Legal & IP, eDiscovery and Compliance professional from across Asia gathered together this week in the National Museum of Singapore for the 2nd annual Yerra Conference APAC. The event was bigger than ever with approximately 80 guests attending to hear 9 industry innovators speak about a wide range of topics from managing risk to legal procurement and spend management to the intersection of FinTech and LegalTech.
Roy Teo’s opening keynote address provided guests with a clear depiction of how the FinTech revolution has impacted regulation and the legal profession from the perspective of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Though FinTech has caused disruption to many legal teams, Roy encouraged guests to embrace innovation as it is an empowering force for legal and compliance departments. “I came here to speak to make sure that compliance officers and legal teams know we are open to and encourage innovation,” stated Mr. Teo. He explained how MAS has set up data analytic groups to evaluate how to best use technologies for the banks. Roy closed his session by reiterating that information gathered and collected needs to be properly stored.
Jerome Raguin then spoke about how the FinTech revolution mirrors what is happening with LegalTech. While FinTech has been around since 1990 and started buzzing after the financial crisis of 2008, LegalTech is yet to make its surge. Yerra’s COO highlighted the similarities of the factors driving these two technological revolutions, such as invasive technology and public requesting change, acceleration of innovation and acceptance of new technology, as well as an increased level of funding. He completed his presentation by providing information about the future of LegaTech; despite a currently low adoption of legal technology solutions, Jerome believes that the forces impacting the market will require that both law firms and legal departments leverage technology in frequent and innovative ways in order to manage their increasing workloads, leading to huge opportunities for LegalTech.
Ravinder Passi from Nissan then delivered an inspiring session about how to achieve global operational excellence. He shared his experience with Nissan and explained how the company brought all its global entities under the same operating umbrella to achieve greater visibility into costs, risk and opportunities for improvement. Conference guests were encouraged to evaluate their company’s current operations and compare them to an “ideal state” and then implement the change needed to close the gap. Mr. Passi discussed how Nissan agreed with the decision and implementation of LegalTech in their legal process and how it is benefiting them.
Saswata Mukherjee of Unilever enlightened guests about the intersection between legal and procurement departments and how open lines of communication can improve an organization’s overall financial state. He gave a thorough explanation of how legal departments who apply procurement best practices experience reduced legal fees. Procurement departments who understand the legal aspect of their contracts produce better results. Saswata stressed, “Legal and procurement should speak the same language. Pricing is important, but that's not the only thing.” When these two departments work together they improve the way services are procured and managed across the company. Saswata also acknowledged the growing role of LPOs and how they can aid in the system.
Bora Inceler’s session covered how to setup a system of checks to ensure policies are being enforced and incidents identified, tracked and remediated with regards to regulatory requirements. He provided guests with clear advice that included, “Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer” when talking about common project challenges. He emphasized not to create solutions in one shot, but to instead build small, sustainable solutions. “Sustainable and repeatable.” Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure that the data points collected in the company are useful and analyzed. This will allow for improvements to be made. He also made a compelling case for why analysis and innovation was required for various functions in an organization.
We then had the opportunity to hear from Karin Bruehlmann, Head of Controlling, Finance & Services of Roche Pharmaceuticals, who talked about her experience at Roche and their choice to implement Yerra Clearly. In an attempt to eliminate the use of paper, gain visibility and identify cost savings opportunities, Roche chose Yerra Clearly which combined human intelligence with technology and reporting to maintain its IP portfolio. Karin stated, “Can’t beat all three combinations of AI, Human Intelligence and capture 100% of spend. Yerra clearly combine artificial and human intelligence to deliver strongest cost control solution for Legal, IP, and eDiscovery spend on the market.”
Mirko Consolascio truly had all attendees engaged in hearing how he headed a project that included a Yerra’s managed services team that implemented an award-winning cross-border project to institute checks and controls to ensure that agreements were negotiated using the correct template, legal language and in a way that is fully compliant with internal policies and regulations. He strongly believes that a zero error rate is attainable. Attendees were advised on how important it is to have a rigorous control and review process to protect their organization against risk.
The final session of the day concluded with a panel discussion featuring Rein Graat of ING and Chee Kim Lam of DBS Bank discussing how to identify and successfully implement the right innovation projects. The two legal leaders shared stories of how they were able to successfully implement impactful changes in their departments benefiting their organizations as a whole. Both of them stressed on the importance of a good ecosystem where legal professionals can connect, interact and discuss their various legal concerns. The discussion was interactive, educational and a fun experience for both the guests and the panel participants.
The day concluded with a wine tasting and networking event. All in all, it was a wonderful event led by some of the industry’s leading innovators.
If you missed Yerra Conference APAC, join us for Yerra Conference Europe! Click here for details.