Foreword by Francesco Gianni

As corporate leaders, in-house counsel are faced with the challenge of determining which new technologies can bring the biggest impact to their operations. As we hear from in-house lawyers and others who have contributed to this survey, AI and other forms of technology can enhance in-house legal departments in many ways: due diligence review, first-draft contract preparation, contract management, legal operation analysis, litigation analysis, legal research and much more. AI can create efficiencies in previously labour-intensive legal processes, and therefore provide counsel with the luxury of time for problem solving and applying legal judgement and analysis.

But the pace with which technologies are developed necessitates a complicated analysis of return on investment, and whatever path is chosen is always done so with risk.

These new processes will certainly influence change within in-house departments and law firms alike. Focusing on where time is best spent and developing a strong base objective is only the tip of the iceberg as these developments continue. Going forward, the legal leaders in organisations will be constantly tasked with seeking technologies that best fit their unique business needs and objectives.

The key for decision makers will be to strategically choose and implement systems and processes that unlock the true potential of their teams, and point the way to the future of their organisations. It will require a change of mindset.

As a strategic business partner to in-house counsel and our members, WSG makes technology and innovation a cornerstone of its core service objectives. With immediate access to distinguished professionals and the real-time sharing of leading-edge information, we support firms and clients in their ability to capitalise on business objectives.

As customers, professionals in and around the legal profession - such as those leaders featured in these pages - will be arbiters of the success, or otherwise, of new tools, applications and services. Professionals such as these are at the helm of this potentially unbounded - yet risky - integration as machines and humans share everyday challenges.

WSG congratulates those who participated in this report, and thanks them for their keen analysis of new technologies - and the future of the industry.

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