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Angela den Tex

Head of Marketing and Communications at CLOC

CLOC EMEA Summit Marks Start of “Era of Change” as AI Transforms Legal

By Angela den Tex

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London – September 25, 2023: CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) recently concluded its CLOC EMEA Summit in London, bringing together legal operations professionals, legal service providers and law firms from more than 20 countries to attend two days of programming organized around the theme “Future Proof: Embracing AI and Agility.”

“Every year that we come to Europe to connect with the CLOC community is special,” said CLOC President Mike Haven, who is Head of Legal Operations at Intel. “But this year particularly so … We are living and working through a historic moment. It’s a moment of great change and disruption, yes… but also one of massive opportunity… on a scale we have never seen. The things that are underway now have incredible implications for us at every level. For our companies, our teams, and ourselves. And as an industry, we’re trying to chart the right path forward.”

The two-day summit, which took place on the 18th and 19th of September at the Royal Lancaster London, featured sessions such as “AI and the Future of Legal Operations: A Front-Row Seat,” “Generative AI: Finding the Perfect Fit,” and “In a GenAI World, What’s Left for People?”

“We will be able to divide the history of Legal and legal operations into ‘before AI’ and ‘after AI’,” said Áine Lyons, who leads Global Legal Services S.T.A.R. Operations and Privacy for VMware and is a CLOC Board member and Europe Lead. “We are entering an era of change that goes far beyond our industry.”

Lyons opened the summit with remarks calling upon legal operations professionals to be creative leaders and champions for change within their organizations, an idea expanded upon in a broad-ranging keynote address offered by the Swedish economist and writer Kjell Nördstrom, whose most recent book, Momentum, describes how the leaders and managers of tomorrow will be shaped by war, pandemics and climate change.

Finally, a riveting closing address by Andrew Perlman, Dean at Suffolk University Law School, underlined the urgency of embracing and understanding the potential of AI by pointing to a June directive issued by Ford Motor Company General Counsel Steven Croley urging Ford’s outside counsel to “keep abreast of the latest technology and to use it to your advantage in order to provide us with the best possible service.”

“The future is going to involve a competition between those of us who use generative AI tools effectively and those of us who do not,” Perlman told the summit attendees.

With that future in mind, the Summit also included a return of CLOC’s Legal Ops 101 program, an interactive workshop in which emerging corporate legal operations professionals with less than three years of experience in the field begin to navigate their own career paths with confidence.

“The CLOC EMEA Summit is not just a conference; it’s how we deepen our connection as a community of innovators within the EMEA region. It’s where we bring together the brightest legal minds in industry to focus on the opportunities and challenges ahead,” added Áine Lyons.

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