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Herbert Smith Freehills has awarded Digital Scholar Fellowships to four members of its Digital Law Group for their development of a novel workflow automation tool. 

The 2021 Fellowships were awarded to Australian solicitors Rafael Lawrence, Raymond Sun and Byron Turner and paralegal and vacation clerk Cooper Corbett for their design and construction of an impressive workflow automation tool known as The Data Extraction and Presentation (DEAP) Tool.

The Fellowships are awarded annually to Digital Law Group members who demonstrate excellence in progressing the digitalisation of law and supporting clients in digital transformation. Each Fellow receives financial support and paid leave to develop their technical or legal skills at a tertiary institution of their choice.

The Digital Law Group is a global multidisciplinary team of 27 digital-savvy lawyers that provide our clients with connected, expert advice on digital transformation and emerging technologies.

The firm also made a special commendation to Singapore associate Kenneth Lo for his significant contribution to thought leadership on legal issues associated with clients’ digital transformations, including crypto currency regulation and central bank digital currencies.

“Our Digital Scholar Fellowships recognise the commitment and innovation within the firm’s Digital Law Group, and its impact on both our clients and our own digital transformation," said Herbert Smith Freehills’ CEO Justin D’Agostino.

"I’d like to congratulate Rafael, Raymond, Byron and Cooper for an incredible new digital tool, which has the potential to transform clients and the firm’s own strategic and digital transformation. I’d also like to congratulate Kenneth for his excellent digital law related advisory work and consistent enthusiasm for the impact of technology on the law.”

The winning team’s DEAP Tool can parse data from information sources in mere seconds, saving time and money on critical client work and minimising the risk of transcription errors. 

Once the data is extracted, the Tool provides the flexibility for the data to be used and presented in a number of ways. This data format allows more complex analytics.

The tool has multiple applications, particularly in corporate and finance law, and where timeliness and cost-effectiveness are critical commercial drivers.

"To fully harness the potential of digital transformation and emerging technologies, we need our lawyers to think outside the box," said Digital Law Group co-head Susannah Wilkinson. “This DEAP tool is a great example of our digital lawyers identifying ways to better serve clients, and using their multidisciplinary skills to bring that solution to life."

“This project looked holistically at how our legal processes gather and use structured data in ways that has broader applications for workflow automation of other client solutions.”

Key contacts

Justin D'Agostino photo

Justin D'Agostino

Chief Executive Officer and Partner, Hong Kong

Justin D'Agostino
Susannah Wilkinson photo

Susannah Wilkinson

Regional Head, Emerging Technology (APAC), Brisbane

Susannah Wilkinson

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Sally Greig

Sally Greig, Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong