Last week (November 4-8, 2019) was FinTech Week and the LAWASIA Conference in Hong Kong.

I had the pleasure of speaking at the World RegTech Summit, one of the events held as part of the FinTech Week. It was held at the University of Hong Kong. There, I participated in a book launch of The RegTech Book (Wiley), in which I have written a book chapter on non-financial RegTech.

It was interesting to note, at FinTech Week, the Hong Kong SFC’s announcement setting out guidelines for granting licenses to crypto exchanges, and the positive outlook on the development of the FinTech market from various regulators worldwide.

It was a busy week. I also had the honor to present with my InnoTech Law Hub colleagues to LAWASIA leaders on the results of the Law Society of Hong Kong Innovation Value Chain Survey. We aim to publish a summary of the results and analysis in the December edition of the Hong Kong Lawyer.

It was insightful to hear updates on legal innovation and relevant policies from our guests who hailed from all around the world. It’s also very encouraging to listen to sharings on the challenges and rewards of carrying out innovation initiatives in the legal profession.

The conversations last week led me to consider a number of issues:

  • Should we adopt a “digital first” vs. “digital as alternative” (on equal footing as paper-based processes) policy in our digital transformation projects? E.g. e-conveyancing, e-hearings, and e-filings.
  • How to maintain the “talk track” and the “walk track” as there are more and more legal innovation conferences and events? How do we avoid “innovation fatigue” while focusing on developing practical solutions?
  • Is the battle for “moving to the cloud” over? Who is still afraid of cloud services? E.g. maintenance of VPNs by bar associations; the impact of the GDPR.
  • Do lawyers recognize the return on tech investment? E.g. 65% savings on legal operations in going paperless.
  • What are the practical and ethical implications of automation and A.I. in legal services? E.g. unauthorized practice of law and professional indemnity insurance etc.
  • How could law societies and bar associations facilitate change management? In some jurisdictions, lawyers in SME practices are asking them to vet or recommend technology products. In some jurisdictions, in-house teams of 10-25 tech professionals are committed to staff and maintain massive internal infrastructures.
  • The different kinds of law-related technology conversations that need to happen on the FinTech, RegTech, and A2JTech fronts in order to push the innovation agenda forward in the law.

This week is Singapore’s FinTech Week. No doubt relevant postings on social media will be fervent!

Photo of Sebastian Ko Sebastian Ko

Attorney turned Entrepreneur. Led first Asian Access to Justice Hackathon.