Sunday, July 18, 2010

International Legal Ethics Conference IV: The Legal Profession in Times of Turbulence: Day Two

(thanks to Fredrik Sarnblad)

The conference is dense and intense. I don't mean that in a bad way: it is packed with good things and people so there is no let up in talk, listening and questions. All to the good.

Highlights for me have been the discussions on outsourcing. What's clear here is that the idea that is common currency about this is very out of date. The industry is fast moving as David Wilkins showed. The big boys are now moving in: Accenture, KPMG, etc. This will change the landscape and could mean the demise of pure play LPOs. It also signifies we have gone beyond Susskind's predictions. The potential for rationalisation of legal work goes much further up the food chain than he realised.

In-house counsel are proliferating in interesting ways. Michele Beardslee talked about compliance officers in companies and their role is complex and far reaching.

International lawyering is being attacked by American lawyers who are looking for rules and certainty in uncertain cultural contexts. Laurel Terry, Catherine Rogers were accompanied by Stephen Denyer of Allen & Overy brought this home in the areas of international dispute resolution, ethics conumdrums and international practice.

To close we had the contribution of the neuroscientists in law and moral choice. Now this is extending the boundaries of knowledge in potentially unpredictable ways. Just watch the space.

PS. California is still great. Off to San Francisco tomorrow.
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