The law operates at a far slower speed than technology, and the digital age demands greater efficiency to keep up with technological advances
Technology is and will continue to be the main driver of businesses and professions worldwide, including legal,” says Ignasi Costas, one of Rousaud Costas Duran’s Founding Partners and Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
However, the legal demands of this technological paradigm generate countless economic and social issues, he says, and lawyers play an indispensable role in helping clients understand them, anticipate problems, identify potential pitfalls and provide appropriate solutions. “Understanding technology and the innovation that it brings is key to providing the assistance that the client requires.” A technology-based society is not just the future. “Nowadays, it is quite clear that our lives centred on mobile devices, and the past five years have changed the mobile industry forever, providing innumerable innovation opportunities, and it is impossible to foresee their full potential,” explains Costas. There is a strong interaction between technology and medicine, for example – automated health monitoring, the use of big data for cancer treatments and the prevention of aging, online genetics marketplace, quadriplegics using their minds to control robotic limbs and even DNA hackers, among others. “And this shows a future that is much closer than we think.”
In this competitive scenario, a law firm’s survival and growth depends on two interrelated factors, he adds. “The firm’s fundamental legal excellence while attracting the brightest minds, and their ability to adapt to technological advances.”
Interdisciplinary intelligence is key to moving forwards in the digital economy, but human knowledge also creates value-added services in which creativity or innovation are involved, says Costas. “These services still have to be provided by a lawyer, and cannot yet be automated. However, the legal industry is no exception, in facing these new changes he says. For example, artificially intelligent algorithms have been and are being developed to anticipate legal-related decisions predicting human behaviours in judicial court. “While it sounds challenging,” he concludes, “the reality is that the best is yet to come.”