Competent legal support is impossible without lawyers becoming more actively involved in a business strategy of the company
11.10.2019

Competent legal support is impossible without lawyers becoming more actively involved in a business strategy of the company

Ekaterina Lobachyova, Legal Director of the largest Russian retail company X5 Retail Group, speaks about LegalTech solutions in retail segment, communication with business branches and explains why lawyers should not fear the competition with AI

In anticipation of the International conference Skolkovo LegalTech. BlackEdition, scheduled for November 29 in Skolkovo, we visited the legal service X5 Retail Group, headed by Ekaterina Lobachyova. She has been working over 15 years in legal departments of the big companies.

Through the years of her work, Ekaterina realized a few large-scale projects, including optimization and automatization of business processes at MDM Bank, EvrazHolding and Investment Construction Holding. In 2016 she was appointed to be director of legal affairs at X5 Retail Group company, one of the most successful retailers in Europe according to IGD version.

Ekaterina Lobachyova mentioned an important role of LegalTech in improving the efficiency of business, saying that AI can substitute an employee of the legal department.

– What the most in-demand trends on the LegalTech market?

– Today, we can see a change in the trends of lawyers’ requests related to the LegalTech products. If a few years ago everyone was focused on organizing and automating business processes the organization and automation of the processes inside the affiliates or the companies,  today the most in-demand products have the potential to replace a lawyer:  all possible sets of documents, intellectual chat bots related to specific spheres, systems, trained to identify and compare documents, search analytics and automatically generate answers. Also, we believe that law departments have to work in one office. It does not only simplify the communication between a customer and professionals, but organizes all activities of an expert, enabling him to quickly and efficiently select appropriate answers to typical or already tested questions and analyze the efficiency and workload of a lawyer.

– What can you recommend to the entrepreneurs who accept and implement the LegalTech solutions?

– The LegalTech solutions are just the tools which can noticeably optimize certain processes. But they cannot create or replace them. The success of implementing such solutions directly depends on the organization of business processes within the companies, correct identification of the areas, which require automation. The LegalTech solutions do not replace a legal department, but serve to improve its quality and speed of its work.

– What is the best way to train personnel? Which preliminary work is required? Is it necessary to fully re-engineer business processes?

– It is important to get rid of subjective and psychological barriers – the unwillingness of lawyers to use new technologies out of the fear of being replaced by artificial intelligence. The ability of employees to step aside from clichés and standards which will not allow to come to the unification of documents and processes. It means that the documents that you are working on should have a different architecture. They should be written in a simple algorithmic language so that they are both easy to understand and to code.

– What is the role of the legal department in X5 Retail Group: is it legal counselling or a more active participation in the business decision-making?

-Of course, lawyers establish partnerships with businesses.

– It is critical to understand the company business needs and be committed to the implementation of the business strategy for any competent legal support. We make our best to ensure the maximum involvement in all aspects and all legal processes. Apart from other things, some employees of legal departments are the permanent members of various investment committees. 

– How actively are you using the LegalTech solutions? Which legal segments require them most of all?

– Speaking of implemented solutions, I would mention the automation of document circulation, issue of powers of attorney, coordination of contracts, account of legal work, etc. In addition, we use a number of external products  for intellectual property work, tracking litigation activities.

– How would you rate the role of the LegalTech solutions in the capitalization and the efficiency improvement program of X5 Retail Group?

– The LegalTech solutions allow you to build up and effectively organize the processes, increase the productivity of employees, separate routine work from intellectual work. Creating conditions for the individual work of business branches is an additional advantage – now you don’t have to contact lawyers on the most trivial pretext. And, of course, such solutions are absolutely beneficial for any company. 

Implementation of such products accelerate the terms of processing business requests, creation of transparent document circulation, and labor productivity growth in general. However, it is too early to speak about a unified innovation system. The way to the digitalization of legal work is not an easy one.

– What are the differences between the Russian and international markets for the LegalTech solutions?

Due to a number of reasons, the LegalTech markets in Russia and other countries are different. It can be explained by the difference between legal systems, relevant regulations, market structures (the correlation between in-house and consulting), and market volumes. Along with this, if you look at the market of the LegalTech products, you will be able to find a significant similarity between many products developed in Russia and abroad.

– Do you still have unique products?

Everyone made a point saying that the Card Index of Arbitration cases was an excellent product. We should also mention the state-produced automation services.

– Today, LegalTech is mainly focused on the digital document management software, associated with an account of claim-related cases and databases. Are there any successful products at the Russian market to employ blockchain-powered software, AI, and other examples of the cutting edge technology? Does it work in Russia? Do you use them in your practice?

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution. The digitalization is being introduced in literally all spheres of life. We closely following the market of the LegalTech products and regularly test various platforms. For instance, creating a legal advice AI platform is really exciting. I believe that after a while we’ll be able to boast in our own developments in this sphere.  

Включение в Guest List Skolkovo
LegalTech. Black Edition

Контактный телефон:

* Поле обязательное для заполнения.
Нажимая кнопку «Отправить», я даю свое согласие на обработку моих персональных данных, в соответствии с №152-ФЗ «О персональных данных» от 27.07.2006 года, на условиях и для целей, определенных в Согласии на обработку персональных данных.

Благодарим за Ваш интерес
к Skolkovo LegalTech.Black Edition!

Программный комитет рассмотрит Ваш запрос на включение в Guest List в течение 7 дней.

О результатах Вы узнаете из письма, которое будет направлено на указанный Вами электронный адрес.

По любым вопросам Вы можете связаться с нами через раздел Контакты.

С уважением,
Дирекция Skolkovo LegalTech.Black Edition

Стать партнером LegalTech. Black
Edition 2019

Пожалуйста, опишите кратко ваше предложение:

* Поле обязательное для заполнения.
Нажимая кнопку «Отправить», я даю свое согласие на обработку моих персональных данных, в соответствии с №152-ФЗ «О персональных данных» от 27.07.2006 года, на условиях и для целей, определенных в Согласии на обработку персональных данных.

Благодарим за Ваш интерес
к Skolkovo LegalTech.Black Edition!

Программный комитет рассмотрит Ваш запрос о парнерстве в самое ближайшее время.

О результатах Вы узнаете из письма по электронной почте или по указанному телефону.

По любым вопросам Вы можете связаться с нами через раздел Контакты.

С уважением,
Дирекция Skolkovo LegalTech.Black Edition