As Lexpo – The Legal Innovation Event returns in 2023 after a three-year hiatus, showcasing the latest trends in legal innovation in Continental Europe, CEELM spoke with Dentons Europe Director of Innovation and Member of Lexpo's Advisory Board Andrea Miskolczi to gain an insight into the current state of technology and innovation in CEE, and what the event's attendees have to look forward to.
CEELM: To start with, how would you describe the current state of innovation in CEE in recent years?
Miskolczi: Overall, the pandemic played a role as a catalyst in adopting technology. While its impact was not as strong as we had anticipated, there has been steady and somewhat slow progress in this regard. There have been some positive changes such as an increase in remote work-related tools and the popularity of collaboration and electronic signatures solutions, but there is still room for improvement in the adoption of technology.
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around ChatGPT, as well as large language models/generative AI technologies in general. This has generated a huge curiosity, and I believe that this is momentum for other types of technologies, rather than traditional automation solutions like document automation or low-code project management platforms, to also attract new interest. However, with this buzz comes a fear of AI and that might also affect technology adoption in general. Fear is never a good motivator to try something out.
CEELM: Under the current circumstances, what are the specific strategies adopted by your firm – Dentons – to remain up to date with modern technology trends?
Miskolczi: At Dentons in Europe, we are leveraging this newfound interest to discuss other software solutions as well. There are many tools that our lawyers can use immediately. In connection with large language models/generative AI tools, instead of hastily jumping on board with the first available solutions, we aim to approach this strategically. We are testing key solutions, evaluating when and where we can optimize investments, and carefully considering how we can access technology and what our ideal technology portfolio should look like in the future.
Moreover, we will examine how we can use legal data and whether we need to clean and prepare it for making the most of these technologies. We will also determine the necessary skills and training that lawyers require and assess the future composition of teams. Our approach is not limited to just three or four alternatives. Instead, we aim to take a step back and consider our firm and industry as a whole. This includes examining what it means and identifying steps we can take regarding people, processes, data, and technology.
CEELM: In what ways could Lexpo assist legal professionals in addressing the present challenges?
Miskolczi: To begin with, the conference, scheduled on June 12-13 in Amsterdam, will showcase a plethora of available legal tech software solutions. Lexpo presents an excellent opportunity to explore the market, both in terms of vendors and workshops. Additionally, we will have several interesting presentations and panel discussions about some of the hottest topics. For example, we will host sessions on generative AI, discuss the role of leaders in ensuring successful technology adoption, and there will be very relevant sessions on legal operations or cybersecurity.
It's worth noting that the event isn't solely focused on law firms. There will be several sessions dedicated to in-house legal departments, covering both similar and distinct topics. Lexpo's international nature is also a significant advantage, as it provides a platform for attendees from Spain to Warsaw, and other locations across Europe to participate in the conference. Thus, Lexpo is an excellent opportunity to connect with professionals from different countries and engage in meaningful discussions about the latest legal technology developments.
CEELM: How would lawyers from CEE gain advantages from participating in the event?
Miskolczi: The conference doesn't have a specific regional focus, but rather an international one that could be of interest to CEE participants. Attending Lexpo provides an opportunity to learn about the latest developments, what other market participants are doing, and the vendors and topics available. Unlike conferences held in New York or London, where the software provided might not be available beyond the country, attendees from CEE will leave with a better understanding of both general and specific software and tasks, making it an international yet practical event.