Q&A: Sathees Ruthiraseelan, Head of Asia Pacific - Legal Strategy and Compliance, Cyient

BY

Shay Namdarian

The way that legal services are delivered is fast changing due to advances in technology and business model innovation. This is resulting in a gradual shift towards affordable, standardised services and efficiencies in how law firms deliver services. We interviewed thought leaders on the changing legal industry, emerging technologies impacting the sector, factors holding law firms back and what the future lawyer looks like.

Here is our interview with the Head of Asia Pacific - Legal Strategy and Compliance at Cyient, Sathees Ruthiraseelan.

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE LEGAL INDUSTRY IN 5 YEARS? 

The legal industry has started evolving to innovate using emerging technologies and new digital innovation to advance the legal framework and establish a robust legal system. Many organisations are looking at how they can advance their legal industry to optimise costs, time, and quality of work and services. Also, the legal industry in five years would be mainly driven by robotic process automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning through digital platforms and intelligent technologies where it provides good governance and control over the legal framework and processes.

I have starting to see the use of the various digital platforms and intelligent technologies that many organisations have used to automate signatures and produce legal documents, and filing becomes routine in the way we do things. Simultaneously, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning language processing to review or extract provisions will become standard in practice in the next five years and gradually transform the legal industry to adopt emerging technologies and new digital innovation.

WHICH EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES ARE YOU MOST EXCITED BY AND WHY?

I am most excited by emerging technology that can give organisations and clients more competitive advantages. Traditional law firms are now slowly adopting emerging technologies to improve the productivity. For example, virtual meetings and training, electronics court, social media, compliance filing, electronics billing, and in-house repository document management through cloud-based technology will become a common practice or trend now and in the future in the legal industry.

WHAT IS CURRENTLY HOLDING LAW FIRMS BACK FROM INNOVATING?

There are several reasons holding law firms back from innovation:
1. Investment required for innovation – It is a capital investment that the law firm cannot invest in for long term return.
2. Accuracy of input or output from innovation can be a concern to the law firms until it has been examined against final input and output – it decreases the productivity of law firms until such a time and increases the cost to run or manage the business.
3. Training requirements and willingness to adopt the transformation due to lack of technical understanding of the emerging technologies or new innovated solutions can be a lengthy process.

I have seen many smaller law firms deny investing capital in emerging technologies or new digital platforms as they cannot afford any investment for innovation until such a time due to the size of their organisations. Hence, holding back from innovation become naturally common for small law firms.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LAWYER LOOK LIKE?

The future lawyer enhances emerging skills that will prepare them to be the best lawyers possible.

Also, the future lawyer constantly adopts to strengthen their technical understanding of emerging technologies, including the digital revolution, where it can improve communication and people management skills to improve the customer/client experience.

To find out what 14 other thought leaders had to say on the future of legal services, download the full 21st Century Lawyer report at

www.newlawacademy.com/report

about the author

Shay Namdarian is GM of Customer Strategy at Collective Campus and the author of Stop Talking, Start Making - A Guide to Design Thinking. Shay has over ten years of experience working across a wide range of projects focusing on customer experience and design thinking. He is a regular speaker and facilitator on design thinking and has gained his experience across several consulting firms including Ernst & Young, Capgemini and Accenture. Shay has supported global organisations to embed customer-centric culture, working closely with law firms such as Clifford Chance, Pinsent Masons and ClaytonUtz

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