A few hours before the conference “Innovations in the Luxembourg’s Legal World: state of play and perspectives” organized by the startup Predictice, a review of the major players in the Luxembourg legal ecosystem and their respective innovation strategies. Jean-Marc Ueberecken, Managing Partner of Arendt & Medernach talks about how ‘machines’ are helping lawyers become better and do what they can do best.
Photo: Jean-Marc Ueberecken, Managing Partner of Arendt & Medernach / Credits © Arendt & Medernach
With over 350 legal professionals, Arendt & Medernach is Luxembourg’s leading international law firm. What are the key elements of its innovation strategy?
The digital transformation reached the legal world quite late compared to other industries because our work is not numbers based but words based. A word is not a series of numbers because words have different meanings in different contexts.
Clients are more unwilling to pay high prices for what they perceive as “standard” work while asking us to produce it within shorter deadlines. Innovation is the response to these market pressures.
The question is how do we bring a quicker and more cost efficient service to our clients while working in tandem with machines. Or to put it differently, how can machines help us become better lawyers.
We are really looking for pain points. We identify the most repetitive, menial work and digitalise those processes by letting the machines perform these admin and routine tasks.
As a result, lawyers can put their effort towards more high-value tasks that are far more useful for our clients. Let machines do what they can do best and let the lawyers do what we can do best.
In practice, this means that rather than starting with the digital solutions that are out there, we prefer to start thinking about our needs and our clients’ needs.
In order for us to implement one particular legal technology, it should check all these objectives:
- Reduce the time required to complete laborious tasks.
- Allow the lawyer to focus on complex higher value work.
- Assist the lawyer in the decision making to improve outcomes.
- Improve the quality of work through the reduction of errors.
- Create new business opportunities.
We also ask ourselves two questions in order to decide the way forward:
- Do we already offer the services we are looking to digitise or is it a new service for us?
- Is there an external “off the shelf” digital solution available in the market or can we develop a bespoke Arendt solution?
A good example of fully internal innovation is our “Arendt Lit e-gate” platform through which clients can access in real time all the procedural documents which have been filed in their respective court cases, the schedules for submissions, exchanges with the relevant courts, the dates of the hearings, as well as the claimants, respondents, lawyers in charge of the matter for both parties.
In order to accelerate our digital strategy, we very recently took a majority stake in Mobilu, a Luxembourgish company specialised in business processes, digitisation and robotisation.
The law firm was chosen to intervene during the conference “Innovations dans le monde juridique luxembourgeois” organised by the legaltech Predictice on November 25th. How does such an event contribute to the democratisation of law in Luxembourg?
Regarding the access to case law, large law firms currently have two advantages in the litigation process: firstly, because they work on many court cases every year, combined with the fact that such law firms have often been in existence for many years, they have a very large internal database of case law which is not publicly available. Secondly, as many of the cases such firms handle involve large sums of money, clients are generally ready to pay for extensive research in order to give them the edge in the outcome of their court case.
If all Luxembourg case laws become not only publicly available, but can also be accessed and researched through the use of sophisticated (and inexpensive) tools, this will create a “level playing field” for all Luxembourg lawyers in relation to the access of case law.
You have been working with Predictice for several months. What is the added value of such an aid to decision-making in the litigation process?
Unlike other legal search tools, Predictice uses a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence engine to identify in a few seconds the court cases which have the closest links with the search request, as well as the case law which the opposing party might use against your arguments.
Our litigation lawyers do not need to go anymore through hundreds of cases where a specific word appears in the summary in order to determine whether such case can be useful for a specific client matter. Predictice performs this task automatically and filters only the cases which are really relevant.
In addition, Predictice incorporates analytical tools which enhance the strategic decision-making of litigators through the precision of search results – lawyers can narrow their case law research by the outcome of a specific claim or by the amount of damages awarded. This will for example assist in the assessment of whether a client should pursue litigation or agree to a settlement.
Any person who wishes to attend the conference « Innovations dans le monde juridique luxembourgeois : état des lieux et perspectives » shall first register through the following link.