LawTech Summit + Awards
Chilli IQ is a leading creator of conferences and summits that aim to bring together distinguished individuals to create thought-inspiring events. Chilli IQ specialises in creating innovative conferences and summits for the changing business landscape.
One of Chilli IQ’s most successful events is the LawTech Summit + Awards (‘LawTech’), this year hosted at Peppers Noosa Resort & Villas. The event brings together great minds in the legal technology space in one room for a two day summit that recognises distinguished effort and achievement. In addition, the event serves as a thought provoking and inspiring exploration into the intersection of law, technology and innovation.
Emerging themes in legal innovation
The overwhelming theme arising from LawTech was the rising threat of cyber security to the way that law is practiced and the ability of law firms to satisfy the demands of clients for flexibility and adaptation. While clients are demanding that law firms comply with requests to receive files via cloud storage, cyber security threats discourage firms from complying.
Firms are also facing a threat in terms of budget allocation. How can they dedicate the necessary resources to cyber security threats while retaining the profitability necessary to continue to dominate the legal market and dedicate time and money to investing in innovation? The answer may lie in hiring specialist ‘white hat hackers’ to intentionally attack firms’ computer systems in hopes of finding and rectifying gaps in security to prevent future attacks from less friendly entities.
It is interesting to note that cyber security threats received their highest uptick in frequency in 2015. In 2016, that number reduced significantly. Potentially these statistics indicate that firms are taking cyber security threats more seriously.
At the same time that firms are facing the threat of cyber attacks, they are also tasked with fielding client demands that they behave like other service providers. For example, by offering predictable up-front fees and generally integrating the services they offer into the business models of clients.
It is also apparent that legal services are trending towards the ‘legal supply chain’ model. In short, firms are being forced to respond rapidly, achieve scale and maximal efficiency, behave intelligently and remain connected to industry. The future of practice may also involve clearer differentiation between segments of the legal ‘supply chain’ and clients are likely to continue the trend of requesting ever more discreet tasks be undertaken.
On the blockchain front, the primary concern from a legal standpoint is one of regulation. However, from a commercial standpoint, guarantees of identification or anonymity (depending on the nature of the way blockchain is being leveraged) are paramount. Further, the ability to achieve mass scale will be essential to the future viability of blockchain based services.
In an increasingly data driven profession, data visualisations will be a tremendous tool for future-looking legal professionals who recognise the need to create easily accessible and quickly digestible information.
At the mid-way point of the event, a change in speed was quickly recognisable. Attention turned to the ability of legal services to be automated using decision-making trees that streamline processes to churn out quality work at a faster speed.
Automation can occur in any aspect of the profession where the process can be quantified. The same cannot be said, however, for the ‘soft skills’ of assessing client needs, demonstrating charisma and creating persuasive arguments. Professionals who embrace automation of repeatable processes while doubling the efforts given to soft skills and strategy will succeed in the new legal landscape.
LawTech was also notable for a clear embracing of disruption and innovation generally, as well as recognition of the commerciality of developing new service offerings for the market. Innovation was broken down into a science and a repeatable process for creating new approaches was provided.
This is an approach underpinned by challenging one’s own assumptions, identifying and solving client pains (with a particular focus on the largest of these pains) and importing ideas from other industries. The mantra ‘fail fast, fail often’ was expanded to include failing with minimal sunken costs (i.e. test early and test on your clients).
Recognising ‘false positives’ in client responses is also important. For those firms that measure ‘intention’ rather than ‘action’, they may be sorely surprised when client’s actions do not back up their words. This is because humans generally struggle to match their actions with their intentions.
Angus and Daniel have compiled the below summary of the event to provide TLF’s audience with the latest on all things legal tech.
After an opening address from Chair Martin Telfer, Senior Vice President of Fulcrum Global Technologies. Martin has had a stellar career, including tenures at distinguished companies like Ernst & Young, MinterEllison and Baker & Mackenzie. Martin’s role at LawTech was one of facilitator. He provided ongoing thought provoking introductions to, and conclusions based upon, each speaker and their unique content.
TLF’s first thank you must go to Martin for his tireless efforts in facilitating depth of discussion and acting connecting attendees with one another.
Below we have attempted to provide an outline of each speaker and their key messages, however, doing justice to this incredible line up of speakers is virtually impossible to convey and we encourage our readers to search out each speaker with whom they feel a connection. Not only are each of the below speakers each distinguished in their respective fields, they are also incredibly approachable and would be more than happy to provide more detailed guidance on their work.
Speaker: Ty Miller, Managing Director at Threat Intelligence. Threat Intelligence is a Sydney based threat analytics and penetration testing company that specialises in creating next generation cyber security risk management solutions.
Message: While technology is forever advancing to enable business innovation, that same technology is susceptible to being leveraged against firms and businesses by ‘black hat’ hackers.
As TLF learned at LawTech, not all hackers are bad. ‘Black hat hackers’ are those that behave in an illegal or criminal fashion. Contrastingly, ‘white hat hackers’ are those that work with companies to assist them in recognising and overcoming gaps in their cyber security protocols to prevent infiltration from black hat hackers.
A key thematic that emerged at LawTech was the ‘economy’ created by the threat of cyber security. While hacking poses a growing threat to professional service firms, those firms are fighting back by dedicating a portion of their budget to hiring cyber security experts whose role would have no purpose without the growing cyber security threats.
Ty discussed how the new exploitation techniques used by black hat hackers enhance ‘attack campaign sophistication’ to allow them to bypass ordinary cyber security defences.
Speaker: Georg Thomas, National Security & Risk Manager at Corrs Chambers Westgarth (‘Corrs’). Corrs is a leading independent Australian law firm committed to innovation, quality advice and a client-centric business model.
Message: Georg has experience both in Australia and America working for large corporate firms such as Kraft & Kenney, Grant Thornton LLP and most recently, Corrs. Georg explained that the last several years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of cyber threats globally. Further, the attacks are not just reserved for large firms. As a result, law firms need to have a strong security program now more than ever.
Georg also made a reputational case for investing in cyber security, particularly the impending mandatory data breach notification laws and growing demands from clients to ensure firm data is protected from hackers.
Georg advocated that firms invest in ISO/IEC 27000:2016, an international standard for cyber security.
Georg also maintains a website dedicated to legal cyber security (accessible here). We encourage both law firms and young lawyers / law students to utilise the resources Georg provides to ensure they behave in a way that is secure from cyber threats and, further, remain abreast of the changing landscape of legal cyber security.
Speaker: Martin Telfer, Senior ice President of Fulcrum Global Technologies
Message: Martin, in addition to Charing LawTech, was also a speaker. Martin discussed the concept of the Legal Supply Chain (‘LSC’). LSC is the concept that law firms now face complex and real-time supply chain issues.
This is particularly the case because of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (‘CLOC’), a rapidly growing group of COO’s who run large in house legal departments to leverage better value from their legal spend. Consequentially, law firm rates are receiving downward pressure that encourage frequent and substantial volume discounts.
Martin takes the view that visibility is now, more than ever, critical for law firms to retain their relevance. Further, quality analytics is essential. Big data is essential to ensuring firms can drive better client service by offering new and expanded value.
The concept of LSC is driven by the premise that law firms are now in a buyer’s market. Client’s can readily put stress on firms.
While the classic ‘disruptive innovation’ model tells us that law firms are under threat from disruptive innovators at the early seed stage and start-up level who creep up the industry, an equal if not more concerning threat is posed by the Big 4 banks. Martin notes that banks have invested heavily in processes and technologies that threaten work previously reserved for legal service providers.
Speaker: Dr Philippa Ryan, barrister and lecturer at University of Technology Sydney – Faculty of Law. Philippa coordinates and teaches about disruptive technologies and the law. Her PhD focussed on forming a new classification for third parties to a breach of trust. She is currently researching the regulation and status of cryptocurrencies and trust protocols enabled by blockchain.
Message: Philippa discussed the blockchain technology that enables a cryptographically secured network of transactions that can be seen by all users on the network. She discussed the way that blockchain technology stands to impact the legal profession by enabling currency exchanges, smart contracts, asset tracking and verification of users or assets.
Philippa considers that blockchain technology stands to resolve a number of problems the legal profession currently faces. These include eliminating double-spending, authenticating users, reducing the risk of fraud or mistakes and increasing transaction speed.
Philippa also discussed some of the current weaknesses of blockchain including the current limitation of speed of transactions that can only be overcome by mainstream adoption. Philippa explained that this problem will likely only be overcome when government and regulators provide mass incentive (such as tax deductions) for citizens who adopt blockchain payment systems.
Philippa does not foresee cryptocurrency replacing traditional currency entirely, but rather being used for smaller frequent transactions where the convenience of blockchain is at its highest.
Further issues are the massive energy consumption of mining blockchain currencies such as Bitcoin.
FTI Consulting is a management consulting company dedicated to assisting organisations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes in finance, law and business operations.
Message: Scott discussed the importance of creating digestible and visual representations of data in a business climate where big data, and subsequently data analytics, is becoming an increasingly large part of the way that business (and law) is practiced.
Scott explained that smart teams have begun leveraging Early Case Assessment (‘ECA’) for pre-discovery and e-discovery. ECA is the process of estimating risk prior to involvement in a legal matter through conducting an evaluation of an entity’s or individual’s electronically stored data and files.
Scott offers a way to represent data visually to allow teams to quickly gain insight into large datasets and narrow and cull information to fit their needs at any given particular time.
Speaker: Julian Uebergang, Managing Director at Neota Logic. Neota Logic delivers AI software to clients to allow them to intelligently automate their expertise to improve the speed, quality and efficiency of routine decisions.
Message: Julian focussed on the importance of decision-making trees in automation of legal services. Julian explained that essentially any repeatable task that can be broken down into a decision-making tree is one that is ripe for automation. A decision-making tree is essentially a string of questions that must be asked and answered to take a task from commencement to completion.
Julian described the automation process as beginning with a design build which is then tested. After being put through its paces and made viable, Neota Logic deploys the application. Once it is operational, the application works in conjunction with experts.
Julian’s presentation was especially notable for listing some key case examples of automation in legal services. In particular, Julian spoke about cases where firms had created automated software to predict the commerciality in legal merit of particular legal scenarios (essentially taking the place of an initial consult and subsequent research).
Julian is a TLF affiliate and was a judge at Disrupting Law 2017.
Message: Daniel and Angus provided an overview of TLF. This included the origins of TLF from its early informal meetings to our flagship event, Disrupting Law. For any of our readers who have not yet heard of Disrupting Law, we encourage you to read our blog article on Disrupting Law 2017.
the presentation also discussed the importance of TLF’s not-for-profit (‘NFP’) status and our role as being a facilitator of discussions on innovation in the legal sector. TLF is extremely proud that, while we operate as a NFP, we are able to add real value to participants of Disrupting Law who do go on to product viable commercial products and businesses.
Daniel and Angus also discussed TLF’s national expansion, our vision for the future and the theoretical underpinnings of disruptive innovation.
Message: Ailira is an artificial intelligence (‘AI’) program that uses natural language processing (‘NLP’) to provide free legal information on business structuring and wills and estates planning. Ailira also allows the user to generate Australianised legal documents for both business and personal use.
Adrian discussed how NLP has developed in the world of artificial intelligence. In particular, he explained that his program Ailira is now capable of having complicated conversations with the user and providing them with legal advice. Beyond a simple question and answer format, Ailira is capable of interrupting lines of conversation with its own questions while also offering real time advice.
The practical applications of a NLP AI program are endless. From an access to justice perspective, having an application take the place of a lawyer to provide initial advice and basic documents results in a significantly reduced legal spend and makes lawyers accessible regarding of physical proximity.
Message: Lionel Bird Chaired an armchair discussion on how realistic the idea is that firms can fully prevent themselves from being placed at risk of cyberattacks and preventing attacks from occurring.
Nikita explained how useful Darktrace’s technology is in identifying security threats and that consequently legitimately safeguarding a firm or business is not unrealistic.
Georg built upon Nikita’s position by disclaiming that ultimately how realistic achieving legitimate protection from cyber threats are is turns on budgetary allocations and that currently achieving optimal protection may not be economically viable for many firms and businesses.
Professor Slay added that the embodiment of the idea of tracing how close a cyber threat is or how much damage it has done would be to have a visual radar representation. She explained that the ‘radar’ analogy has become one of the most common areas of research and that having a way to interpret cyber threat data visually would significantly aid firms in protecting themselves from breaches.
Aaron Bailey took the view that the role of white hat hackers in assisting firms in businesses was essential to ensuring cyber protection. This is because white hackers can try to expose weaknesses in your system and then allow you to improve it rather than having the first attack be conducted by a hostile individual or entity.
(i) Professor Jill Slay – email@example.com;
(ii) Georg Thomas – firstname.lastname@example.org;
(iii) Lionel Bird – email@example.com;
(iv) Aaron Bailey – firstname.lastname@example.org; and
(v) Nikita Le Messurier – email@example.com.
Speaker: Phillip Clark, Technical Consultant at Mimecast. Mimecast is to make business email and data safer for its customers. Mimecast also offers cloud-based security, email archiving and email continuity services to reduce cyber risk.
Message: Phillip’s presentation was especially notable for running the audience through how to hack into an individual or company’s computer using simple and easy to access software. What’s even more notable is that this software is entirely legal.
Phillip used the live demonstration to evidence that today’s threat landscape has increased and that the barriers for entry into the world of hacking are lower than ever. Further, Phillip explained that commercial file sharing sites create new risks.
Phillip explained hacking techniques such as the ‘low and slow’ approach and the ‘spray and pray’ approach as ways to gain intel to then build an attack. Email in particular was shown to be a particularly easy entry point to extort an individual or business for financial gain.
Speaker: Judy Anderson, Chief Inventiologist at Inventium. Judy helps organisations make innovation repeatable through a scientific formula for disruptive thinking. Previously she worked for Deloitte Australia.
Message: Judy provided the audience with five (5) practical tips on how to create innovation:
(i) identify client pain points;
(ii) challenge your assumptions;
(iii) go wide for your break throughs (i.e. look to other, currently disconnected industries);
(iv) test your solutions with clients; and
(v) lean into failure (i.e. embrace it, and do it with minimal sunken costs).
Judy takes the view that innovation is a necessary component to doing business and that businesses and firms not committed to innovation may be left behind by innovative disruptors that attack the bottom of an industry and work their way upwards.
Message: Aaron discussed how utilising what he calls a ‘purple team’ approach is key to measuring the effectiveness and maturity of a company’s cyber security systems. Aaron is a fascinating case of a ‘white hat hacker’. He began hacking as a pre-teen before putting his tech powers to use for good. He explained that his key methodology is using white hat hackers to ‘attack’ a client’s systems to spot weaknesses and then subsequently address them with the services and products offered by the Missing Link.
Aaron calls this approach the ‘purple team’ approach. The name comes from pitting a ‘red team’ against a ‘blue team’ (i.e. system attackers and defenders) to explore the strengths and weaknesses of a particular interface from a cyber security standpoint.
Aaron gave some great examples of white hat hacking demonstrations, from hacking into drug-administering technology to deliver lethal doses to dummies or hacking into pacemakers without even touching them.
Aaron demonstrated how important white hat hacking is to resisting attacks on security systems and how powerful hacking can be when it is used for the benefit of society rather than its detriment.
Message: Adam explored innovation intersects with creativity and psychology with a particular emphasis on consumer behaviour. He explained why innovation is generally quite derivative. He suggests looking to the less-targeted human emotions for marketing campaigns to allow a particular product to stand out.
For example, he explained that in creating Coca Cola’s ‘names’ campaign, he was tapping into the sense of connection, pride and ownership consumers feel when receiving a bottle with their name on it.
Adam’s talk was absolutely fascinating and provided invaluable knowledge for anyone looking to market products of disruptive innovation. This is even more so the case in a market that is traditionally bearish on adopting new methods of operation.
TLF would like to once again extend a sincere thank you to Chilli IQ for the opportunity and platform to spread our message that legal innovation and disruption is inherently a good thing.
A special thanks must be extended to Jenny Katrivesis, George Katrivesis and Kathy Katrivesis. Jenny, George and Kathy worked tirelessly throughout the event and put on a wonderful display of legal innovation.
The LawTech Summit + Awards is one of the most valuable and important events TLF has been invited to attend and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year to hear the latest on legal tech!
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