Since 2017, the InnoTech Committee (“ITC”; formerly, the Technology Committee) of the Law Society of Hong Kong has been developing the Technology Roadmap for the Law Society (“Roadmap”). “The ITC has answered our Council’s call to develop the Roadmap after the Law Society had surveyed views on the urgent needs to innovate by law firms and solicitors as the market for legal services grows ever more competitive,” said Amirali Nasir, Vice President of the Law Society and Chairman of the ITC, “we also understand the challenges of innovation and have reviewed the approaches adopted by the legal professions overseas in their innovation initiatives.”
The ITC is overseeing the implementation of the Roadmap, and has launched the “InnoTech Law Hub” (“ILH”) in 2019. As the Law Society’s program for legal practice innovation, the ILH aims to find technology-based solutions relevant to the Roadmap; build a community of innovation champions; enhance the legal profession’s technological competency; and connect with decision-makers, execution teams and user groups on best practices. To support its peer-learning endeavors, the ILH has begun its roundtable series in May 2019, which has gathered local and overseas thought leaders, technology and practice area specialists, and young lawyers in small groups to share the trials and tribulations of innovating legal practice and the strategies and resources to resolve challenges.
Setting the innovation agenda with the profession and identifying critical pathways for legal tech development will ensure that Hong Kong lawyers are prepared for the future. As such, the guiding principles of the ILH are to cultivate cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration between lawyers and technologists; approach the challenges of innovation with multi-stakeholder engagement and systems-thinking; and facilitate better access to practical and impactful solutions in the delivery of legal services. In applying these principles, the Law Society is co-developing with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation on an acceleration program for legal tech solutions.
Through face-to-face meetings, seminars and hackathons, the ITC have engaged with corporate, government and community stakeholders to understand their current state of and future readiness for technology adoption in legal services. The ITC recognizes that many firms and lawyers are struggling even with the implementation of basic office productivity, accounting and online communication platforms, let alone A.I.-powered systems. Yet, to some degree, innovation should be part of every firm’s competitive strategy. Legal practices can be enhanced by software products already commercially available and solutions that require bespoke development for organizational, jurisdictional and other reasons. The ILH will examine where members need a helping hand and welcomes members’ feedback in doing so.