The faces of change

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Evolving and adapting

Our cover story for this issue, The face of legaltech, explores the booming industry of technology that has sprouted up to support the legal profession, mostly since the onslaught of the now subsiding global pandemic forced a brutal adjustment in tech adoption due to lockdowns and isolation. The genie is now well and truly out of the bottle and the seemingly relentless and rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) along with major advances in legaltech software and hardware can mean law firms face some tough questions on cost, reliability and security, among other issues.

Our feature explores the very latest in legaltech being adopted by law firms and general counsel, along with their appraisals. After all, an expensive piece of legaltech kit is not much good if it cannot evolve with prevailing technology.

The faces of change
Volume 8, Issue 2
Asia Business Law Journal

As always, technology providers are working to develop the tools they hope will become indispensable to legal professionals. They entice law firms to buy their software if “being wrong is not an option”, promising that lawyers can “retrieve key information in a matter of minutes” and harness “powerful administrative software” to “manage their workflow process efficiently”.

But some lawyers point out that more consultation needs to be done with lawyers to tailor tech solutions appropriately. “Persons who design programs generally have no understanding of law,” observes one.

Whether you’re a big outfit set on developing your own AI systems, or a boutique debating whether to take the plunge on affordable and user-friendly legaltech solutions, this article is a must read.

In Pillar Two: Setting the web, we explore the latest developments around the region in response to the OECD’s framework for international tax reform known as BEPS 2.0, which intends to achieve a more equitable distribution of taxation rights over the revenues of large multinationals, and to establish a global minimum tax rate.

Pillar two of this reform establishes a global minimum tax rate (at least 15%) and targets large groups with a global turnover of more than EUR750 million in order to combat BEPS (tax base erosion and profit shifting).

Our article explores how up to speed the major jurisdictions in Asia when it comes to the implementation of pillar two, and what challenges they are facing.

Final frontiers, first opportunities is an intriguing look at how the space industry has suddenly captivated India which, buoyed by that nation’s Space Policy of April 2023, now provides a level playing field and favourable regulatory environment for private companies.

However, amid growing optimism in the opportunities, conversations with stakeholders reveal a landscape riddled with challenges. The complex web of legal intricacies presents a multifaceted endeavour. The paramount concerns centre on building strong partnerships between private entities and government agencies, while safeguarding intellectual property rights, fostering fair competition, and adhering to ever-evolving regulations.

We also release our Japan Law Firm Awards 2023. This year, we have added three new categories: Best Boutique Law Firm; Best Foreign Law Firms; and Healthcare & Life Science in the regular categories, further highlighting the diversity and complexity of the Japanese legal landscape.

This issue also provides telling Expert Briefings on the lure of Cayman Islands law for Asian investors; the need for AI to instil more confidence with users; how India’s GST laws are causing many issues for businesses; and an exploration of e-commerce protection in the Philippines. Our Legal Frontiers article provides a comparison of Jersey foundations and trusts.

Finally, we present the Thailand A-List, showcasing choices for our top 100 lawyers in the country, reliant on the opinions of business in Thailand and abroad, as well as by international law firms.

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