The 4th Annual Legal Asia Conference was held as a hybrid event this year with leading practitioners from the legal sector gathering in person and via online links to discuss how embracing technology is a given in order to adapt to the new way of working.
OMESTI Group Chief Legal Officer Navrita Kaur joined a panel of senior legal counsels from Prince Court Medical Centre, GCH Retail, and TMR Urusharta to discuss how AI and technology is transforming legal departments, as well as the implications of practitioners working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The panel discussion homed in on several key points including the need to recognise when to adopt legal-specific technology to meet industry requirements.
“It is important for law firms and in-house counsel to understand which technologies will best suit their specific needs rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon just because everyone else is going for this or that software solution,” says Navrita.
The discussion also centred on how those in the legal sector and beyond are beginning to accept that technology can help expand their field of expertise and their resource capacity, rather than feeling threatened. “There has been much debate about how our jobs will disappear as a result of technology and particularly AI. But, in the majority of professions, including law, technology is there to help us, to make us more effective. With these extra resources at our disposal, we can actually focus on more substantial work and leave the routine tasks to these technology tools,” adds Navrita.
The importance of acquiring the most relevant set of skills for the new digital environment was also highlighted by the panel. “Those embarking on a legal career should consider looking into bringing something extra to the table. For example, doing a degree in law combined with business or law plus IT – rather than just the standard law degree. This will add value and help set you apart from your contemporaries. And for those who have already begun their careers, it’s equally important to upskill on a regular basis.”
With the drive to move business online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, new technology solutions are now available that allow normal business to continue in spite of geographical constraints and distancing rules. “For example, we conducted our new Anti- Bribery & Corruption Policy training entirely online. This covered around 400+ employees and was delivered over four sessions. This format was something we would not have considered pre-COVID-19 but with the shift in working procedures and the social distancing rules, it became the obvious choice and will be the ‘norm’ going forward.”
In another example, the Virtual AGM platform developed by OMESTI enables companies to hold their Annual General Meetings with full proxy and voting features in compliance with regulatory requirements. “This kind of platform actually helps increase shareholder engagement because it enables a larger number of shareholders to participate than might otherwise be possible, regardless of their location,” notes Navrita.
This type of solution has also been adapted for the virtual event and meetings space where business matching sessions, interactive roadshows and trade briefings can be conducted with multiple parties across territories.