Nobody should feel smarter than their lawyer. Whether you’re on death row or in a corporate boardroom, legal counsel should provide you with peace of mind. This becomes impossible with one sniff of incompetence or uselessness.
The need for relevancy will drive blockchain adoption in the legal industry. As customers learn how blockchain (and smart contracts in particular) improve security, they may seek out lawyers who understand it too.
Most lawyers don’t have the time to become blockchain experts. Many envision outsiders developing smart contracts for the legal industry, then tailoring the technology to work within it.
Smart contracts are the most likely breakthrough of blockchain technology for the legal industry. Other applications like AI and cryptocurrencies could also impact lawyers sooner than later. But smart contract advocates seem to have the ear of industry professionals.
1. Charley Moore, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lawyer
“The increased demand for data privacy and security, as well as tighter regulations around data protection like GDPR, will likely drive greater use of smart contracts in the year ahead. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology makes smart contracts more secure than a traditional contract because everything is recorded in the ledger. Additionally, smart contracts don’t require sharing personally identifiable information, which makes them not just a smart, but also a secure, way to transact and coordinate legal agreements.”
2. Todd S. Kartchner, Vice-Chair of Litigation at Fennemore Craig, P.C.
“Security Token Offerings (STOs) are on the rise. Unlike ICOs, which have fallen into disfavor, these blockchain tokens derive their value from external and tradable sources, like stocks, bonds, notes and real estate. They are the natural progression from the outdated limitations of holding some form of physical title to digitized ownership of assets.”
3. Daniel Tarr, Associate at Duane Morris LLP
“The biggest trend that will shape blockchain use and adoption in the legal industry is the increased use of artificial intelligence in the legal industry. The rise of AI solutions and products to assist in contract drafting, litigation, and other legal services will require the use of secure tracking and storage systems that can be directly integrated with the AI solutions. Blockchain is well positioned to fulfill that requirement.”
4. Casey Kuhlman, CEO of Monax
“Actual use of smart contract technology will explode this year. The primary organizations at this intersection are all in private or public beta and have increasingly easy-to-use tools that help the legal industry leverage the power of this technology. We will see a large uptake of this technology to track legal obligations. This will be driven by the legal functions of companies rather than legal services practitioners. My expectation is that we will see a few bleeding edge legal services practitioners, who currently understand this technology, gaining a first mover advantage by using this technology to capture significant business.”
5. Robin Sosnow, Partner and Principal of Sosnow and Associates PLLC
“I strongly believe that blockchain will significantly shape the way how companies raise capital through equity and debt financing. In the past three years, the market has seen a remarkable demand for tokenization of securities, the so-called Digital Securities Offerings (DSOs). Blockchain plays an important role in these DSOs, enabling, in particular, emerging companies to raise money in private offerings (i.e., unregistered securities offerings) while having the opportunity to, eventually, list these tokenized securities on a secondary market, similar to a traditional stock exchange, without the need to comply with all the strict regulations and robust disclosures imposed in public offerings.”
6. Nick Gibson, Managing Director, Operem
“Strictly speaking from an intellectual property (IP) perspective, I’d say the effective management of trade secrets is shaping up to be a critical area of growth. I think as patent law has changed in the US over the last decade, trade secrets have started to play an increasingly important role for many companies, but they still don’t have great methods for managing these valuable assets.”
7. Hando Rand, CEO of Agrello
“Blockchain could disrupt archiving of legal documents, but it still seems a long way to go until the professionals in the legal industry understand blockchain technology to an extent, where they see the significant benefit and feel comfortable implementing the technology.”
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