International firm Herbert Smith Freehills has formed a specialist technology team to prepare for what it says is ‘unprecedented change’ in the way lawyers operate.
The digital law group will consist of senior lawyers, in-house and external tech experts and a rotating cohort of solicitors, and will advise on the likes of blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics.
The team will also focus on ‘smart contracts’ – computer code that automatically monitors, executes and enforces a legal agreement–and develop new pieces of legal technology.
The firm claimed that most contracts will be smart in the future so solicitors need to be prepared.
CEO of Herbert Smith Freehills Mark Rigotti said: ‘Our clients are facing significant digital transformation, and so are we. Our people need new skills to be able to provide our clients with the advice they need in this new, evolving business environment.’
Global head of digital law Natasha Blycha said: ‘The next 10 years will see an unprecedented level of change in the way legal services are delivered. The primary tool of our trade – the contract – is being digitised.
‘If we look at the impact the digitalisation of money had on the financial industry and on the economy, we start to get a glimpse of the enormity of the impact we can expect from the digitalisation of contracts.’
The digital law group currently consists of 26 solicitors, eight of who are based in London.