It’s Been 20 Years
3Cs 100th meeting with 5 speakers hosted by international law firm Taylor Wessing. 3Cs Community grew out of Investors in Industry (3i) formerly known as Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation providing finance for management buy outs in the 1980s. Now privatised as 3i Group, it has a Stock Market value of £1.5 bn. But the minimum deal at 3i is £2 million. Fine if a business is established, but no help to your one man/one woman business which may only exist on paper.
Fed up with turning away entrepreneurs with good ideas, three assessors (whose names all start with C) start a group for these smaller businesses who need basic advice in getting their ideas ready for investors.
Artificial Intelligence – on trial soon
First speaker is co-founder lawyer/mediator Chris Parr formerly with Collyer Bristow when he previously presented at 3Cs in 2013. Now freelance, his presentation takes us through the history of our legal system and his vision for the future which involves AI. Why put artificial intelligence into the process? To improve accessibility.
Our laws spring from our rulers and if you have those, then you may wish to approach them for justice. Listening to long complicated arguments takes time and monarchs unsurprisingly delegate this to other trusted people with the creation of assizes, judges and travelling magistrates. Judges become powerful people standing between the us and the people who make and enforce the law. Along the way is Magna Carta (two versions 1215 and 1225) where a key provision is that someone cannot be arbitrarily imprisoned at the whim of the ruler, there has to be a proper legal process.
But this costs money and if you do not have the funds to hire a lawyer/advocate your chances of getting justice are reduced. Legal Aid budgets are now £1.5 bn (2016) compared to £2.6 bn in 2005 but if inflation is taken into account, then knock off another 38%. This leads to more people presenting their own cases. You can make a claim in the Small Claims Court for example, where fees start at £25 online and £35 using paper forms.
The Law Store
AI can be used for: Conveyancing, Divorce, Wills and Probate, Trusts and Tax. Not so good for: Emotional stuff (divorce?) Child issues in Divorce, complex litigation and complex family affairs. Eventually “humanity” will be programmed into robots – originally a Czech word meaning forced labour. Roll forward to 2018 and you have a BBC documentary Sex Robots and Us so perhaps robot lawyers are not so far fetched.
Chris’s plug in and play model The Law Store envisages “real lawyers” in the process with payment by credit card. But human intervention is only really required once all the data has been entered. Similarly, current mortgage applications are now done online and if one part is incomplete, the application will not be processed.
In the same way that digital music has not completely replaced vinyl, AI will not completely replace real lawyers but a lot of routine stuff can be automated. Having a real lawyer is not always a blessing either – humans make mistakes and having a lawyer involved is not a guarantee of success – detailed in Chris’s previous presentation at 3Cs To Protect the Guilty
Next 3Cs Meeting Wednesday 10th October at Marks and Clerk