Opus 2 was proud to recently take part in the annual Arbitration and ADR Conference held by the International Chamber of Commerce. Our Chief Strategy Officer, Steve Fleming, appeared on a fascinating webinar focusing on the Future of Arbitration and ADR.
The session was moderated by Essex Court’s Ian Quirk QC and he was joined by the expert panel below, to address some key topics in the world of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.
The main themes discussed by the panel centred around the latest technology available and how it effects arbitration and ADR, potential ‘game changers’ for dispute resolution in the medium and long term, and disruptive technologies.
First up on the agenda was the question of the latest technologies available which are perhaps flying under the radar for many in the industry. This issue was addressed by Melina Efstathiou, Head of Litigation Technology at Eversheds Sutherland, who spilt the available technology into three branches.
The first was technology which can assist legal teams with case management, providing intelligent analysis of facts and data and easing collaboration for legal teams. This is the sort of technology we see in Opus 2’s virtual workspaces that has been hugely beneficial for reducing email traffic, expediting unnecessary communication and streamlining the case review process.
The second branch Melina referred to is technology that can assist the client, such as cost management or prediction of outcomes. With many clients looking for greater transparency in terms of billing, these tools can be utilised for enhancing the client experience.
The final branch was technology that can assist arbitrators and facilitate the arbitration process – clearly, we have seen growth in this area with the rise of virtual and hybrid hearings.
Viewers also heard from Dean Armstrong, CEO at The Proof of Trust. The organisation has partnered with IBM to provide a unique solution for dispute resolution – a patented algorithm which blends technology with human interaction to determine issues and disputes without hearings. This has been more widely adopted throughout the often-remote setting of dispute resolution in 2020, providing another innovative solution in these complex circumstances.
Later in the webinar, our own Steve Fleming was quizzed on emerging technologies such as portals, virtual and augmented reality, and telepresence. Portals, dashboards and extranets are clearly are more immediate term trend in legal technology, with many firms already utilising them but virtual reality is something on the horizon a little further into the future.
Steve was able to illustrate this by demonstrating one of Opus 2’s portal in a virtual reality setting over the webinar. Donning a VR headset, Steve took the panel to a virtual arbitration room to run through examples of how the tech can be utilised, with some fascinating insights. In the future, Steve suggested, this could be hugely beneficial in assisting trainee solicitors and potentially attracting talent to law firms by placing candidates in an immersive setting where they can develop their skills in a more practical context than has been available over the past year.
Clearly, there are a huge number of innovations which are either already available or being developed that can play a major role in arbitration and ADR, and at Opus 2 we think it’s an exciting time to be involved!
We’d like to thank the International Chamber of Commerce for inviting us to attend the webinar we look forward to keeping an eye on the potential technologies that were raised throughout.
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