Oyewole, Partner at DLA Piper Africa member firm, Olajide Oyewole LLP, focuses on the media, entertainment and technology sectors and says this has created the “perfect platform” to provide advisory services in the digital age.
She was also recently listed by the online platform,Techcabal, as one of the leading 50 women in tech in Nigeria.
She explains that just over a decade ago she was involved with a brief which included the copyright laws of France and the US.
“The analysis of the laws we had received from the other side needed to be verified. Thankfully these laws were available online which was a big help to us.”
This today may seem to be a simple example of the benefits of “tech”, but many people will remember back to the pre-internet “dark ages”.
And Nigeria, Oyewole says, is embracing the new age.
“Over the last 20 years we have witnessed improved communication with colleagues and clients, increased opportunities for direct sales and marketing and the accessibility to vast amounts of material and information relevant to the legal services we provide.
“Accounting software, the automation of a number of administrative and managerial roles, cloud services, etc are just a few examples of how our business support benefits from technology,” she says.
And the government is also on board.
“I particularly like the fact that many of Nigeria’s ministries, departments and agencies now use social media to update on developments, policies, directives and laws. This enables us to notify and advise our clients almost immediately.
“Efficiency has improved and costs have reduced. All this has served to be more of a value add to our clients and helped in the growth of our firm. “
Oyewole says while, for now, there was still a need for a “human lawyer”, automated legal services were widely available.
“In some jurisdictions, the drafting of wills and a plethora of agreements, preparation of divorce papers and dispute resolution services are already widely available online with limited need for an actual lawyer. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. “
There continues to be a battle between man and machine but Oyewole says this should not cause panic and it is important to keep abreast of changes and adapt to ensure survival.
“There have been a number of surveys by very smart people and credible organisations which lean in favour of digital tech being more of a benefit than a disadvantage. While many jobs will, and have been lost, there is job creation and revenue generation is only increasing.
“I personally find the fourth industrial revolution, in its various ramifications, fascinating and at the same time a bit scary.
“DLA Piper’s partnership with Kira Systems to develop Kira, a due diligence software is an example of adaptation. With Kira, due diligence is conducted in a much faster time, the cost to the client is reduced and the lawyers that would have carried out the services are able to focus on other areas of work.”
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