Legal Industry CIO Event out on the Sydney Harbour

Leading Legal Industry CIOs Talk All Things LegalTech

CIOs of Leading Australian Law Firm finally reconnect and discuss the next phase of innovation and the latest, smartest legal technology.

The Legal CIO quarterly event was organised by Dylan James, Head of IT, Australia, DLA Piper and graciously hosted by Pious Thomas, Head of Technology of Hall & Wilcox at their beautiful office overlooking the city of Sydney.

For many of the attendees, it was their first in-person event in a while, which was very exciting and timely for the CIO group to reconnect as technology advancements and law firm technology adoption were accelerated over the pandemic period. 

Technology became even more crucial to the success of law firms over this time and firms accelerated their digital transformation programs to adapt to the firm’s remote client engagement and operating models.

During the event, there was recognition that future investment requirements remained for firms to continue with their digital transformation programmes to drive (internal & external) client satisfaction, employee productivity, and operational security.

As per the previous events, special invites were made to innovative legal industry technology and service providers to knowledge share and deliver innovative insights for the group’s consideration.

David Lipworth Rulestar Smarter Drafter

First up was David Lipworth, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rulestar and Smarter Drafter, leading the presentation and subsequently revealing that “there were interesting statistics from the Rulestar and SmarterDrafter’s surveys, revealing that ~26% of lawyers ranked document automation as having the greatest impact on their role and 64% of firms are prioritising client retention and growth for the year ahead.” 

When you consider the aforementioned, it is not surprising that leading law firms are prioritising innovation and technology to further return value to their clients whilst removing redundant work for their lawyers.

Interesting statistics from Rulestar and SmarterDrafter’s survey revealed that 26% of lawyers ranked document automation as having the greatest impact on their role and 64% of firms are prioritising client retention and growth for the year ahead. It is not surprising as leading law firms are prioritising innovation and technology to further enhance value to their clients whilst removing redundant work for their lawyers.

This was a great segway to David showcasing Rulestar, the innovative no-code platform that builds smarter forms and automates sophisticated documents for law firms. The presentation quickly caught the attention of the law firms' CIOs with the impressive features and the next generation 5G document automation technology

David is well versed in this domain as he had been practising law prior at Allens Linklaters, Clifford Chance and Baker McKenzie for 9 years, where he found limitations with the existing technologies and decided to design an easy-to-use, accessible platform for law firms of all sizes, including small to mid-sized law firms. 

It was fantastic to catch up with Andrew McDuff, industry veteran and now Sales Director of Rulestar. We are fully expectant that the expansion of uptake of Rulestar around the globe and SmarterDrafter locally will keep him and Jake Ritchie, Automation consultant very busy over the forthcoming months.

Joshua Rizk Law In OrderFollowing on, Joshua Rizk, eHearings Lead Consultant and Rey Penalosa, Global eHearings Lead Consultant at Law In Order, presented on virtual and hybrid hearings including virtual arbitration solutions, eHearing protocols, monitor setups, conference room layout and virtual platforms. 

In terms of monitor setup, they recommended using 5 screens, for evidence presentation, a video link for attendee engagement, an online hearing book, and real-time transcription. However, it was not a requirement to have this many screens, and could still proceed with dual screens. They had also recommended using a headset for audio clarity and to minimise other noise distractions.

Rey Panalosa Law In Order

For the conference room layout, the U-shaped table setup was recommended. The idea was to have a screen in the middle and have people surrounding the screen. 

They discussed top platforms including Microsoft, webex by Cisco, Zoom and BlueJeans. Surprisingly, BlueJeans had not improved its position whilst being the most used platform for hearings prior to the pandemic. Delving into the details and the features of each platform, they had recommended Zoom having the most admin control features, for example, breakout rooms. 

These recommendations are a reflection of over 350 virtual and hybrid hearings in 2020, over 30 projects ranging from trials, mediations, arbitrations, tribunals, inquiries and Royal Commissions and servicing nine different virtual hearings concurrently including the Disability Royal Commission, the Aged Care Yoal Commission, NSW Casino Inquiry, the COVID-19 Hospital Quarantine Inquiry, the Bushfire Royal Commission and three trials in September 2020. Their hearings team had increased by 30% - which was unsurprising as Joshua and Rey expressed that they were exceptionally busy throughout the pandemic, as law firms were forced to take their hearings online.

Their hearings team had increased by 30%! Also not surprising as Joshua and Rey expressed that they had been exceptionally busy throughout the pandemic, where law firms were forced to take their hearings online on a virtual platform.

As the presentations wrapped up, we made our way to the harbour to continue the event on the InfoTrack yacht, where everyone talked more about more legal technology and innovation happening in the legal sector. 

What an enjoyable event learning about the latest insights into legal technology! 

Access the links for more information on Rulestar, Smarter Drafter and Law In Order.


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