Go paper­less, lawyers en­cour­aged

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - FONUA TALEI Edited by Jonathan Bryce Feed­back: [email protected]­jisun.com.fj

Fi­jian lawyers have been en­cour­aged to em­brace the paper­less jour­ney and col­lab­o­rate with tech­nol­ogy. Sin­ga­pore lawyer Lim Seng Siew said though Sin­ga­pore’s paper­less jour­ney may not be Fiji’s jour­ney, the drivers are the same and with glob­al­i­sa­tion, it af­fects ev­ery­one. Mr Siew pre­sented on the topic “The Law and Le­gal Tech­nol­ogy – our chang­ing work prac­tices.”

He told par­tic­i­pants at this year’s Fiji Law So­ci­ety An­nual Con­ven­tion that “with the ad­vent of in­ter­net, clients have di­rect ac­cess to le­gal in­for­ma­tion and they have be­come more de­mand­ing and knowl­edge­able”.

The con­ven­tion was held this year at the In­terCon­ti­nen­tal Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in Nata­dola.

“In­stead of col­lab­o­ra­tion with other lawyers we should think about col­lab­o­rat­ing with tech­nol­ogy. “Fi­jian com­pa­nies will ex­pand over­seas and clients’ ex­pec­ta­tion will change. Over­seas com­pa­nies will come into Fiji and they have al­ready dealt with such in­no­va­tive le­gal prac­tices,” he said.

Mr Siew who works in a four-lawyer prac­tice, said they had no staff in their firm and out­sourced all work to other com­pa­nies.

“Is ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence the end of lawyers? Is it all doom and gloom? I be­lieve tech­nol­ogy has pushed lawyers to find out the core of lawyer­ing,” he said. “The core of lawyer­ing is to have lawyers with high in­tel­li­gence and emo­tional quo­tients, lawyers who can pro­vide so­lu­tions to client’s prob­lems and out­sourc­ing ev­ery­thing.”

He said his firm OTP Law Cor­po­ra­tion in­vests 15 per cent of their re­turns on tech­nol­ogy. Se­nior lawyer Dor­sami Naidu said in or­der to de­ter­mine Fiji’s plac­ing in terms of le­gal tech­nol­ogy, we have to look at how the lo­cal pri­vate le­gal prac­tices were placed as well as the statu­tory bod­ies.

“Peo­ple think that if we use tech­nol­ogy we will lose jobs, but that is not the case, be­cause jobs are cre­ated as a re­sult,” Mr Naidu said. He said one of the big­gest prob­lems lawyers faced in re­gards to go­ing paper­less was deal­ing with the Ju­di­ciary.

How­ever, he said, the courts were not at fault, but the tra­di­tional sys­tems which were still in place.

“It is not a re­flec­tion on the in­cum­bents. Tech­nol­ogy is not play­ing the part that it is sup­posed to play for us here.”

In­stead of col­lab­o­ra­tion with other lawyers we should think about col­lab­o­rat­ing with tech­nol­ogy. Fi­jian com­pa­nies will ex­pand over­seas and clients’ ex­pec­ta­tion will change. Lim Seng Siew Sin­ga­pore lawyer

Sin­ga­pore lawyer Lim Seng Siew.

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