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Legal visionaries George Beaton and Richard Susskind (pictured) will headline a star-studded line-up of speakers at the Law Society of NSW’s annual conference on the Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) in Sydney in July.

These innovation experts will sit alongside stalwarts of the Australian legal system such as former High Court Justice Michael Kirby and Judge of the Federal Court of Australia Melissa Perry. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that looks set to pair discussions around automation, coding and de-centralisation of legal work with pillars of tradition and justice – reflecting a key FLIP theme that innovation need not come at the price of sacrificing the rule of law.

“The legal profession is in the middle of what is being referred to the next industrial revolution,” said President of the Law Society of NSW Elizabeth Espinosa. “As the use of legal technology picks up pace, it is important that solicitors understand and anticipate how technology will affect the way they practise law and, in turn, understand how their clients use technology.”

George Beaton will lead a conference session on this very issue – discussing innovation from clients’ perspectives in a panel session titled “Keeping up with the changing choices of clients”. Beaton lends his experience as the head of global consulting powerhouse Beaton Research + Consulting, and as the author of two books that offered revolutionary predictions for the future of law when they were first published – NewLaw New Rules in 2013 and Remaking Law Firms in 2016.

Richard Susskind, a British professor who became globally renowned after publishing his landmark The Future of the Professions in 2015, will join the conference via video link to speak on how lawyers can prepare their business mindsets for the future.


George Beaton (right) will lead a panel session on “Keeping up with the changing choices of clients” at the 2019 FLIP Conference.

A new addition to the program for 2019 will be an exciting interactive display called “Today and Tomorrow Alley”. This walk-through display will showcase some of the most exciting technology products forecast to make lawyers’ work easier in coming years. Participants will put on headphones and be able to see, hear and experience predictions for life as a lawyer in the decades up to 2050.

“The thought-provoking program will give delegates the tools to survive and thrive in an ever-changing legal landscape,” said Espinosa. “And importantly, practitioners can earn up to 17 CPD points – seven points for attending the conference and another 10 more by listening to podcasts of any sessions that they didn’t attend on the day. All podcasts are included in the ticket price.”

Canadian professor Mitch Kowalski, previously featured in the June news pages of LSJ, will open the conference with his keynote speech on “Lawyering in 2050: Robots in Suits or Just a Slightly Better Version of 2019?”

Despite big names headlining the conference program, smaller legal start-ups will also get their chance to shine at the “Emerging Technology Lounge”. This lounge will provide a stage for technology-focused legal start-ups that are less than five years old and not publicly listed to pitch their ideas for new legal technologies. Speakers will be vying for audience votes to earn a prize for the most successful pitch.

The day will conclude with an “Innovation Dinner” and networking drinks reception at the Hilton Sydney from 5.30pm.

Register for the conference here.