Event Report

In collaboration with Ashurst, our esteemed Global GC Elite Founding Partner, The Legal 500 had the pleasure of organising the second instalment of the Global GC Elite Discussion Series, in London, on September 12th.

This leg of the series convened some of the UK’s foremost General Counsel for a roundtable dialogue centred around generative AI, its practical application within legal departments, and the broader landscape of its legal governance within the business sphere.

The discourse commenced with a gracious opening address by Ashurst, followed by a succinct introduction to the subject matter. Ashurst’s AI experts, who were present at the event, contributed their insights, setting the tone for the ensuing discussions.

Subsequently, the General Counsel present provided detailed insights into how their respective legal departments navigate the use of AI within their organisations. It became evident that there was a unanimous concern among them: the impact of AI on their businesses, perhaps more so than its implications within their own departments.

Furthermore, the General Counsel shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities stemming from AI adoption, acknowledging the rapid evolution of this field and the yet-unrealised potential of AI. They also underscored the vital role General Counsel play in ensuring the compliant implementation of AI within their organisations.

During the conversation, apprehensions were voiced regarding the decisive nature of AI-generated decisions, emphasising the need for a balanced approach that incorporates human oversight. This led to a discussion on the ethical utilisation of AI and the development of safeguard mechanisms to protect AI-processed data. Additionally, it raised questions about the approach law firms take in serving their clients in the age of AI.

Participants were cognisant of the potential misuse of AI technology and recognised that each technological advancement often ushers in new challenges. However, they reaffirmed their confidence in General Counsel’s ability to surmount these challenges, just as they have done in the past.

We extend our gratitude to Helen Burton, the London Office Managing Partner, for graciously hosting the event. We would also like to express our appreciation to Ashurst’s CEO, Paul Jenkins, and Partner, Lee Doyle, for their participation. A special thank you goes out to Ashurst’s AI experts, Tara Waters, Rhiannon Webster, and Alexander Duisberg, whose valuable insights and expertise greatly enriched the conversation.

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