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Generative AI in Cross-Border Dispute Resolution

by Justin Smith

Cross-border disputes are conflicts that can pose unique challenges for legal professionals — and these disputes have only grown increasingly complex as the world has become more connected.

The internet has made it so companies, governments and individuals can communicate and do business together faster and more efficiently than ever, no matter their location.

Whilst this has undoubtedly proved a major benefit to humanity, it has also led to complications. On the legal front specifically, cross-border disputes require deft navigation of the laws and legal systems of multiple countries, which are constantly changing.

Technology has played a prominent role in handling these disputes, and the advent of generative AI has the potential to help legal teams even more. In the disclosure process, firms will need generative AI’s assistance for things like securely transferring data across borders and disseminating how to balance the needs of particular countries or types of disputes over others.

In a recent webinar hosted by The Lawyer magazine and Everlaw, panelists Paul Kinninmont, Partner in the Commercial Dispute Resolution practice at Freeths; Jenny Lau, Head of Arbitration at iLaw; Fiona Meany, Head of Litigation at JLL; Richard Blann, Head of Group Litigation & Conduct Investigations Legal at Lloyds Banking Group; and Jess Wu, Strategic Partnerships Manager at Everlaw, talked about these topics and more.

Data Considerations in Cross-Border Disputes

Cross-border disputes in the modern technological age have opened up many intriguing issues surrounding data. Identifying the correct data to send and how to do so securely, and in line with various data protection laws, for example, has become a major concern for legal teams that are parties in these disputes.

Paul Kinninmont started things off by discussing the data considerations firms need to have in mind when dealing with cross-border disputes. Questions like whether the data needs to be moved, whether it can be accessed remotely and whether there’s a legal impediment to it moving should be top of mind for legal teams dealing with these matters.

He related an anecdote about a Middle Eastern bank his firm was representing in an arbitration. The bank wouldn’t provide a small number of documents that were responsive to a document production request because it contradicted certain banking client-confidentiality laws in that particular jurisdiction, and that required a conversation on the part of Kinninmont’s firm in explaining that to the tribunal.

For its part, generative AI can assist attorneys in matters like these by identifying data and what’s contained in it so the attorneys will know whether it’s relevant to the case, and by mapping regulations in different jurisdictions for compliance purposes.

‘If you’re doing cross-border data transfers, you need to think about the regulation of those issues in the country of origin and in the country of destination’, Richard Blann said. ‘The AI tools will help you identify priorities in an efficient way’.

Creating a Competitive Advantage

Whether it’s in cross-border disputes, international dispute resolutions or more common areas of law, one of the biggest boosts legal teams are looking to generative AI to provide is a competitive advantage.

‘I think AI opens up an additional two very interesting areas for us’, Jenny Lau said. ‘One is competition in terms of being able to compete with some of those larger teams by using the tools in a clever and more effective way. And second, as a tagalong to the competition aspect, is whether it allows us to open up things like funding opportunities by using the technology to help us manage our budgets in a better way’.

Leading with Ambition

This potential to gain a competitive advantage allows firms to be more ambitious in fighting for new business and punching above their weight in the open market. Even more, clients want to work with firms that are using generative AI in their practices.

‘As a client of law firms, I would say I’m really interested to hear what the law firms I work with are using generative AI for and what opportunities there are to work with our advisers to drive efficiencies and to ensure the right work is being done at the right level’, Fiona Meany said. ‘And frankly, I expect the law firms that we work with to be using generative AI. It’s very much a case of wanting to have that conversation and collaborate with our outside counsel around using generative AI’.

Generative AI will allow attorneys to allocate resources towards high-value work and compete for business like never before.

By now, most legal teams have heard all about the potential and promise of generative AI tools. From cost and time savings to streamlined operations and more, it’s a technology that can transform the practice of law.

‘Where we see AI creating benefits at the moment are in four main ways’, Paul Kinninmont said. ‘The first is a quality control mechanism. It’s a way in which we can compare our work and explore any differentials. The second is in creating audit trails, which can be used to convince a regulator, a judge or a tribunal that what we’ve done is robust enough. The third is speed. We can use AI to get to the bottom of a data set, interrogating it in different ways to give our clients greater confidence that the strategy they’re looking to deploy is the right one. And finally there’s confidence, which is just another way of making sure that we’re doing the right thing at the right time in the right way’.

The key to leveraging generative AI in the law is to use responsible models with guardrails built in. That means technology that sticks to the four corners of the document to eliminate the risk of hallucinations, and creates in-text citations so you can see where the AI got its answers.

Whilst this is still a time of exploration for many, creating trusted partnerships with technology providers can go a long way in keeping attorneys educated on and involved in the latest developments. Because just as lawyers have a duty to use this technology responsibly, so too do the companies creating it.

‘I think tech providers also have a responsibility to make sure that the products they’re putting out there are user-friendly, secure and really fit the purpose of their user base. I encourage all lawyers to challenge the providers they’re working with’, Jess Wu said.

Interested in learning more? Apply to join the customer beta of EverlawAI Assistant today.