Microsoft, Ford GCs among in-house teams collaborating on generative AI initiative

Factor’s The Sense Collective project seeks to accelerate AI adoption in corporate legal departments

Generative AI could transform how corporate legal departments operate Shutterstock

A group of general counsel from companies including Microsoft, Ford and Anglo American have banded together with alternative legal services provider Factor to launch an initiative to promote the use of generative AI in corporate legal departments.

The project, known as The Sense Collective, aims to do this through a combination of community and collaboration, helping in-house teams navigate the rapid pace of change that AI is fuelling through collective insights and knowledge sharing. The initiative will kick off officially in March, though membership of the group is limited to maximise engagement among the initial cohort.

Varun Mehta, Factor’s CEO, said the initiative is “a unified stride towards transforming enthusiasm for GenAI into targeted, impactful applications in corporate legal work. It’s about channelling our efforts, sharpening our shared insights and accelerating the journey from concept to practical application”.

The initiative aims to provide a shared framework to support in-house teams on that journey and foster a fast, adaptive learning-style environment for organisations to quickly embrace opportunities created by generative AI through executive workshops, co-development projects and a range of member services.

Mike Haven, head of global legal operations at Intel, one of the member firms, said: “Instead of each organisation expending effort and tackling the same questions in isolation, we’re collaborating to find practical, expedited solutions, dispel hype from reality, and go far together.” 

Other companies among the initial group of GCs include DXC, Adobe and Crowdstrike.

Factor’s global head of insights and innovation, Ed Sohn, said: “The Sense Collective is about moving from a swirl of discussion to tangible action, focusing on real-world adoption challenges like strategic planning, use case development and reliable intelligence about the state of the art. The Sense Collective is a call for like-minded GCs to rally together, assembling to ensure that business as usual does not cause this moment to pass us by.” 

A report by Thomson Reuters in June last year found that more than half of in-house lawyers (54%) believe generative AI tools can help with legal work, with around one in 10 corporate counsel at the time already using or planning to use Open AI’s ChatGPT tool to assist them on matters. Another report from LexisNexis also found that the majority of in-house teams (70%) expect their external counsel to use cutting-edge tech like generative AI, whereas only 55% of external counsel believe their clients want them to be using such tools.

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