An Englishman named Paul Nelson has been brushing up on his Shakespeare. What he’s concluded-and what he’s now preaching-is that sometimes, the best way to practice law is to do away with the lawyers.

He is by no means the first to have this thought. What’s odd is that Nelson himself is a lawyer. In fact, he’s the head of the financial markets group at London’s 969-lawyer Linklaters. He’s also the driving force behind an ambitious project called Blue Flag, a line of computerized products that, in certain situations, can replicate a live lawyer. Or, at least, come to the same conclusions.

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