Legal giant Rajah & Tann Asia has set up a digital arm - Rajah & Tann Technologies (RTT) - to offer a suite of technology-enabled legal solutions including electronic discovery, cyber security and data breach response.
The company, officially launched yesterday, harnesses artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology to deliver legal services digitally.
"They are leading by example and showing an unanticipated way for traditional giants to transform themselves," said High Court Justice Lee Seiu Kin, who chairs the Singapore Academy of Law's (SAL) industry-wide Future Law Innovation Programme. "We have one of the biggest law firms in Singapore venturing out into new business models because to stand still is to be left behind. In tune with the latest in innovation, they have spawned a digital twin."
Justice Lee was speaking at the launch event where RTT and SAL Ventures, an SAL subsidiary, also signed a deal to launch a certification programme for e-discovery management.
RTT will develop and deliver the four-module training course.
Discovery is a pre-trial process in civil lawsuits where one party can obtain evidence from the other. Traditionally a labour-intensive process involving many lawyers and man-hours, discovery can now be done electronically by AI-driven machines trained to identify and extract relevant information in a matter of hours rather than months, slashing time and costs.
The specialist e-discovery certification course is the first of its kind in Asia and also aims to equip participants with the skills for cross-border expertise, and position Singapore as a regional hub for e-discovery projects.
BLAZING A TRAIL
We have one of the biggest law firms in Singapore venturing out into new business models because to stand still is to be left behind. In tune with the latest in innovation, they have spawned a digital twin.
HIGH COURT JUSTICE LEE SEIU KIN, on Rajah & Tann Asia.
According to a 2017 report by US research firm Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide e-discovery market is expected to be worth $11.6 billion by 2020, with the Asia-Pacific a major player.
RTT chief operating officer Michael Lew said: "E-discovery multi-lingual managed review is possibly one of the fastest-growing areas in the legal gig economy that offers unprecedented flexibility and rewarding income while working from virtually anywhere at any time."
His SAL counterpart and SAL Ventures executive director Paul Neo said that continuing professional development "is key to helping our legal professionals stay ahead of the game".
Rajah & Tann Asia chairman Lee Eng Beng stressed that the technology will not replace "our lawyers and other fee earners" but "will help us stay at the vanguard of change in a rapidly changing world".