This week The Sunday Times' Oliver Shah has looked into the potential impact of automation on the legal profession.
This followed the news that Trinova Real Estate turned down an attractive property deal because the office block was leased to a regional law firm. Trinova was concerned about the threat of automation to the legal profession, saying it wasn't certain that law firms in their current guise would even exist in 15 years' time, because of the rise of artificial intelligence.
For further insight into how new technology may affect the legal profession, take a look at our Recruitment to Robots report, based on a survey of the top 200 UK law firms. Its findings show that law firms see investment in technology as having the best prospects of boosting their profitability.
It was the kind of property that changes hands every day: an office block in Newcastle, leased to a firm of regional lawyers for 15 years. Priced at £10m and offering an annual return of more than 6%, it should have been attractive. But one of the prospective bidders, Trinova Real Estate, turned it down straight away. Trinova was not concerned about Brexit or the local economy but the potential impact of automation on the legal profession. The property company’s bosses had been following the work of Mike Lynch, the controversial tech entrepreneur whose portfolio of investments includes a machine learning start-up used by the magic circle law firm Slaughter and May to process deal paperwork.