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The tables below rank law firms and in-house legal teams for the FT Innovative Lawyers Apac awards.

Technology:

RankLaw firmDescriptionOriginalityLeadershipImpactTotal
STANDOUTGilbert + TobinDeveloped "dd<i>", a process management and review tool that allows due diligence to be completed by deal teams in one platform with links to documents in an external data room. Tailored checklists of questions for the type of document being reviewed and a library of legal tags help junior lawyers learn best practice. The tool auto-generates reports, reduces error and saves time.79824
HIGHLY COMMENDEDMinterEllisonExpanded DefinitionChecker, a drafting add-on in Microsoft Word, to introduce natural language processing. When lawyers highlight a clause in their draft, the software will display similar clauses. The tool also picks up mistakes such as misspelled names and non-business days, reducing error and saving hours of manual review. Commended: Gareth Jolly78722
HIGHLY COMMENDEDPinsent MasonsAdvising Asia’s Got Talent semi-finalists on option contracts for client Sony Music, the firm leveraged collaboration platform HighQ to improve efficiency and reduce fees. A user-friendly interface allows contestants to book video advisory sessions, review and sign contracts, watch instructional videos subtitled in their native language and check the status of their contracts. Note: HighQ is a sponsor of the Innovative Lawyers awards58821
COMMENDEDAllen & OveryUsing Legatics, a tool that helps lawyers complete the conditions precedent required to close transactions, the firm managed one of the largest technology-assisted completions in Asia with the financing of the region's first liquefied natural gas-to-power project, Jawa-1, helping to meet 681 conditions. Expanding the functionality of the platform to include A & O guidance notes, the firm estimates six-digit savings on its fee with a 20 per cent cut in lawyer hours and a 70 per cent cut in administrative time.67720
COMMENDEDGan, Lee & TanDeveloped two tools to help small businesses. An online legal health assessment, hosted on its website, covers nine areas of law in 60 questions, compiling information into a report by the firm's lawyers. Rachel, a chatbot using IBM Watson Assistant, triages common questions.68519

Technology (In-house):

RankCompanyDescriptionOriginalityLeadershipImpactTotal
STANDOUTL'OréalThe Australia and New Zealand small in-house team of three lawyers adapted a range of self-service applications offered by legal tech company Plexus to automate routine tasks such drafting promotional terms and conditions as well as influencer, employment and customer agreements. The apps have dramatically reduced the completion time, cost and error rate of routine work and were used by the business more than 2,000 times in 2018. Three more are due to launch this year.78823
HIGHLY COMMENDEDUberUsed new technologies to manage workflows, including a bot that highlights problematic terms in marketing materials before they are escalated to legal, as well as a contract requests portal. Lawyers worked with Uber's product development team to repurpose an outward-facing customer service system as a gateway for incoming legal requests, helping them to triage work, collect metrics and manage resources more effectively.78722
HIGHLY COMMENDEDDBS BankThe team developed and implemented process automation to streamline anti-money laundering investigations, as well as an artificial intelligence tool for identifying suspicious transactions. The tools have reduced the number of false positives reported in the detection of money laundering.68721
COMMENDEDICICI BankThe time and cost of dispute resolution in India remains a challenge for business. In partnership with Humlab, Vayam and other technology companies, the in-house team helped to establish an e-arbitration platform that aggregates online and offline mediation processes across the country, due to launch this year.76720
COMMENDEDSchroder Investment Management (Singapore)The Schroders team created a bot to automate the process for a common fund regulation form, 2A, required whenever there is an update to a fund registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The bot automatically populates the form with hundreds of data points and saves more than 400 human hours per year.77620

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About this Special Report

The ‘Asian century’ promises opportunities for law firms. Plus: fast-growth tech companies seek ‘full throttle’ legal skills; AI masters character-based text; how to build an emerging markets mega-deal; meet the region’s leading legal innovators

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