We are delighted and honoured to have Mr. Steve Williams and Professor Dan Hunter join us as our keynote speakers.
Mergers and Acquisitions Lead Consultant at Waterstons
After CIO roles in manufacturing, retail, local government and higher education, Steve now runs the mergers and acquisitions practice for business and technology consultancy Waterstons Ltd. He’s recently worked as acting CIO for an international company alongside his M&A responsibilities. While at a large university, Steve was the first IT professional to be awarded the Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, thanks to his work on breaking down the barriers to online learning.
In his talk titled ‘A cross-sector perspective on digital, tech, education and business’ Steve will take us on a reflective journey through the impact of technology on society, influenced by his work across multiple sectors, from HE to government and from manufacturing to consulting. He’ll touch on digital disruption and digital impact in a range of sectors, and set the tone for the wide-ranging conference to come. Will AI cause job losses or job enrichment? Will the internet be a force for good, ill or both? How should organisations engage with technology – what should they do in house and when is it better to engage with specialists? How did someone who is an insourcer by conviction finish up working for a consulting firm? Many delegates may well be both practicing lawyers and academics; Steve will use his breadth of experience to shine a light on what it feels like to be both sides of the table! And there might be jokes…
Foundation Dean, Swinburne Law School
Professor Dan Hunter is the Foundation Dean of Swinburne Law School. He is an international expert in intellectual property and internet law, and regularly publishes on the theory of intellectual property and on the intersection of computers and law. He is the author of books on gamification, intellectual property, and intelligent legal systems, and the author of numerous articles on intellectual property, internet law, and artificial intelligence. His current research is focused on the use of technology within law, including the use of AI in sentencing and criminal justice, the legal implications of the blockchain, innovation processes within the legal profession, and the future of legal practice. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and a chief investigator in a shortlisted Australian Research Council bid for a Centre of Excellence in “Automated Decision Making and Society.” He has undertaken a range of cultural histories of intellectual property in the postwar period, including work on LEGO bricks, Barbie dolls, modernist furniture, and the social significance of luxury handbags. In his spare time he is the co-founder/executive director of three funded startups, in edtech (Quitch), legaltech (ConvX), and regtech (Fourth Line).
In his talk ‘The Future of Law and Law Schools’, Professor Hunter will discuss how the legal profession is changing at a furious speed—technology, globalizaon, and changes in client expectations are re-wring the assumptions that undergird the entire system. The most foresighted commentators recognize that the provision of legal services in the future will not be conﬁned to lawyers from an anachronic legal ‘profession’—instead, what we think of as the ‘practice of law’ will include new approaches and new enes, from technology companies delivering document generation systems and artificially-intelligent legal support systems, to multi-disciplinary process providing a combination of professional services that defy 19th century conventions. Against this reality, law schools sll look like something out of the early-20th century. They teach an old-fashioned curriculum in an old-fashioned way, focusing on the transmission of legal content in a way that is modelled on law schools from the 19th or early 20th centuries. The keynote seeks to explain just what law schools are doing wrong, by focusing on what the future of law looks like. Since law schools are in the business of educating the next generation of lawyers—and the students who enrol in law school today will be graduate half-a-decade in the future, if not longer—then we have an obligation to think seriously about the future of law. In this talk I articulate ﬁve large-scale changes to the legal profession, and what law schools should do in response :
- How technology solutions have moved law from a bespoke service to one that resembles an oﬀ-the-shelf commodity.
- How globalisation and outsourcing changes the market for law graduates and local law ﬁrms.
- How managed legal services aﬀect where and how our graduates will work.
- How the emergence of legal platforms—i.e. the Uberisaon of law—will diminish the role of the law ﬁrm and change graduate work.
- How the rise of machine learning will aﬀect legal work by the end of the 2020s.