FT Digital Lawyer Conference

24 Sep 2020

Covid-19 has accelerated the digital adoption of consumers and businesses. McKinsey estimate that in eight weeks, digitisation was put forward by five years. No industry or part of the economy is immune. From telemedicine to virtual social events, billions of people changed their behaviours instantaneously. For businesses, it means a change in their basic business models. Sectors such as the legal industry, which has been slow to adopt technology find themselves under tremendous pressure to digitise to adapt to their clients.

FT Digital Lawyers will probe into how the industry is responding to these new pressures, how it is changing the professional dynamic between lawyers and the consumers of their services and what it will mean to be a lawyer post Covid-19.


View from the Top:

Malcom Moore, FT Technology Editor

Opening comments with a view on how the acceleration of digital transformation will affect business and society.  Digital transformation is often mistaken for a better use of technology. However, it represents fundamental shifts to operating and business models and how people behave.


All Things Digital

Speakers: Bidyut Dumra, Head of Innovation, DBS Bank; Chee Kin Lam, SVP and Group Head of Legal and Compliance, DBS Bank

InterviewerStefania Palma, Singapore Correspondent, Financial Times

Over the past decade, DBS turned itself into the leading bank in South East Asia. It went through a digital transformation that saw it radically change its approach to customers, talent, risk and data. It is a world-class example of a business that has successfully put the customer at the heart of everything it does. Mr Dumra and Mr Lam talk about the bank’s transformation, the role that legal and compliance played in enabling it, and what the next five years hold.


The Client-Lawyer Disconnect

SpeakerMark A Cohen, CEO of Legal Mosaic and Chair of the Digital Legal Exchange Interviewer: Kate Beioley, Legal Correspondent, Financial Times

Mr Cohen talks about the implications of the digital economy for the legal profession. He explores how digital trends are deepening the client lawyer disconnect. With a background as a US law firm managing partner, founder and CEO of one of the first legal outsourcing companies, published writer and thought leader, Mark has been at the forefront of changes in the profession over the past 30 years. He examines why law and lawyers are not keeping up with the speed of business and frames the challenge facing the legal industry and ultimately business if the profession does not change.


Client Centricity: From services to experiences

SpeakersPeter Hopp, General Counsel (Commercial Group) Rio Tinto; Dave Edelheit, Head of Digital Transformation, UnitedLex; Christian Storck, Partner, Linklaters

Moderator: Michele DeStefano, Professor of Law, University of Miami, Founder of LawWithoutWalls, Chief Faculty Advisor, Digital Legal Exchange

At the heart of digital transformation in business is the customer experience. Any digital programme begins with focusing on what the customer wants and needs. However, the idea of prioritising the customer experience is still alien to many commercial lawyers. With business becoming digital, the ways of doing business are dramatically changing. Is the legal industry keeping up with business?


Productivity: From inputs to outcomes

SpeakersPeter Bendor Samuel, CEO, Everest Group; Bill Deckelman, General Counsel, DXC Technology; Charlotte Baldwin, Chief Digital Officer, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Moderator: Yasmin Lambert, Senior Partner, RSG Consulting

Putting in a digital transformation programme is hard but measuring its success and sustaining the momentum for change is even more challenging. For lawyers who define themselves on their legal inputs, switching to an outcomes-based approach is even more difficult. Notions of value and success are changing in the legal industry, both for private practice and in-house lawyers. What are the best measurements of success for a corporate legal function? For a law firm? Speed to market has always been a competitive advantage for business and is becoming even more so as businesses digitise. For corporate legal functions, often seen as the business brakes, increasing the velocity at which they work is doubly challenging. What lessons could general counsel learn from other corporate functions who have gone through intensive productivity journeys? And is legal any different from them in terms of how they should measure their productivity? As legal functions change their approach, how are law firms responding?


Digital Journeys: Winners in the Digital Economy

SpeakersBrad Brubaker, Chief Legal Officer, UiPath; Rich Davies, VP Strategic Advisory, DXC Technology and Managing Director, Leading Edge Forum; Jenifer Swallow, Director, LawtechUK

Moderator: Reena SenGupta, CEO, RSG Consulting and Executive Director, DLEX

Digital transformation is a never-ending journey. How can companies and organisations win in this journey? Does it mean constant reinvention? What are the key principles for success? With a career helping to build SAP, the technology company, Mr Brubaker shares why he has moved to another technology start-up, which he believes has the answer to interoperability. Mr Davies works with numerous corporate functions and shares his insights as to what it takes to win in the digital economy.


Digital Alignment: what success looks like

SpeakersFelipe Aragao, Global VP Analytics, AB InBev & Matt Galvin, Head of Compliance & Ethics, AB InBev

Interviewer: Judith Evans, Consumer Industries Correspondent, Financial Times

When AB InBev merged with SAB Miller in 2016, in what was then the biggest M&A transaction in history, it created a brewing behemoth active across 90+ jurisdictions. The challenges to combine the two businesses required fresh thinking and a new approach. The team had to reimagine its back-office functions and become digital quickly.  Unusually, the company decided to target legal and compliance first as a test case for transformation. Together Mr Galvin and Mr Aragao share their story, the lessons they have learned and how Covid-19 is re-prioritising their agenda.


New Age Practitioners

SpeakersJohn Zecca, VP Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer, Nasdaq; Tess Blair, Partner and Head of eData, Morgan Lewis & Bockius; Chris Georgiou, Partner & Head of Ashurst Advance, Ashurst; Gloria Sanchez, Group Legal Vice President, Head of Legal for Technology & Legal Transformation, Santander

Moderator: Reena SenGupta, CEO, RSG Consulting and Executive Director, DLEX

Meet some lawyers working at the intersection of business, law, technology, regulations and design, who are transforming both the practice and business of law to meet the demands of the digital economy. What makes them different? Where do they get their inspiration and what are their visions for the future?


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