LawFest 2018 – Preparing the legal profession to deliver legal services for today & the future

New Zealand’s legal innovation and technology LawFest event on 8 March attracted over 250 legal professionals from across the country.

The event has come a long way since its beginnings 6 years ago. It is now the must do New Zealand legal conference of the year, as more legal professionals look to learn more about innovation and leveraging technology to help deliver legal services, both for today and the future.

At a time where there is more pressure on organisations and law firms to operate more efficiently and effectively, LawFest explores the opportunities of innovation through leveraging technology. It provided the opportunity to learn about what innovation looks like, and the innovative practices others are adopting in this fast changing and disruptive area.

The Highlights

Keynote speaker Sir Ray Avery, described by attendees as an “inspiring and motivational start to the day”, led the line-up of over 20 speakers including Mai Chen, Craig Columbus, David Harvey, Caroline Ferguson, Claudia King and many more.

The programme provided leading practical examples of what is happening, encouraging creative thinking, collaboration and leveraging technology to enable innovation. Topics explored included cyber-security, blockchain, AI, tech and law-firm partnerships, innovating as an in-house lawyer, the business of law during changing times, and looking at disruption as ‘normal’, as well as Craig Columbus’ real time live hacking example !

In addition to the thought-provoking and educational plenary sessions, an exciting addition was the introduction of four practical and engaging workshops, with the opportunity to discuss and get deeper into topics of interest. Workshops were on In-house innovation, People process & technology, Is Disruptive Legal Practice the New Normal? and Technology for Law, ADR and practice. These workshops were expertly facilitated by Caroline Ferguson, Terri Mottershead, Lloyd Gallgaher, Sarah Taylor and Stephen Mullins.

LawFest culminated with the highly entertaining Annual LawFest Debate, where students and alumni from Otago and Auckland University debated “That technology has rendered law degrees obsolete”. New Zealand’s leading technology Judge David Harvey expertly adjudicated the debate, where Otago University came out victors.

The MC for the day was renown Australian law firm CEO Warrick McLean from Coleman Greig, who kept all informed and entertained.

The opportunity to see the solutions…

A large part of LawFest is bringing together legal professionals with the technology providers, where delegates can see the products and services available in the exhibition hall. This year the event attracted the greatest number of providers of legal technology, many of which are new players in this quickly evolving industry.

LawFest 2018 also created its first ‘innovation zone’ showcasing many new tech businesses just starting out. Delegates had the opportunity to interact with providers into the legal industry throughout the day, as well as network with those from other firms.

Be part of what LawFest has to offer

LawFest continues to lead the way in New Zealand in raising awareness and preparing the profession for what comes next.

After the success of LawFest 2018, LawFest 2019 is back again in Auckland on 21 March 2019. There is a limited time 2 for 1 ticket offer to encourage even more legal professionals with an interest in innovation and technology.

The NZ Legal Technology Index and the LawFest membership are both fantastic new initiatives. The membership enables greater access to anyone interested in learning more about innovation and leveraging technology, whilst the index enables legal professionals to explore and connect with the right people and right technology to solve business challenges, to help deliver legal services more efficiently.

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