Northern Ireland's status as an emerging legal tech hub has led Baker McKenzie announce a global innovation drive and new committee based in Belfast. The firm is looking to import ‘design thinking’ into how it delivers legal services by utilising machine learning.The company has announced the creation of a new global Innovation Committee led by EC member, Erik Scheer and Global Director of Operations, Belfast-based Jason Marty and plans are also afoot to utilize due diligence software to create further efficiencies in the workplace.
Lessons learned from other industries
Mr Marty, who founded the Firm's Global Services Belfast operation, an innovation hub now in operation for two years, said: 'We consider ourselves to be leaders across the main components of innovation in the legal industry - project management, technology, knowledge management, pricing, process engineering, and alternative staffing. This program brings these areas together and adds proven innovation methodologies that other industries have used for some years now.' He explained that the new technology being utilised by the firm was “adept at information location” and could improve lawyer output on due diligence by anything from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. The new team will oversee more than the introduction of new technologies as a task force has already met with VCs, start-ups, and industry players and will be driving an investment strategy in emerging technology.
Northern Ireland is fast gaining a reputation as a leader in legal tech and the UK’s First Legal Innovation Centre is being launched at Ulster University in the coming weeks. Other international firms which have opted for Belfast as their centre of excellence for legal tech include Allen & Overy which has its global IT hub located in Belfast. And Axiom’s Belfast Centre of Excellence leverages the company’s IRIS™ technology to deliver commercial, derivatives and regulatory projects for Fortune 500 clients, while Herbert Smith Freehills’ tech-enabled Belfast operation is the central pillar in the firm’s global alternative legal services offer.