In-house lawyers master many tools as their employers seek know-how across all sectors.
While many law firms are planning for their roles to be transformed by technology, that transition is already taking hold in their clients’ legal teams. “Our customers are changing, and the whole business is changing, so legal also needs to change,” says Rebecca Lim, general counsel at Westpac, the Australian banking group. Some industries are feeling the pressure more acutely than others. The top four in-house teams in this year’s Financial Times Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers report are drawn from financial services and ecommerce businesses where technology is having a dramatic impact. Technology is changing faster than the law and regulatory guidance in many cases. Much of the legislation covering banks, for example, was passed before recent technological innovations in the sector were even dreamt of. For instance, many customers now bank exclusively online and they expect the bank to connect the data it holds on them in order to provide a seamless service. In response, Westpac plans to expand its legal, secretariat and compliance team over the year to around 300 people. In doing so, Ms Lim is bringing in new skills by hiring recruits who have not necessarily followed the traditional law firm career path.
Read the full article at FT site.