer program (known as “AlphaGoZero” or “AlphaZero”) which learned the rules of three games – chess, Shogi and Go – from scratch and defeated a world-champion computer program in each game within 24 hours of self-learning.1 What was remarkable about DeepMind’s achievement was the program’s “tabula rasa” or clean slate approach which did not refer to any games played by human players or other “domain knowledge”.2 Yet, DeepMind’s program was able to develop an unconventional and some say, uncanny,3 methodology in surpassing current computer understanding of how to play the three games.

Referring to an earlier version of DeepMind’s program (“AlphaGo”) which defeated the (human) world champion in Go in 2016, the legal futurist Richard Susskind considers such innovative technologies to be “disruptive”. In his international bestseller Tomorrow’s Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future (“Tomorrow’s Lawyers“)Susskind defined “disruptive” as something that would “fundamentally challenge and change conventional habits”.4

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E-Discovery: Artificial Intelligence & Predictive Coding – Discovering the Way Forward

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Written by Emily Tan | Edited by Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen, Josh Lee, Maryam Salehijam (Resolve Disputes Online)

Introduction

Cases turn on their facts. Lawyers depend on both the law and the specific circumstances of their client’s case to make a convincing argument for their client. This makes the discovery process, where the available information is sifted through to identify relevant evidence, a crucial step in any case.  

However, discovery is by its nature a slow and laborious process. Countless hours are spent digging through documents, emails and other such sources, searching for the key factors which may make or break a case. This “time-drain” has been exacerbated by the digitalisation of work, which has exponentially increased the volume of documents that lawyers have to analyse. In addition, it is typically the junior lawyers who are delegated to do the discovery task — which explains the television stereotype of young lawyers poring over cartons and cartons of documents late into the night. 

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be a thought leader

LawTech.Asia is recruiting!

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Since we started LawTech.Asia in 2016, we have witnessed the growth of technology and innovation across Asia, wrestled with tough questions about the regulation of emerging technologies and the future of the legal industry, and most importantly, contributed to discourse about issues that matter.

We have published original articles on Legal Technology in Singapore and reported on industry developments. We have interviewed startup founders, professors, legal movers and shakers, and more. We have covered events such as TechLaw.Fest 2018 as a Media Partner and co-organised others such as the inaugural APAC Legal Hackers Summit. We have been recognised in Asia Law Portal’s 30 People to Watch in the Business of Law in Asia in 2019 and recognised in the the State of Legal Innovation Report.

It’s been an exciting journey and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

And now, we would like to invite you to join us in building thought leadership and driving the discourse around law and technology. We are conducting our Summer 2019 recruitment drive for new members. Member responsibilities include:

  • Writing & Editorial: Generate and curate content for online publication; interview experts for their insights on the latest developments; provide timely and insightful coverage of industry events.
  • Building organisational capabilities: Contribute to one of our functional teams – whether this is managing collaborations with external partners, designing and executing social media marketing campaigns, organising topical seminars, developing our internal workflows, whatever it takes to bring the organisation to the next level!

We are looking for individuals who are:

All LawTech.Asia members contribute on a voluntary basis and there is no remuneration involved. If you fit the bill and are excited about the work that we do, submit your application below and we will reach out to set up a chat. The deadline for submission of applications is 30 June. We will be considering applications on a rolling basis.

Questions? Drop us an email at hello@lawtech.asia and we will get back to you at the earliest opportunity.


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LawTech.Asia – Internship Portal

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As part of our plans to help the development of talent in Singapore’s legal tech scene, LawTech.Asia is proud and honoured to announce the opening pilot of our very own Internship Portal.

The Internship Portal puts together internship opportunities available in firms and companies in the legal tech space. As a natural extension of our core product, the Portal provides a convenient entry point for students, lawyers and those interested in legal technology to quickly find avenues to develop their interests quickly and easily.

If you have been interested to explore legal technology for some time but are not sure which companies are offering internship positions, then this Portal is for you!

We will continue to develop the Portal together with our partner firms and stakeholders. In this regard, we’d like to sincerely thank Asia Law Network, the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP), INTELLLEX, Legalese, Lex Quanta, and Rajah & Tann Technologies for partnering us in making this Portal possible.

The Internship Portal can be found here. If you are interested to find out how to have your legal tech company listed in the Portal, feel free to reach out to us through our Contact Us page.

#LegalHackers Profile: Kanan Dhru, Legal Hackers India

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Interview by Swathi Bhat | Edited by Amelia Chew

In November 2018, LawTech.Asia co-organised the inaugural APAC Legal Hackers Summit alongside Singapore Legal Hackers and the Singapore Academy of Law’s Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP), bringing together Legal Hackers chapter organisers in the region to share insights on legal innovation across APAC. Legal Hackers is a global movement of lawyers, policymakers, designers, technologists, and academics who explore issues and opportunities where technology can improve and inform the practice of law, and where law, legal practice, and policy can adapt to rapidly changing technology. In this series, we profile Legal Hackers chapter organisers who are driving legal innovation in their cities.  

LawTech.Asia had the chance to catch up with Kanan Dhru, Founder of Lawtoons, LawForMe and Research Foundation for Governance in India, and chapter organiser at Legal Hackers India, who was not able to attend the APAC Legal Hackers Summit due to work commitments. Here, she shares her insights on LegalTech projects in India and the role of technology in the legal sector.

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