The MD/CEO of Systemspecs, John Obaro has advised legal practitioners to upskill and leverage innovative technology to remain relevant in what he described as the Co-Covid and Post-Covid era.
Speaking during the Penthouse Law interactive session on Digital Innovation in Financial Services: Opportunities for lawyers despite Covid-19, John Obaro, said that McKinsey has estimated in a recent report that 23% of lawyers job can be automated, which presents an opportunity for lawyers to adapt to the new normal through technological innovations as artificial intelligence (AI) would not be able to replace lawyers, but lawyers who use AI will replace those who don’t.
While describing Co-Covid as the time when we live concurrently with Covid-19 perhaps as good neighbours, he asserted that some of the best innovations for the future will happen during the quarantine.
Highlighting the roles of lawyers in complementing the fintechs, Obaro stated that the fintech is an ecosystem with many stakeholders that have a vital role in it’s creation, development and sustainability, with the lawyers playing a leading role as the challenges of financial inclusion in Nigeria presents immense opportunity for the fintechs to apply innovative technologies and processes to deliver financial services.
“The fintech ecosystem has over sixteen stakeholders, and each one has it’s own role to play. It is the consistent and cooperative participation of all the participants in the ecosystem that enable the fintech community to thrive. For each of the stakeholders in the value chain, there is a role for lawyers”, said Obaro.
He advised the lawyers to continuously seek new ways of supporting the fintech industry by upskilling and rethinking current processes from a sustainability stand point, as the fundamental needs of fintechs (irrespective of growth stage), cut across Technology, Regulations, Corporate Gorvernance, Cyber security and Data protection, Litigation, and Financial (fund raising, mergers and acquisitions, stock market, etc).
While tasking the legal practitioners on the need to do more, he stated that the fintech industry more than ever before, need lawyers who:
Understand digital financial services and fintech business trends
Have keen interest in current technology, it’s application and development
Enhance competence to advise on legal, business and strategy matters
Avoid over-specialization as the need of fintechs cuts across various practice areas.
He ended by emphasising on the need for more collaborations from the lawyers especially in key areas of data security, computer forensics, mergers and acquisitions, etc).