09 December 2019 at 16:37 BST

GCs to face 'uncharted' AI challenges, report warns

Lex Mundi sets out risks posed for in-house lawyers by AI's 'profound impact'

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to add ‘new layers of complexity’ to the already challenging role of general counsel, according to a new report. GCs are set to face ‘uncharted’ AI problems across a range of areas including intellectual property, product development and antitrust, the report by the leading law firm network Lex Mundi warns.

The report – Big Data and Big Brother – was produced in association with LexisNexis and summarises sessions held at the network’s annual conference in Amsterdam.

Profound Impact

It warns of AI’s ‘profound impact’ on human relationships that ‘cuts to the very foundations of the social contract that underpins legal institutions’.

GCs are advised to improve governance by adjusting the make-up of boards to comply with data regulation laws and introduce ethical and governance frameworks.

The report warns that companies will have to overhaul their compliance programmes due to increased demands from regulatory authorities.

And it predicts in-house lawyers will need to ‘get involved in product development, in order to anticipate new regulatory exposure’ as well as hiring in data science specialists.

Complexity

‘Increasingly General Counsel are called upon to guide boards, C-suites, co-workers, and the public through new ethical and legal complications about targeting customer sets, diligence on supply chain partners, personnel decisions, and risk,’ says the report. ‘AI, and the politics around it, adds new layers of complexity to the very challenging role of the general counsel.'

Contributors to the report include Morrison & Foerster partner John E Smith, former director of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control,  David O’Sullivan, former European Union Ambassador to the United States and COO, European External Action Service, and Alexander Birnstiel, a partner at German firm Noerr.

The summit was held in May.

 
   
 
 
 

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