We are lucky to have Milos Kresojevic, Founder of AI.Legal Labs (UK) presenting at the Legal Innovation & Tech Fest in Johannesburg this year. We caught up with him to hear more about his experience in the legal industry and something he’s particularly passionate about – embracing artificial intelligence (AI) in the legal industry.
Milos, we can’t wait to have you on the stage at the Legal Innovation & Tech Fest this year. Tell us a bit about your journey in the legal space. What do you love about working in this industry?
My major legal journey started with Freshfields and American Express. At Freshfields, I started and co-led their innovation effort. The most exciting aspect of this role has been having the ability to make a significant impact on some of the most complex and largest matters in the world. The ability to “play” with the explosive mix of top-end lawyering and the top-end of technology (AI and ML) is a dream come true.
In reality these innovations have resulted in amazing new revenue models and streams for clients, the firm, partners and lawyers. We’ve worked on developing completely new types of legal services and on a completely different scale, not humanly possible. Being a pioneer and part of such the efforts is a privilege and a thrilling experience. For me though, the best part of these new technologies is that they allow for the democratisation of legal services – allowing law firms of any size, as well as society at large to enjoy the benefits.
Legal playing fields are being redrawn and there is a lot of talk about the future benefits of artificial intelligence in the legal industry. What excites you about developments in AI and why should we be embracing this new future as the legal industry?
There are two aspects of AI – the threats and the opportunities. AI is disruptive technology by nature, and that means potential disruption of the value chain of the legal industry altogether. AI-enabled work currently done by lawyers might be performed by smart machines and taken over by your corporate clients, accountants or even – strange as it sounds – regulators (for example, the Roll Royce case in the UK where regulators used AI to audit the case). So you definitely don’t want to be the last one to the game since “legal lunch” might be eaten by some other players. Think of Deloitte, who is starting to enter the legal market. However on opportunity side, law firms and the legal industry should play to their strengths and assess how and where AI can and should extend their strategic play or barrier to entry. Pursue pure AI-strategic play and see where they can create new legal services that never existed, or were previously prohibitively expensive.
What excites me is thinking of “AI as new electricity.” Just think for a moment how industries, lives, quality of life, services and societies at large looked before electricity.
This will be the major shift of the business (and legal) world we live in, how we live and the kind of services we will provide and enjoy. And to be truly outlandish, how about new regulation being generated, reviewed and monitored by smart AI machines…in real time. Or to bring it home for legal firms, smart machines being able to store the legal expertise of your top partners and lawyers, so that you can own, maintain and use their expertise beyond their retirement or tenure within the firm. Let alone predicting profitability or partnership chances of your pool of newly graduated lawyers. That is what I call “new legal.”
Tell us a bit about the AI initiatives you’ve worked on
Two of the most exciting projects have been:
- Using AI for new anti-bribery regulation in Germany. It was first of a kind in the world for training new anti-bribery provisions in a matter of weeks, so we were able to review tens of thousands of documents, previously humanly not possible. Once trained our lawyers were able to acquire a significant new number of clients.
- Using AI on one of the largest class action suits in the world – assessing, categorising claims and court judgements, generation of appropriate arguments and documentation based on automated assessment and all within comprehensive and holistic view of information about claims, claimants, judgements and status across all representative law firms.
What are your top tips for companies/firms looking to embrace “AI here and now!”
My top advice is – for every large and medium client matter/project within your firm, ask yourself how and where AI can help and secondly how would you approach the matter/project if you adopted an AI-first approach from the outset. AI is not supposed to be just the back-office, lab play for techies but an actual major “tool set” for your lawyers and your top current client matters. And don’t just look into doing the same tasks better or faster but asking what other services and value-adds AI can provide to your clients. And that is the point at which your actual AI innovation starts – innovation of client services. AI innovation leads, and is at the core of innovation of client services.
How do AI enabled client services equal value creation for clients and lawyers?
Primarily at the moment, it’s an increase in depth and breadth of legal insights (information), that in turn means an increased depth and breadth of legal advice, legal risk assessment and provision of legal services. For lawyers it means the ability to focus more on the strategic, top end lawyering, expert-level type of work while being able to draw their conclusions from much deeper pool of legal information. It gives the lawyers the ability to take on more high-end lawyering type of work. It moves the lawyer up the legal value chain.
For clients it is the ability to take full advantage of those deeper legal insights based on larger and deeper information pools. And secondly it means cost savings because of the lower cost of automated legal services – a factor that may drive more access to and demand for legal services. In one of the largest matters I was involved in, the estimated savings to the client was measured in millions of euros.
About the Speaker
Milos Kresojevic is the Founder of AI.Legal Labs, and is a thought leader on the use of AI in the legal industry. From Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to IBM Research Lab and Silicon Valley. Milos has an MBA Degree from Columbia University and London Business School and a MSc. Aerospace Engineering from the University of Belgrade.
Milos contributed to the Law Society’s report on “Technology Innovation in Legal Services”, and regularly speaks on AI and Big Law globally – from New York, to London, to Toronto, to Sydney. He is the winner of the 1st European LegalTech Hackathon, and he presented at ICAIL 2017 at King’s College.
Milos’ current primary focus is researching the impact of AI and wider disruptive technologies on Big Law and Access to Justice.