AI and ChatGPT: A Powerful Message from Australia’s Top Law Firms – Kevin O’Keefe Feb 13, 2023

O’Keefe writes

A powerful message on ChatGPT and AI from Australia’s leading law firms and lawyers.

Law firms should be embracing ChatGPT, not fearing it as a threat. ChatGPT is an opportunity, so much so that law firms may even have the obligation to use GPT to best serve their clients.

The Australian Financial Review’s Michael Pelly talked to leaders in some of Australia’s major firms, all bullish on GPT.

Australia’s Lander & Rogers chief executive partner Genevieve Collins sees ChatGPT as “a seismic shift in what is possible in the digital world. Organisations that have already forbidden usage of ChatGPT and act as if AI is going away do risk being left behind.”

“One could argue that subject to appropriate ‘supervision’, it is a solicitor’s duty to consider using ChatGPT as part of our obligation to act in the best interests of our client.”

It’s adapt or be replaced, says Hilary Goodier, co-head of Ashurst’s new law” division:

“AI is already changing the way we deliver legal services and while ChatGPT and AI will not replace traditional lawyers, those tech-savvy lawyers who know how to use them inevitably will”.

Sam Nickless, chief operating officer at Gilbert + Tobin told all of the firm’s lawyers to get their heads around ChatGPT.

“It is already assisting in marketing-type material – first drafts, turning an article into a social post, redrafting for clarity. It is brilliant for helping with Excel formulas. Imagine a box near your email with suggested replies already drafted for each.”

There were a few firms voicing caution – on ethics (of course), on its significant limitations (shortsighted), on AI merely being evolutionary, not revolutionary, of where law has always been (little crazy).

If I’m betting, I’m betting on firms like Lander & Rogers, Ashurst and Gilbert + Tobin.