LegalTech – disruptive only for late starters

The rapid technological development also shapes the legal advice of the future: On the one hand, it
influences the business of our clients and the need for legal advice. Entirely new legal questions and
challenges emerge across all sectors that need to be analyzed, thought and resolved: New, different
need for advice arises in a globally networked world of business. On the other hand, LegalTech helps
lawyers work better with clients, quickly analyze large amounts of information, manage repetitive
evaluation processes efficiently, and create space for the legal formulation of solutions to new
challenges. Industrie 4.0 is here – and with it changed expectations and changed counseling services in
the relationship between client and lawyer.

The use of LegalTech Tools is less and less seen as pure future music, but is paving its way as a support
for legal advice practice. LegalTech tools build on established applications and will, in the future, simplify
and standardize legal services processes step by step. This is only disruptive for those who now miss out
on the opportunities that lie in the changing demands on engagement and participation in the
development of technical tools to provide optimal legal advice.

Technology alone is no guarantee for success

But: Is that all just a question of the right technique used? Not at all: The right advisor personalities
remain crucial – open to new requirements and instruments and ready to seize the opportunities they
offer and combine them into a complete legal advice product.

What does that mean in concrete terms? First of all, it is not the use of the very latest 4 software or the
pursuit of technology trends alone that guarantees successful consulting. If newly purchased technology
is coupled to old processes or the required openness and affinity of the legal adviser is missing, no
higher quality of advice arises. LegalTech is not a panacea that is readily available but simply means the
use of technical tools to assist and provide legal advice, no less, but no more.

That is why we as lawyers look at the whole: technology must be understood, shaped, controlled and
lived in order to improve the legal advice product and to make it more efficient by means of innovative
processes and procedures, so that for the client through the use of digital aids an added value in legal
advice is generated.

Not novelty, but benefit decides

Therefore, the focus is on the concrete benefit for client and mandate – which element in the consultation process dominates the machine better than the human being?

How exactly can the efficiency, quality, speed and innovative strength of our consulting be improved? In
this respect, LegalTech does not differ from previous innovations such as office programs, IT-based
collaboration platforms and the like – all of which allowed us to rethink and further develop the legal
advisory process at the time.

In the meantime, there is a very small amount of ideas, 7 applications and providers in the LegalTech
world. At Clifford Chance, we observe and test the developments of innovative tech providers in
practice, and optimize ours Legal advice processes with an increasingly technology-oriented view and create scope and
opportunities for the development of new legal advice products and forms. If in doubt, we try out the
different approaches – without curiosity for the new and the courage to fail, there is no progress in legal

The currently available LegalTech systems can be divided into three categories:

  • Programs that extract legally relevant information from documents, merge (and ideally improve on the basis of self-learning structures such as artificial intelligence) and thus provide the basis for a sound legal assessment
  • Systems that structure the processes in the consulting practice, make them audit-proof and write (logical) decisions
  • Programs that produce documents largely automated according to the legal advisor’s instructions.

Crucial to the success of LegalTech products is the seamless integration into and subordination to
mandate work. The most important interface and the decisive factor for success in legal advice remains
the consultant personality – the human being – even when using LegalTech, PropTech and FinTech

As a result, the less valuable, but necessary, 10 components of our client’s advisory services will be
reflected more efficiently in the future. LegalTech assists, so that we can use our legal competence and
creativity for the actual task: to capture complex situations and to work out the best possible solutions
and to develop new consulting products for our clients.

LegalTech – promote across the board!

LegalTech, FinTech and PropTech are helpful tools whose applications 11 need to be recognized. At the
pulse of this development:

  • We have formed a global “Tech Group” that bundles and develops legal expertise on technology and digitization from all sectors of industry and industry. Our clients benefit from this networked expertise on all legal issues of use, development or trade in new technologies, new forms of trade and their respective legal challenges and on the requirements of the world of Industry 4.0 tailored legal advice at eye level
  • In addition to our award-winning “Clifford Chance Academy”, we are also developing training sessions on technology topics for our employees in a “Tech Academy”
  • we support student initiatives such as the LegalTech Lab at the Frankfurt J.W.Goethe University and MLTech at the Munich Universities, so that young lawyers get the necessary digital equipment to start their professional life.

Technology and digitalization are high on the agenda for Clifford Chance: today, we provide advice on
the entire legal spectrum of technology and digitalization – from data protection, compliance, data
mining, digital competition and intellectual property protection in the digital age to legal advice for large
tech companies , in data and automation projects and in transactions or disputes about digital topics
and strategies.

The goal: smart, not big solutions

With all the advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence, especially machine learning, we always keep
an eye on the legal challenges and challenges and develop solutions for them. Because AI does not only
mean economic potential, but also responsibility – legally and socially.

Even when using technical and digital tools, we do not aim to be the 14 biggest, but the smartest. Our
goal for our clients is the obvious integration of legal tech expertise and LegalTech instruments in our
legal advice as well as intelligent processes and innovative technology as smart support of our service.