Technology | Breakout: Knowing me, Knowing You: The Data Challenge for the Legal Sector and How Regulators Can Help

This session will focus on three key attributes of data:

Data Availability

Access to data, or individual bits of information, whether about lawyers, clients or cases, is essential for an effective regulator. It also holds the key to the future evolution of legal services, since Artificial Intelligence feeds off data. It is therefore not surprising that AI has so far mainly been developed for areas like high value litigation, or to help large law firms manage their time and costs more effectively – this is where relevant legal data can most readily be obtained. Can regulators help to generate the data that would engage AI on other aspects of the legal sector to greater societal benefit?

Data Comparability

As we live in a globalised world regulators and others increasingly want to look at what is going on elsewhere and understand how standards and qualifications map across borders. Some other sectors have begun to adopt global data standards to help with portability and to facilitate the development of technology solutions to intractable problems. Is there more that legal regulators could do e.g. by creating common understood definitions of key terms or an understanding of how they map across jurisdictions? (e.g. what does being an “of counsel” mean? Do we have a shared understanding of what a law firm is? (if not, does it matter?), do we define or recognise different types of clients? (E.g. a ‘vulnerable’ client – do we mean the same thing?)

Data privacy

There are growing concerns around the world about data privacy in the digital economy. This raises many issues for regulators, especially in a globalised environment where lawyers and law firms cross borders relatively easily. What can we share and how? Does technology offer any potential solutions (e.g. via blockchain).

This session will address the following questions:

  • What role can regulators play in defining, gathering and disseminating data about the legal sector?
  • Is there a cross-border consideration? – how can lawyer regulators develop a shared approach that would increase the pool of data available to technologists about legal services?
  • Is data privacy an obstacle and are the ways to overcome this and improve data sharing and transparency without compromising on key principles?

The objectives of this session are to i) Continue to demystify AI ii) Explore interest in an ICLR project to define/map some commonly used terminology/standards that would assist in the development of AI iii) monitor emerging data privacy issues in regulation


  • Moderator: Alison Hook, Hook Tangaza (United Kingdom)
  • Dr. Ron Pi, Principal Analyst, The State Bar of California (United States)
  • Stephen Ward, Director of Strategy & External Relations, Council of Licensed Conveyancers, (United Kingdom)
  • Ed Fine, Data Scientist, UC Berkeley School of Information (United States)


Oct 28 2020


11:00 - 12:00

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 28 2020
  • Time: 12:00 - 13:00

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