Go paperless, lawyers encouraged
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.