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Singapore’s Legal Sector Adopts AI to Enhance Services

Written by: Aayudh Sen

The legal industry in Singapore is progressively incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise its services, primarily aiming to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction, as stated by Edric Pan, Deputy Managing Partner of Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP.

Pan noted that digitalization, particularly the integration of AI, presents both a challenge and an opportunity for the legal sector as it strives to meet the increasing demand for faster and more comprehensive legal services without compromising on quality.

"We view this to some extent as a challenge, but also as an opportunity to step back, analyse the work we do, and understand the way we do that work, to reinvent ourselves and be prepared to harness this AI wave rather than be swept under by it," he commented.

He highlighted that Dentons Rodyk has embraced AI to automate time-consuming tasks traditionally handled by lawyers, such as document review, due diligence, and basic legal research.

"The discovery process in litigation, basic legal research, can now be automated to some extent. The use of AI to handle such time-intensive work frees up our lawyers to focus on more complex legal tasks, such as deal structuring, strategizing, legal advice, court advocacy, and other types of high-value work," he explained.

Pan also observed an increased budget consciousness among clients, leading to a shift towards capped fee and alternative fee arrangements. This shift requires law firms to rethink their billing and service delivery models.

He emphasised areas experiencing a surge in legal demand, including tax planning, trusts, and family offices. White-collar investigations and crime, international arbitration, and transactional work, especially in corporate restructurings and establishing funds, are also witnessing growth.

"What I would attribute this work to, I would say, to a great extent, is the inflow of funds and investments into Singapore in recent years, and Singapore's growing importance as the global financial center, and linked to this increased scrutiny and enforcement by the authorities," he said.

Additionally, the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sector has also seen increased demand, driven by sustainability and climate-related trends, as anticipated by the company for the past couple of years.

Regarding industries driving the demand for legal services, Pan points to technology, supply chain, logistics, luxury goods, compliance, and the healthcare sector. These sectors require cross-border advice and assistance, an area where Dentons, with its global presence, is well-positioned to deliver.

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