Legalweek 2024: Legal Leaders Share Their Top Tips for AI Implementation

19 February 2024 | Luminance

Luminance’s Legalweek panel brought together legal experts spanning a variety of industries to discuss their AI implementation journeys. Together with Luminance’s CEO, Eleanor Lightbody, Adrian Lang, GC and Chief Privacy Officer at Staples Canada, David Den Herder, Associate GC at SiriusXM, and Juliana Rodrigues, Global Legal Director at ABinBev, took to the stage to offer their top tips for implementing AI. For those who missed it, here’s a recap…

1. Define Your Goals and Metrics

When it comes to implementing any kind of technology, having clear intentions and goals is critical to achieving success. While being enthusiastic about the prospect of an AI-powered legal team is a great starting point, laying out specific parameters and ROI objectives is crucial for true success.

Adrian noted that her team looked for three main attributes when embarking on Staples’ digital transformation journey: "Volume, speed, and value for money." They sought a technology that could deliver immediate insights into their obligations across the business, enabling both legal and non-legal teams to answer key questions such as, "What exactly have we done? When do contracts expire? Do they automatically renew?" and receive legally-sound answers in seconds.

David and his team at SiriusXM needed a technology that could simplify their handling of the increasing volume of incoming documents they were receiving. Establishing specific metrics before commencing your AI implementation journey is vital for finding the technology that aligns best with your team and your business.

For Juliana and ABinBev, it was important to bring on a technology that could be “confidently scaled” to take on new challenges and grow with the rapidly expanding company.

2. Select an Innovative Partner

AI is a new frontier for many businesses and it’s critical to have support during implementation. The right partner provides a smooth onboarding process and ensures that the business is getting the most out of the technology. Adrian explained: "It was important to know that I would have a partner that wouldn't just sell to me and then disappear, leaving me unsupported on this journey."

David noted that they wanted to adopt a technology which "added value and wasn't just a repackaging of something we already had." This is more important than ever since the boom in generative AI, with many vendors tagging AI onto their marketing materials despite relying on outdated technologies.

‘True AI’ which can be identified in a few key ways:

• Instantly deployable, with no lengthy set-up or machine training ✅

• Able to automatically handle different languages or terminologies ✅

• Can be taught new concepts and ideas with simple point-and-click learning ✅

And of course, the best way to test an AI system is to try it on your own documents before finalising the investment.

3. Engage the Right Teams

To maximise AI’s potential, the panellists noted the importance of involving the appropriate teams and ensuring their buy-in from the start. Juliana observed, "It's much easier to get teams to adopt something when they truly believe that it will help them and increase efficiency." Without team buy-in, onboarding and implementing can become a lengthy process.

Adrian emphasised the need to involve a cross-section of teams in the business, stating, "If you talk to your various business partners about where the friction is, you will find use cases and ways to sell it. AI is not just for the in-house legal team’s benefit – it’s going to make other people’s lives easier and then they can go and doing high-value work." Bringing the entire business together with AI drives productivity and encourages company-wide digital transformation efforts.

Interested in learning more about how AI can transform your business? Get in touch to arrange a chat with one of Luminance’s experts.