Zu’bi & Partners Attorneys & Legal Consultants sponsored the inaugural LexisNexis Middle East Bahrain Business Law Forum at the Ritz Carlton, Manama, on October 5th, 2023, taking part in the event as one of the prestigious gold sponsors and hosting two enlightening panel discussions for an audience consisting of in-house counsel from throughout the Kingdom. The event commenced with Noor Al Taraif, Senior Associate, moderating a panel entitled “What In-House Counsel (Really) Want.” The panel explored the numerous factors influencing the decision to select external counsel and retain their services.

The panelists included:
Afshan Akhtar, Chief Legal Counsel, Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) Refining
Zaid Khonji, Head of Legal & Corporate Governance, National Bank of Bahrain
Reem Al Alawi, Chief Legal & Monitoring Officer, Tamkeen
Nadia Aqeel, Chief Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Officer, Zain Bahrain

Zu’bi & Partners’ second panel focused on “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Legal Profession” and included Managing Partner Hatim Q. Zu’bi, who shared valuable insights and knowledge while exploring the inevitable technology shaping the legal profession as well as the possible ways law firms can integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their practices.

The moderator for the second panel was Ameen AlTajer, the CEO of INFINITEWARE.
The panelists for the second panel included:
Vincent Slingerland, Deputy Head of Sales, LexisNexis Middle East
Saad Al Doseri, Founding Partner, Al Doseri Law
Nishanth Pathi, AI Expert & Technical Trainer, Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance
Hatim Q. Zu’bi, Managing Partner, Zu’bi & Partners, Attorneys & Legal Consultants

Key Takeaways:

While the conversation was extensive and fruitful, some key takeaways from the discussion on AI and the Future of the Legal Profession include:

The Risks and Opportunities of AI

AI presents both opportunities and challenges in the legal field. Ethical considerations are essential to address accountability, privacy, and accuracy issues. Liability in AI systems depends on applicable laws and industry standards. While public acceptance of AI in the legal field is less widespread than in other sectors, a precise and responsible approach is necessary to maximize the benefits of AI while mitigating potential risks in the legal industry. Hatim Q. Zu’bi stated that Zu’bi & Partners is open to exploring AI tools in the near future.

The End of the Billable Hour?

AI can potentially disrupt the legal industry by altering revenue models and reducing the demand for junior lawyers, leading to a reevaluation of billing practices. This could result in a shift toward flat fees or the introduction of technology fees to account for the use of AI. While the overall demand for lawyers may decrease, AI can make legal services more affordable and accessible.

The Effects of Generative AI on the Legal Industry

Challenges of generative AI include the potential for misinformation and the need for human review to ensure accuracy. Lawyers must also consider client confidentiality when utilizing AI tools. On the other hand, AI has the potential to revolutionize legal research, streamline due diligence reviews, and facilitate contract preparation, saving time and enhancing efficiency for legal professionals.

In conclusion, Zu’bi & Partners’ participation in the Bahrain Business Law Forum demonstrated their commitment to keeping up with emerging trends and contributing to advancing the legal profession. The insightful discussions of the event showcased their knowledge and dedication to the legal community. As the legal industry continues to evolve in the era of AI, legal professionals need to adapt and embrace new technologies while upholding ethical standards and ensuring the best interests of their clients. All in all, Zu’bi & Partners takes pride in nurturing the human element and believes no machine can replace humans.

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