LegalTech, a disruptive innovation for the lawyers' professions

LegalTech, a disruptive innovation for the lawyers' professions

Within only a few years LegalTechs have become a main concern for all lawyers’ professions. Brand new technologies, tightly linked to advances in artificial intelligence (AI), have made possible real understanding of texts of law. This understanding capacities leads the way to texts summarization, texts classification and even texts interpretation. With such new capacities the lawyers’ professions will become faster at cases processing and even more accurate in analysis and counselling activities. As for all other human activities impacted by advances in AI the lawyers’ professions will give up a large amount of job situations. In Luxembourg, as in any other country, the measure of the effects of these disruptive technologies must be carefully taken for it to benefit the whole profession.

Ethical charter and clients’ interests protection

The development of LegalTechs will not be efficient nor harmonious if some ethical issues cannot be addressed. As stated by Open Law Association and the Association for the informatical legal development, all economical actors which use LegalTechs must be ensured of its quality of service. Security and confidentiality obligations must be respected. LegalTechs must respect each of the lawyers’ professions intervention perimeters and LegalTech actors must enforce an important level of responsibility.

LegalTech actors have to develop the same level of responsibility toward their customers as traditional professional do. Clients’ data, informations and folders should benefit from the same high level of security and confidentiality. All potential gladiatorial situations should be avoided. LegalTechs professionals should permanently guarantee that all rendered services do comply with the last positive state of the law. The client should be delivered a loyal information, clear and transparent, on the nature of rendered benefits. Performances, risks of error, costs and legal compliance should be clearly assessed.

The hybrid approach

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg benefits from an old and well-organized legal sector. It is well known for its efficiency as well as for the high level of confidentiality its professional is used to. That is surely the main reason firms which are the first to adopt LegalTechs as a supplementary legal toolbox are adopting a hybrid approach. As stated by Henri Wagner, Managing Partner of Allen & Overy in Luxembourg, for the announcement of the partnership of the firm with the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT): “Being a pro-active player in the field of technological innovation, this partnership is a logical step in our global approach based on an offering of hybrid legal services, pairing the requirements of our clients with the ideas of start-ups.”.

For Benoit Charpentier, Director and co-founder with Astrid Lesguillons de in Luxembourg, the lawyers’ business model is doomed to profoundly evolve. Nowadays its perceived value has been substantially displaced and clients are reluctant to pay for a standard document (i.e. that can be created by LegalTechs for free). Clients’ information level degree has dramatically improved, and the lawyer is no longer the only one detaining knowledge. With the advent of e-discovery softwares that can find flaws in judgments or inside legal documents lawyer’s professions will be even more challenged. For sure LegalTechs revolution will imply a drastic lawyer’s profession evolution.