4 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – APRIL 2024 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS GORDON OLDHAM, senior partner, Oldham, Li & Nie At the beginning of last year, amidst the rising buzz around ChatGPT, OLN launched a firm-wide survey to hear our staff’s concerns and expectations about AI shaking up the legal industry. We assigned a task force, led by one of our lawyers turned AI guru, to explore the rising technology, with a particular focus on ChatGPT. This task force was responsible for consolidating research, feedback, and suggestions on leveraging how AI could enhance our practice rather than threaten it and bringing to the table some out-of-the-box ideas on working alongside AI. In response to our initial findings and feedback, OLN adopted a cautious approach, informing our staff and clients through newsletters that we were closely monitoring ChatGPT and considered a premature AI integration unwise. This was OLN’s stance last spring. However, I must say the times have since changed. AI is not just knocking; it’s here to stay and become an undeniable part of the future of law. We have since taken significant steps to prepare our team for its integration, including hosting two staff trainings, conducted by a lecturer from HKU and HKUST specialising in AI and Big Data, and a strategic advisor from Google Cloud. These trainings are aimed at equipping our staff with a comprehensive understanding of AI and its practical applications in the legal field. As we inch closer to incorporating AI into our daily operations, our goal is to ensure that our staff is not just well-informed, but also ethically prepared to use these technologies. It’s important to remember that while AI will transform many aspects of legal practice, it cannot replace the “human touch”. Personal interactions, empathy, and soft skills remain at the core of our client relationships. OLN’s vision is to embrace AI as a tool that enhances our legal expertise, allowing us to offer more efficient and innovative solutions to our clients, all the while preserving our unique human touch. AZMUL HAQUE, managing director, Collyer Law At Collyer Law, we acknowledge the transformative impact of generative AI to revolutionise legal practice, and are committed to harness its capabilities to enhance the delivery of exceptional legal services in the digital era. Our approach is one that encompasses three areas: Technology integration, upskilling, and strategic planning. Technology integration: Collyer Law is actively engaging our lawyers in hands-on experimentation with various AI-powered tools tailored for our specific legal workflows. These include platforms for assisting in contract drafting to those that streamline repetitive tasks, enhance accuracy, and boost overall work efficiency. Additionally, efforts are also underway to training an AI chatbot (with a technology partner, exclusively for Collyer Law) on a diet of research materials and proprietary documents, to provide reliable legal responses, ensuring that the chatbot’s outputs are aligned with the firm’s standards and expertise. Upskilling: We recognise the importance of equipping our legal professionals with the knowledge and skills to use AI tools. We organise training sessions for qualified lawyers to become familiar with AI concepts, tools, and best practices. This commitment to continuous learning and innovation fosters a culture where we hope that Generative AI augments our legal expertise, rather than replacing it. FORUM SMALL AND AI-READY Generative AI is ushering in a new era of productivity, and Big Law firms have taken the lead in adopting this groundbreaking technology within the legal industry. However, small and medium-sized law firms are also making efforts to leverage the benefits of Generative AI while closely monitoring potential risks. These firms share with ALB the steps they are taking to efficiently embrace AI and harness its capabilities. WHAT PREPARATIONS ARE YOU CURRENTLY MAKING TO IMPLEMENT GEN AI IN YOUR WORK, INCLUDING THE TRAINING OF LAWYERS? GORDON OLDHAM AZMUL HAQUE VENESSA PHOA