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AI- Threat or opportunity for Lawyers?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a game-changing technology with far-reaching effects on numerous industries. Corporate law is one area where its effects are becoming more apparent. The application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise the practice of corporate law by providing attorneys with strong tools and skills that improve productivity, accuracy, and decision-making. This article will examine how AI is changing corporate law, as well as the advantages, difficulties, and potential future repercussions for legal practitioners and the corporate environment as a whole. Aspects of business law, including contract management, due diligence, legal research, and risk assessment, are being transformed by AI technologies. Examining significant case laws that have impacted and influenced AI's deployment is crucial to comprehending the impact of AI on business law.[1]

AI in the field of Law:

AI-powered contract management systems can make the contract creation process more efficient. These systems analyse templates, common clauses, and pertinent case law using Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods.[2]AI systems may generate contract draughts that are suited to particular requirements by utilising machine learning techniques, greatly decreasing the time and effort needed for manual contract drafting.

  1. Contract Review: AI-based contract management solutions are more efficient than their human counterparts at analysing and reviewing contracts. These systems may automatically extract crucial data from contracts, including parties, dates, obligations, and clauses, by using machine learning algorithms. The efficiency of contract evaluation is increased by this computerised review method, which also increases accuracy and lowers human error rates.

  2. AI-powered contract management tools make it easier to handle contracts effectively throughout their lifecycle. These programmes can keep track of important dates, benchmarks, and contractual responsibilities while sending out automatic warnings and reminders to ensure prompt compliance. Legal practitioners may efficiently handle contract renewals, revisions, and terminations by automating contract lifecycle management, reducing the risk of missed deadlines or non-compliance.

  3. Intelligent legal assistants: AI-driven virtual assistants are able to answer questions, conduct legal research, and offer real-time legal advice. These assistants can be integrated into legal departments of corporations and law offices, giving clients instant access to legal knowledge and improving efficiency.[3]

  4. AI systems are able to extract important details from contracts, examine provisions, and spot potential hazards or non-compliance.[4] Legal practitioners can also benefit from using AI-powered negotiating tools to analyse negotiation tactics, forecast results, and improve contract conditions.

  5. Data Security and Privacy: AI can help to ensure compliance given the increased focus on data protection and privacy laws. AI algorithms are capable of scanning and analysing data to find potential flaws, reduce security threats, and improve data privacy controls within organisations.

  6. Litigation Support: AI technology can help with a variety of litigation-related tasks, such as e-discovery, case analysis, and outcome prediction. AI-powered systems are able to sort through voluminous electronic documents, find pertinent evidence, and retrieve documents easily.

  7. Regulatory Compliance: By automating data collection, processing, and reporting, AI can make regulatory compliance operations more efficient. AI systems can notify legal professionals of potential compliance gaps by constantly monitoring regulatory developments and assisting with the implementation of appropriate solutions.

  8. Enhanced Decision-Making: Based on data analysis, AI can offer legal practitioners insightful information and forecasts. Lawyers may design successful strategies, make informed choices, and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of alternative courses of action by utilising AI's capacity to analyse enormous volumes of information.

A study based on foreign case laws.

Ross Intelligence

The use of Ross Intelligence, a platform for AI-powered legal research, is a noteworthy case study illustrating the influence of AI on corporate law. Ross Intelligence analyses enormous amounts of legal information and offers thorough research findings using natural language processing and machine learning methods. By entering particular legal inquiries, Ross can produce pertinent statutes, rules, and case law, greatly accelerating the legal research procedure.[5] Ross Intelligence has been used by legal professionals who report significant time savings and improved accuracy in their research duties. Based on its study of the material, the AI system may quickly find pertinent precedents, unearth concealed relationships between cases, and develop legal arguments. This illustration demonstrates how AI innovations like Ross Intelligence have revolutionised legal research and made it possible for legal practitioners to operate more productively and effectively.

Kira System

An AI-powered platform called Kira Systems automates the extraction and analysis of crucial clauses from legal contracts. The platform uses machine learning algorithms to recognise and extract crucial data from a variety of contracts, including employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and mergers and acquisitions agreements. This technology shortens the time and effort needed for manual contract evaluation by enabling legal experts to review and analyse contracts more quickly. With the aid of artificial intelligence (AI), Kira Systems is able to pinpoint certain clauses, conditions, and crucial terms in contracts, producing a structured and organised summary of their contents.[6] This data can be used by lawyers to evaluate risks, spot potential problems, and streamline contract administration procedures. Legal teams now manage massive amounts of contracts differently because to the usage of AI, which has led to considerable time and money savings.

IBM Watson in Legal Discovery

Legal discovery has benefited from the use of IBM Watson, an AI system with cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities. During a court case, legal discovery entails the identification, gathering, and analysis of pertinent electronic documents and data. Traditional manual discovery procedures are labour- and time-intensive, necessitating thorough document analysis by legal experts.

Legal discovery can be expedited and automated by utilising AI technologies like IBM Watson. The sophisticated algorithms behind Watson can analyse enormous volumes of data, spot patterns, and categorise documents according to their relevance and substance. As a result, the discovery process is greatly accelerated, costs are decreased, and accuracy is increased by reducing human biases and errors. In numerous legal matters, including extensive litigation and regulatory investigations, IBM Watson has been used. It has proven to be effective at handling difficult document review duties, freeing up legal experts to concentrate on more high-level strategic analysis and decision-making.

State of Ohio v. Loomis[7]

The use of AI algorithms in sentencing determinations was highlighted by the State of Ohio v. Loomis case. A proprietary AI algorithm called COMPAS (Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions), which calculated the likelihood of recidivism, was contested by the defendant. The court ruled that while AI algorithms can be a tool to help with sentencing judgements, they cannot be the only factor in deciding how much time a prisoner would spend in prison.[8] This case demonstrated that the use of AI in legal decision-making processes requires accountability and openness.

United States v. Zarrab [9]

E-discovery, which entails the identification, gathering, and production of electronically stored information in court proceedings, played a critical part in this case. This case demonstrated the benefits of AI's efficiency and accuracy in managing complicated litigation issues, which eventually had an impact on the expense and duration of discovery in corporate law cases.[10]

Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc. [11]

In this case, the alleged theft of trade secrets pertaining to self-driving car technology was at the centre of the dispute. Due to the extensive analysis of technical data and algorithms employed in autonomous car technology, AI played a significant role in this scenario. The court acknowledged the value of AI expertise in comprehending and assessing the technology at the centre of the controversy. This case demonstrated the increasing demand for legal professionals to be knowledgeable and skilled in AI to manage AI-related conflicts.[12]

North Carolina State Bar v. LegalZoom Inc.[13]:

The court addressed the question of AI-powered online legal service providers and the unauthorised practise of law in the case. The court decided that as long as AI technology is utilised to support and help legal practitioners rather than to replace them, it does not amount to the unauthorised practise of law. The significance of maintaining a balance between human expertise and AI technologies in the delivery of legal services was brought home.

Balancing Human Expertise and AI

A new era of effectiveness and innovation has begun as a result of the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) in corporate law. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have enormous potential for automating repetitive operations, analysing enormous amounts of data, and giving legal professionals insightful information. To ensure ethical concerns, uphold accountability, and safeguard the fundamental principles of the legal profession, a balance must be struck between human competence and AI technologies. The repetitive and time-consuming operations that are prone to mistakes or inconsistencies when done manually are tasks that AI systems excel at tackling.[14] In the fields of document review, contract analysis, and compliance monitoring, AI-powered tools can greatly improve productivity. Legal practitioners can concentrate their knowledge on more intricate and strategic issues by automating these procedures in corporate law.

Despite the advantages, it's critical to recognise AI system limitations. AI relies on algorithms and previous data to function; therefore, it might not always take into account unforeseen events or new legal interpretations. AI systems now lack the critical thinking, contextual awareness, and ethical judgement that human legal experts currently possess. To address complicated legal challenges, understand intricate rules, and use professional judgement, it is crucial to maintain human competence in corporate law.

In the world of legal advice and decision-making, it is especially important to strike a balance between human competence and AI. The rapid development of AI technologies will call for clear governance and regulatory frameworks. Liability for AI-generated choices, responsibility for AI system flaws, and the moral application of AI in corporate law are just a few of the challenges that legal experts and legislators must address. For the ethical and responsible use of AI systems, it will be essential to strike a balance between innovation and regulation. AI creates ethical questions, particularly in relation to issues like prejudice, justice, and openness. Biases contained in the data may be inherited by AI systems as they learn from prior data, potentially producing unfair results. In order to prevent unintentional discriminatory impacts, legal professionals must address these biases, maintain openness in AI decision-making processes, and take adequate measures for protection against these. The ethical and efficient integration of AI technology depends on striking a balance between human competence and AI in business law. Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) has many advantages in terms of productivity and efficiency, it cannot replace the complex reasoning and contextual awareness that legal professionals bring to the table.[15]

Adv. Kesiya Biju, B.Com, LL.B,

Associate, Artis Law House

Reference [1] A comprehensive guide to due diligence issues in mergers and acquisitions Forbes, [2] Raising the bar on contract management with ai The Wall Street Journal, [3] Best AI for legal research | Thomson Reuters, [4] Ebrevia Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN), [5] Three ways law firms can use artificial intelligence Law Technology Today, [6] How Kira Works How Kira Works | Kira Systems, [7] State of Ohio v. Loomis, 2019 Ohio 2576 (Ohio Ct. App. 2019) [8] Using algorithms to determine sentencing may reduce the length of prison sentences, and increase use of evidence-based Rehabilitative Programs Vanderbilt University, [9] United States v. Zarrab, 15 Cr 867 (RMB) (S.D.N.Y. Jun. 16, 2016) [10] Government oversight in managing risks of AI in health care Reuters, [11] Waymo LLC v. Uber Techs., Inc., No. C 17-00939 WHA (N.D. Cal. Jan. 29, 2018) [12] The lawsuit that could rewrite the rules of ai copyright The Verge, [13], Inc. v. N.C. State Bar, 2015 NCBC 96. [14] Task automation: Types of tasks that can be automated and how to automate them Project and Team Management Software, [15] How artificial intelligence is transforming the world Brookings, (last visited May 17, 2023)

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