22 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – APRIL 2024 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM that define our firm’s distinctive value proposition,” he adds. Notes Tiziana of Tilleke & Gibbins: “We are also actively engaging our team in the development and oversight of AI deployment, fostering a collaborative environment where technology is a support for human expertise rather than a substitute for it.” In order to improve the AI- and digital literacy of legal talent more effectively, Sunyaluck Chaikajornwat, managing partner at Weerawong C&P in Thailand, believes it’s essential to encourage and promote collaboration between legal practitioners and in-house technology experts. “We foster collaboration between our legal professionals and AI developers to ensure that AI tools complement and enhance our talent’s capabilities rather than replace them. By embracing AI as a valuable tool, we empower our talent to deliver higher quality and more efficient legal services,” says Sunyaluck. Chandler MHM’s Jessada thinks the collaboration between law firm technology departments and management is equally important in fostering an AIpowered workplace. “Management needs to be openminded to suggestions on how tech tools can be deployed within the firm. Having the support of an experienced IT department (technology support team) is important as IT professionals can assist management in evaluating the pros and cons of different technologies as well as helping with deployment,” says Jessada. Moreover, “Having a committee of more technologically minded lawyers to advise management can also support the decision-making process to ensure the appropriate adoption of new technologies,” notes Jessada, adding that input from a firm’s specialist departments, including knowledge management, human resources, accounts, and business development can support management in the deployment of tech tools. Tiziana agrees that “demystifying tech advancements” is important to ensure that the in-house IT team, other operations professionals, and lawyers can integrate new tools seamlessly into their daily operations. “This approach not only enhances efficiency but also enriches the client experience, as our team is able to utilise cutting-edge solutions to deliver superior legal services,” she says. HUMAN-CENTRIC Despite rapid advances in technology and AI and the enormous benefits it might boast for legal work, Singapore Big Four Drew & Napier still regards its lawyers as their “most important assets”. Adam Maniam, a dispute resolution director and deputy head of criminal law practice, underscores the “infectious culture” at the firm that helps build a loyal team. “Many of our lawyers are ex-interns who spent four weeks with us as an intern and got exposed to what Drew & Napier lawyers do, and how we do it, and have decided that this is how they would like to practise law. After they join us, many have stayed with us for many years because they continue to want to be part of this culture. The same applies to our other staff, some of whom have been with the firm for more than 30 years,” says Maniam. Jessada of Chandler MHM recognises the vital role workplace culture plays in turbocharging productivity while protecting the mental well-being of employees. “The management team at Chandler MHM is creating a workplace culture which is professional, collaborative, open and supportive. By working together in a supportive manner, we can foster an environment which supports good mental health,” he says. Tilleke & Gibbins is also dedicated to fostering a culture that prioritises the mental wellness of their team. “We CHANDLER MHM COVER STORY