From legal firms adopting AI to growing their digital strategy, we bring you a collation of key updates for July 2023.
Legal & tax professionals see generative AI’s utility but take a cautious approach to adoption, the report shows.
A recent report from Thomson Reuters reveals that legal and tax professionals acknowledge the potential benefits of generative AI in their industry but approach its adoption cautiously.
The report highlights that while these professionals recognise the utility of AI tools like ChatGPT in enhancing their services, they are mindful of potential challenges and ethical considerations. The study suggests a balanced approach, with many experts valuing the augmentation of their expertise by AI while ensuring that human oversight and ethical principles remain central to their operations. This cautious stance indicates a measured approach to integrating AI, where professionals strive to harness its capabilities while maintaining the integrity and responsibility of their field.
Why do so many law firms love their digital strategy? It’s all about the engagement.
Thomson Reuters highlights the growing affinity of law firms towards digital strategies, primarily due to the engagement they foster.
Many law firms are new to aligning digital transformation initiatives with their overall firm strategies. A survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Institute found that only 54% of surveyed law firms had a digital transformation strategy at the C-suite level. Among those with a strategy, 70% had adopted it within the past five years. Despite this recent incorporation of digital strategies, there is a positive sentiment among law firms about their integration with overall firm strategies. Over 80% of the respondents considered digital transformation essential or central to their firm strategies.
Additionally, more than 75% of those with a digital strategy rated its success as 7 out of 10 or higher, indicating a favourable reception of their digital initiatives’ impact on their overall objectives.
RBA reveals the August 2023 cash rate call.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has opted to maintain the cash rate at 4.1 per cent, following its recent decision to hold the rate steady last month. Despite 12 rate increases over the past 14 months, the RBA’s August interest rate decision marks the seventh cash rate decision for 2023.
In his statement, RBA Governor Philip Lowe indicated that while the labour market conditions have slightly eased, they remain tight. He mentioned that while inflation in Australia has decreased, it remains relatively high at 6 per cent, with service prices showing notable increases even as goods price inflation has eased. The central forecast suggests a continued decline in Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to around 3¼ cent by the end of 2024, eventually returning to the target range of 2–3 per cent by late 2025.
Law Council of Australia seeks amendments to the National Security Information Act.
The Law Council of Australia has put forward five key areas for enhancement. It recently presented its case to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) to evaluate the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004, commonly referred to as the NSI Act. The presentation aimed to review the functionality and efficacy of the NSI Act in legal proceedings related to national security concerns.
Renewables are ‘here to stay’ in law.
Amidst the ongoing climate crisis, businesses are intensifying their focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations, contributing to expanding areas such as renewable energy. With renewable energy and ESG becoming integral concerns in boardrooms and C-suites and a growing trend of climate-conscious legal practices, 2023 is anticipated to be a significant year for the energy sector.
The Australian government’s target of achieving 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 offers a stable regulatory backdrop for the renewables industry. A report by MinterEllison and Mergermarket, the Australian Renewables Report 2023, indicates a projected surge in investment in renewable energy over the next two years. The report highlights a strong positive outlook among domestic and international investors for renewable energy investments in Australia, with 91 per cent of investors anticipating increased investment from the Asia-Pacific region in the coming 12 to 24 months.
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