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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has begun transforming the way lawyers work across a range of projects and specialties. No matter their practice area or role, lawyers of all functions can utilize AI. And one area of the legal ecosystem that has seemed particularly receptive to the transformative power of technology are in-house legal teams. It’s clear these newer entrants to the legal tech space are not afraid of embracing AI in order to drive efficiency and growth, particularly when that means that they can cut costs by bringing legal work in house.

In-house teams have seen the scope of their role grow as businesses face increasing regulation. Nowhere is this clearer than in relation to data privacy laws whereby non-compliance can be a costly exercise for companies. In 2019, for instance, hotel conglomerate Marriott was hit with a $124 million fine for breaching data privacy laws, later reduced, while the credit reporting agency, Equifax, agreed to pay a minimum of $575 million for its 2017 breach. Brexit is another area whereby legal teams operating across the UK and Europe are facing twice the legal and regulatory burden that they once did, with businesses constantly assessing how they can mitigate Brexit-related business risk.

And with regulation impacting business strategy, the role and responsibilities of the in-house legal function have grown significantly. General counsel and their teams are no longer seen as just technical legal specialists, but instead are expected to play a significant and proactive role in wider legal matters, including ensuring compliance, examining potential business risk and being key members of the corporate decision-making team.

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