June 5th: Leigh Day's Bold Transformation

Leigh Day law firm embraces inclusivity, allowing non-legal staff to become partners. Cultural competency skills are emphasized for attorneys. Contract management software leads to legal tech usage. AI limitations and certification debated.

Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for June 5th, covering what happened in legal tech from June 2-4.

TLDR; Listen instead:

Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday

  1. Embrace inclusivity and collaborative governance: Leigh Day's conversion to an Alternative Business Structure (ABS), allowing non-legal staff members to become partners, highlights the importance of inclusivity and involving diverse perspectives in decision-making processes. Legal knowledge workers should consider adopting similar practices to foster an inclusive and collaborative work environment.
  2. Approach generative AI implementation cautiously: Before implementing generative AI tools within legal departments, it is crucial to have robust systems and processes in place. Starting with smaller tasks, such as non-disclosure agreements or third-party contracts, allows for controlled integration and mitigates potential risks. By taking a measured approach, legal professionals can effectively leverage the benefits of generative AI.
  3. Streamline contract processes with contract management technology: The widespread utilization of contract management software by in-house legal departments underscores its effectiveness as a legal tech tool. To optimize contract processes, legal knowledge workers should explore contract lifecycle management (CLM) technology. By leveraging CLM technology more efficiently, professionals can enhance contract management practices and improve overall efficiency.

In recent legal technology news, Leigh Day, a prominent law firm, has converted to an Alternative Business Structure (ABS), allowing non-legal staff members to become partners and contribute to the firm's decision-making processes. This move signifies a shift toward inclusivity and collaborative governance. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on cultural competency skills among attorneys, as they aim to serve a diverse population better and bridge the access to legal services gap. Understanding different cultures, languages, and traditions, building inclusive teams, and utilizing translator services are crucial to achieving cultural competency.


A panel at the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) Global Institute emphasized the importance of having robust systems and processes in place before implementing generative AI tools within legal departments. Rushing into using such tools without integration and control measures can lead to unfavorable outcomes. The recommendation is to start with smaller tasks, like non-disclosure agreements or third-party contracts, to mitigate risks and ensure proper controls. This cautious approach allows legal departments to harness the benefits of generative AI effectively.

The Association of Corporate Counsel and Exterro conducted a report that revealed contract management software as the most widely used legal technology among in-house legal departments. With 65% of departments utilizing it, contract management technology is also considered the most effective legal tech tool. This finding underscores the significance of streamlining contract processes for in-house legal professionals. Moving forward, 76% of respondents expressed their intent to leverage contract lifecycle management (CLM) technology more efficiently.


The incidents involving false citations resulting from the use of AI tools for legal research have raised concerns about the limitations and risks associated with relying solely on AI for legal information. Both a Litigant in Person in the UK and a lawyer in the USA experienced issues with inaccurate legal citations after using ChatGPT for research. These incidents highlight the need for education and awareness regarding the limitations of AI tools in the legal profession. Lawyers and users must exercise caution and understand that AI tools like ChatGPT should be used as aids, not replacements, for legal research.

In response to the challenges posed by generative AI in court proceedings, a federal judge in Texas has introduced a certification process for lawyers using such technology. This new rule mandates that lawyers file a certificate confirming that any language generated by AI was checked for accuracy by a human using authoritative legal sources. While this certification process aims to address concerns over fake case citations, some lawyers argue that the focus.

Key stories

Knowledge management called key to avoiding generative AI disasters (Legal Dive - Latest News)

Legal departments are being urged to establish safeguarding systems and processes before introducing generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools. This advice came after a lawyer using one such tool submitted a federal personal injury lawsuit that included fake cases. Enterprises are especially vulnerable to false AI information. They must create controls and knowledge management protocols to validate the accuracy of the information and provide supervisors with confidence in the software's performance. Generative AI, which is based on the use of language rather than data that can be processed by traditional machine learning processes, is set to become ubiquitous in law firms, particularly relating to contracts. Legal department members report AI contract management is already 20 times more efficient than time-consuming data manipulation processes.

CLM software has become most used in-house legal tech, survey finds (Legal Dive - Latest News)

According to a report from the Association of Corporate Counsel and Exterro, contract management software has become the most commonly used legal technology among in-house legal departments, with nearly two-thirds now utilizing it. The report highlighted that 65% of legal departments use contract management software, up by 14 percentage points from two years ago. The report found that in-house legal professionals also rate the software as the most effective legal tech tool. The other three categories of legal software used by more than half of legal departments are legal research, e-billing, and document repository. Additionally, almost half of the respondents whose organizations are considering purchasing new technology in the next year stated they would invest in contract management technology, down by 10% compared to two years ago, likely due to an uptick in purchases in the past two years.

All stories

Leigh Day IT director James Harrison among four business heads to make partner following ABS conversion (Legal IT Insider)

Leigh Day has appointed four business heads as partners after converting to an Alternative Business Structure. The move away from a traditional partnership will allow non-legal staff members to become partners and have more input into how the firm is run. The new partners are IT and facilities director James Harrison, finance director Gurveer Virdi, head of professional ethics and risk management Viviana Marcus, and HR director Fiona Allen.

How Cultural Competency Can Open New Markets for Attorneys (Attorney at Work)

Attorneys must develop cultural competency skills to serve a growing diverse population and close the access to legal services gap. This includes understanding and respecting different cultures, languages, and traditions, as well as building diverse and inclusive teams. To increase cultural competency, attorneys can be curious and candid, build community, broaden their language, bring in translators and translator services, and hire diverse and inclusive teams.

Litigants in Person and ChatGPT (The Time Blawg)

A Litigant in Person in the UK used ChatGPT to research the law resulting in false citations being put before the court. This follows a similar incident involving a lawyer in the USA. The incidents highlight the need to educate users about the limitations and dangers of using AI tools like ChatGPT for legal research.

Judges and ChatGPT (The Time Blawg)

A federal judge in Texas has introduced a certification process for lawyers who use generative AI in court following incidents of fake case citations being produced by the technology. The judge's rule requires lawyers to file a certificate on the docket to confirm that any language drafted by generative AI was checked for accuracy by a human being using authoritative legal sources. The move has been criticized by some lawyers, who argue that the issue is not with AI but with lawyers failing to master legal research.

Fringe Legal #82: Unveiling the Impact of ChatGPT Plugins on Legal Tech (Fringe Legal)

Fringe Legal is launching a new experiment next week (psst, you're reading it!). Additionally, Fringe Legal has published a micro report on ChatGPT Plugins, discussing the significance, risks, predictions, and opportunities of extending ChatGPT's capabilities with plugins for the legal profession.