Telfa Spring Conference gathers lawyers from 27 jurisdictions in Warsaw to discuss Compliance and Artificial Intelligence

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Around 70 lawyers from across 27 jurisdictions gathered over  2 days in Warsaw for the annual Trans European Law Firm Alliance (TELFA) Spring Conference to learn about and debate various Compliance issues and the rise of Artificial Intelligence in legal services.  

  • Conference was hosted by GWW, one of the largest law firm in Poland, the exclusive Polish member of the alliance of independent law firms TELFA.
  • Topics discussed during the Conference were Compliance (day 1) and Artificial Intelligence (day 2).

The first day was devoted to various compliance issues around Europe. Piotr Świstak, from the New Technologies department of GWW, discussed the most difficult challenges raised by GDPR compliance in the context of cybersecurity risk and personal data protection. Rafał Pietruszewski (GWW) discussed the risks faced by board members in the light of both the civil and criminal penalties that can arise under Poland’s bankruptcy laws. Jacek Olma (GWW) and Karolina Kołban (GWW), discussed the new rules governing the anti-corruption obligations of collective entities, including the need for whistleblower protections and the need for effective policies and procedures to investigate issues disclosed by whistleblowers. Tomasz Krzywański (GWW) explained  the increasing risks faced by Polish companies in respect of tax compliance – transfer pricing, VAT, GAAR and the new withholding and mandatory disclosure rules. Finally, the conference on compliance was wrapped-up by a panel discussion on the role of corporate governance on compliance, with TELFA member firm lawyers  from Germany and Great Britain in addition to compliance officers from businesses in Poland, moderated by Bartłomiej Wyjatek (GWW).

“It is a great pleasure for GWW to host the TELFA Spring Conference and to enrich our expertise in the field of Compliance with the experience of TELFA members in other jurisdictions. More than ever, Compliance is an international discipline where close collaboration between jurisdictions is required.”,said Aldona Leszczyńska, a partner at GWW.

After an intensive « design thinking » session on the second day, at which  TELFA members put forward proposals for the continued evolution and improvement of the alliance, a conference was held on the topic: “Legal Tech. Towards a legal artificial intelligence and an artificially intelligent law”. After a detailed review of what has been achieved by artificial intelligence to date and what is coming in the next 2 to 3 years, by Dr.Aleksandra Przegalińska, AI expert, MIT and Kozminski University PX, a panel discussion on AI in the legal sector was held between her, Marcin Zręda, Strategy Director for Legal & Corporate Market at Wolters Kluwer, Maciej Troć, CEO and founder of IUS.AI and Sebastian Grzywacz, Head of Legal Department Antalis Poland, founder of legaldpt.com, moderated by Piotr Świstak, from GWW. The topics discussed highlighted the need for transparency on how the algorithms used actually work, whether a consumer is dealing with a machine or human; the need for more diversity (both gender and ethnicity related) in the current and future  development of AI, in order to avoid algorithmic bias, and  the importance of accountability and the role that legal professionals should assume. “I am confident that the problem of bias in AI will be solved within the next 2 or 3 years, or at least we will have solid tools to limit it”,explained Dr.Przegalińska.

The second day concluded with a presentation byTadas Vilčinskasfrom LEXTAL, the TELFA member firm in Lithuania, on a legaltech solution that he has developed to improve international debt recovery processes and efficiencies.

After the conferences, TELFA member firm attorneys joined their corresponding practice groups (Corporate, Tax, Financial Services, Real Estate, Employment) to carry on with their cross jurisdictional work and the development of products for their clients.

In October 2019, the annual TELFA Associates’ meeting, which gathers the younger attorneys from the 27 member firms, will also focus on LegalTech. “Along with the launch – earlier this year – of a new comprehensive extranet which is already being used by more than 200 TELFA attorneys across Europe, this focus on legaltech by the alliance reflects the commitment of its members to understand the relevance of and to adopt the legaltech tools that are available for us to improve our services to our clients, as well as to be able to advise our clients on the digital evolution  –  or should I say revolution? – of their businesses”, said  Richard Isham, TELFA President.