Reflecting on a whirlwind year – what’s next?

GenAI and a new govt have kept legal professionals busy. LexisNexis reflects on its support for the industry

Reflecting on a whirlwind year – what’s next?

It’s been a whirlwind year for New Zealand’s legal industry, and we can expect some major developments going into 2024. From the rise of generative AI to significant changes proposed by a new National-ACT-NZ First government, the legal community will have plenty to keep its eye on.

At a time like this, having trusted tech partners and information sources has never been more important. After a year of innovation and experimentation, LexisNexis New Zealand has continued to look for progressive ways in investing on market leading solutions and product evolution – something New Zealand general manager Aya Riola puts down to its relentless focus on customer centricity.

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“We’re in a very fast changing environment,” Riola tells NZ Lawyer.

“The volatility in the market, rising inflation and cost of goods has been the biggest challenge, and this uncertainty was compounded by 2023 being an election year. The team has really focused on delivering best in class service – we’re not just selling something into the market, we’re offering innovative solutions that best suit the needs of our customer base.”

Investing into an AI-driven future

We’ve heard a lot about generative AI and large language models this year – and for good reason. Generative AI has the potential to transform the way legal professionals handle research, making it less labour-intensive and leaving more time for in-depth analysis.

LexisNexis has been developing a number of AI-driven tools over the past years, including Lexis+ and Lexis Clause Intelligence. Lexis+ is an advanced research tool based on carefully curated content from LexisNexis’s vast library of historical and current cases, and the platform has already enjoyed significant success overseas.

It is currently in its alpha testing, and is expected to be released to the New Zealand market by mid-next year.

“The future looks very promising,” Riola says.

“Lexis+ is one of our flagship products due to the success it’s had in other LexisNexis regions considering market adoption. It allows customers to get access to legal content more efficiently with high accuracy, where LexisNexis have invested on legal experts doing auditing and quality checking, so there is human intervention to make sure these ‘case summaries’ are actually market and customer ready.”

“It’s something our customers should be very excited about,” he adds. “We’re continuously investing into technology advancement and subject matter experts, and we are constantly looking for ways on how we can further evolve this into something even better.”

Putting the legal industry front and centre

Far from just being a tech vendor, LexisNexis has made it its mission to be a trusted partner to the legal industry. Part of this involves ongoing collaboration with its client base, and a constant gathering of feedback around their pain points, needs and demands.

All of this is key to its central mission of upholding the Rule of Law in New Zealand, and to ensuring equitable access to legal information and justice.

“Part of our discipline is that we don’t just produce products out of the blue but rather facilitate extensive customer insights due diligence,” Riola says.

“It’s based on a collection of feedback, requests and demands coming from our customers. We work with our industry experts to find the best possible solutions to meet these demands, and that’s where the partnership and collaboration really resonates well.”

Reflecting on its support of the legal industry throughout 2023, Riola notes that Cyclone Gabrielle was a particularly challenging time for many of its clients. LexisNexis responded by immediately providing free access to legal research to impacted customers, something Riola describes as a “testament to the organisation’s Rule of Law advocacy.”

LexisNexis was also the event partner for the New Zealand Law Awards – a highly anticipated annual event celebrating the achievement of New Zealand’s legal industry. Riola says that supporting the event was an important way of recognising achievements and milestones, and that it was great to see the brand standing alongside the legal industry.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to contribute to the legal landscape, and I’m excited to explore on how we can invest on more opportunities like this in the future,” Riola says.

“Ultimately, we don’t want to just be seen as a vendor or supplier – that’s the easy piece! It’s long been our aspiration to be seen as trusted industry partners committed to serving the needs of our customers. When the going gets tough and when there are challenges being faced, our customers look to us for support, and we want to make sure that we’re providing value adding services in those times.”

To stay up to date with the release of Lexis+ in New Zealand, join Lexis AI Insider for free and get early access to the products, become a part of the legal AI community and take part in knowledge sharing. Join Lexis AI Insider by submitting the form HERE.

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