Legal Business

Doing the robot – Five years on, the same old AI debate rages on

‘It is very difficult to see how AI competes with what David Higgins does.’ Looking back five years to our 2018 Global 100 debate, this remark from Milbank’s Suhrud Mehta, one of many eminent City leaders around the table, is striking in more ways than one.

The industry has come to think of the now ubiquitous subject of AI as a recent thing, prompted by the advent of ChatGPT, which we may be forgiven for forgetting has only been around since November 2022. The reality is, law firm leaders have been debating the impact of such technology for years, while singularly failing to reach consensus on quite how it can solve the age-old conundrum of increasing efficiencies, decreasing the load of banal grunt work, while at the same time not putting stars like Kirkland’s Higgins out of a job.