Staying awake for AI

By Dr David Cowan

27 March 2019 at 15:22 BST

Paul Hastings launches artificial Intelligence practice group, bringing in a broad team of legal experts.


Paul Hastings has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) practice group. The firm says AI is already driving ‘tectonic shifts’ in sectors ranging from transportation to consumer technology to healthcare to financial services and insurance.

‘Stay awake issue’

Sarah Pearce, London-based co-chair of the AI practice group at Paul Hastings, says, ‘artificial intelligence was previously thought of as the domain of specialist tech lawyers and only relevant to businesses in certain specific sectors, but it is now impacting all our clients in every industry and the legal issues AI poses require a multi-disciplinary approach. She added, ‘our clients are increasingly identifying AI as a ‘stay-awake issue’ as they advise on corporate initiatives.’ The firms says AI requires general counsel to be ready to support their companies’ product development, strategic acquisitions and partnerships, and data sharing arrangements in the context of uncertain legal frameworks. Lawyers must lean into this innovation to protect clients against risks that are profound and even unprecedented. In order to help navigate these new paths,

Risks and concerns

Robert Silvers, the practice group’s Washington DC-based co-chair explained, ‘the economic and societal benefits of AI will be profound, but so too are the risks and concerns about the impact of automated processes. As companies deploy AI-driven services and products, they need to expect these risks and concerns will manifest in class actions lawsuits, regulatory enforcement, and visceral reputational consequences.  We are launching this practice group to give our clients the confidence to succeed in their business and technology objectives by addressing these concerns head-on and mitigating their potential liability.’ The practice group brings together lawyers with experience in data privacy and cybersecurity; technology transactions; intellectual property and trade secrets; fintech and financial services; employment law; trade controls; class action and complex litigation; and AI governance, safety, and ethics. The team has also this week published a white paper entitled 'Containing Risk and Seizing Opportunity: The In-house Lawyer's Guide to Artificial Intelligence.' which can be found here.


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