Technology takeover from lawyers now inevitable,yet exposure, credibility among major concerns

  • STA Law Firm head says the use of attorneys for lawsuits, compliance under threat; legal counsel for contract execution soon to be a thing of the past

The days when lawyers are replaced by technology within the UAE is fast approaching, but the exposure of confidential information and the credibility of advice are major concerns.

With technology already having a significant impact on UAE legal processes, STA Law Firm states that the use of attorneys for lawsuits and compliance is under threat, while the practice of obtaining legal counsel for contract execution will soon be a practice of the past.

Sunil Thacker, a Senior Partner at STA, believes that greater efficiency and cost savings, which are the key benefits of technological advancements, encourages law firms to follow suit with the technological innovations.

“It is highly foreseeable that the role of a lawyer could become automated within the near future,” declares Thacker. “A large proportion of attorneys already depend upon technology-assisted reviews, in which a machine reads, analyses, and provides predictive coding in compliance and lawsuits.”

“Although, arguably not as nuanced as the knowledge provided by human endeavour and still in its infancy stages, a technology-assisted review can offer greater accuracy in its results than manual review.”

“It’s inevitable that laws firms will rely more on machines in the future since technology continues to develop and surpass the capabilities of a human being.”

Thacker points out that technology now allows contracts and legal drafts to essentially become a computer code rather than words on a page, meaning attorneys will no longer be needed for these processes, bringing “considerable financial savings.”

However, he also highlights several common concerns and perceptions encompassing the use of automated technology.

“The vast use of software for storing client information poses a substantial risk for the exposure of confidential material,” says Thacker.

“Additionally, greater reliance on, and access to, online databases and search engines to conduct research has resulted in a deficiency of proficient lawyers and an increase in the credibility of advice.”

“Meanwhile, it has become apparent that there is a need to adopt new rules to address the dramatic surge of digitally stored information in the legal field. However, since computer technology is rapidly evolving, sceptics are concerned that the privacy-related legislation will not be able to keep pace with such advancements.”

Over the past fifteen years, Thacker has established himself as one of the leading UAE-based expert advisers on corporate law, and real estate in the global market.

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