Technology lawyers in ‘unchartered territory’ due to lack of regulation and case law

Considerable opportunities exist for lawyers to sell technology-related services to clients, however many law firms ‘still resistant to technological developments’

Given that technology develops so quickly, there is often a lack of applicable regulation or case law, which means lawyers are often operating in unchartered territory, says CCA Ontier partner Filipe Mayer.

Mayer adds that, while this scenario means lawyers have the ability of find creative solutions to clients’ problems, it also means they have to anticipate the regulator’s reaction. “Guessing how the system will adapt to new realities brings a lot of responsibility”, says Mayer. However, he adds that there are also considerable opportunities for lawyers to sell technology-related services to clients, especially those that rarely, or never, use any technology. Mayer says it is now necessary for every company to have some sort of interaction with technology, whether it’s hiring new staff, doing advertising or filling in tax forms, for example.
Such trends apply to a wide range of sectors, says Mayer. “Take agricultural companies, which are now implementing manifold tech processes.” With such a large variety of clients requiring advice on the legal requirements related to technology, the opportunities for cross-selling are huge as TMT is becoming mainstream, according to Mayer.

Technology is taking over all sectors, and the legal sector is no exception. Clients now expect law firms to use legal technology, and as a result, medium-sized and large firms are investing in such products. However, the legal sector is very traditional, and many firms are still resistant to technological developments, Mayer says.

Yet other firms, including CCA Ontier, are already using knowledge management tools, as well as artificial intelligence to help draft contracts and enable clients to sign documents digitally. By optimising processes, the cost of legal advice is reduced, time is saved and human error is avoided.

Laura Escarpa