For law firms, the office in the metaverse will wait

“ding dong”. In the family law PacisLexis metaverse, our avatar meets Antoine Bert, the company’s artistic director. His colleagues are attracted to him. In the meeting room, in the office, in construction team“Geographical regions allow each member of the company to describe their intentions, with a ‘do not disturb’ option if necessary.” This is not a Police Tool, Antoine Bert insists – there is no obligation to contact him. It’s an extra boost: The company believed that its presence in the metaverse would benefit internal relationships, but also relationships with customers. “The tool resolves an issue with attorney availability and accessibility”. Family law PacisLexis has chosen a closed world, developed by startup Lemlist, without 3D glasses. The price varies depending on the number of users: Antoine Bert’s imagination is almost the only limit to the expansion of the company’s virtual offices. Across the Atlantic, many companies have launched. In France, family law PacisLexis got the ball rolling. The first of a long series? Not so sure.

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“A thousand avocats” really wants to drown, “Out of curiosity first and foremost”. The company believes that mastering technology – which includes, among other things, opening an office within – is so “Essential to understand, identify and propose relevant technical solutions”.

“There is a lot of excitement, but you have to keep your cool.”

At ORWL, Gide, and Osborne Clarke, the story is different: These digital spaces are under construction, and not yet mature. They are not, for the time being, committed to the activity of lawyers. The promises of interoperability, scalability, and an immersive experience aren’t quite there. Especially since immersion is one of the main characteristics of metaverses, and this immersion requires equipment. Not all practices and customers have access to headphones and sensors. Glasses can be heavy if worn for a long time.

“There is a lot of excitement, but you have to keep your cool.”, says Frank Guider, Team Leader for Gide 255, which is dedicated to digital transformation. Be sure to skip the steps very quickly: “The corporate experience has to be sustainable, first understand what the metaverse is, which doesn’t necessarily require you to be there.” If they decide to dive into it too, companies should always consider the cornerstones of their business: “What service do we provide to the Metaverse? What tool can be useful in this universe, in addition to the legal derivations that companies have already made? “Xavier Pican and Stéphane Catays, Osborne Clarke Partners, OK.

“For a larger networking company, the topic will likely include major infrastructure and security work.”

Caution and hindsight

The good news is that companies still have a little time to build their offerings, while they wait to put the metaverse well together. At this point, this virtual world will reveal its advantages: the possibility of going into a virtual office, attending consultations or 3D meetings, in an immersive environment. “This is the next step for video conferencing, the opportunity to give employees a new work experience, and the ability to work with colleagues from home”confirms Stefan Katez, who heads the real estate division of Osborne Clark.

It will help to attract new customers. it will be “New marketing field, new topic of communication”Frank Gwadar expects. which should go hand in hand with another theme, ‘Very basic’ : data security. The network company, which has several offices around the world, must have a secure platform. “Thinking about it takes time, Xavier Pecan, a technology and intellectual property specialist, explains. It may be easier to practice small Take a stand On the question of metaverses. For a larger network company, the topic will likely include major infrastructure and security business. “ Caution and hindsight are in order.

technical understanding

Especially since customers don’t express an immediate need to see their advice launch into the metaverse, validate companies. On the other hand, everyone follows Web 3 topics closely. This is necessary if they want to be able to follow their customers. Companies in all sectors of activity – luxury in mind – want to be there. They want to present it to their customers. “It is a very dynamic sector.”, confirms William O’Rourke, Compliance Partner – Digital at ORWL. maybe a lot : “Some clients invest too quickly, without anticipating legal issues; Our role then is to help them organize themselves legally and protect themselves from dangersAs Frank Gwadar says.

This is exactly what customers of Osborne Clarke expect, that the company will train and alert. The result: lawyers will have the same role today, “But it will have to master the basic technology in order to adapt legal solutions to the new modes of expressing disputes, so as to qualify violations”, says Sarah Kompany, partner at Alf Avocats. It is necessary to know the historical issues of data protection and intellectual property and add to it technical knowledge of Web 3, crypto and blockchain. These new skills, as Frank Gwader emphasizes, “Indispensable in law firms”. It is up to them to develop a basic triad: economic understanding, technical understanding and legal understanding of these issues.

“You have to see entry into the metaverse in two stages: the customer stage, closer, because the demand is growing. And in companies, once everything is well established”

Make the conversion

One difficulty remains: Right about the metaverse is, for now, a gray area. Hence the importance of understanding the environment in order to tailor legal responses. It is already possible to get an idea of ​​the problems that can arise: those, the usual, online harassment, confidentiality of personal data, legality of content “It will extend naturally in this virtual environment”, Sarah Kompany analyzes. Frank Gwader adds that the problems of new generation e-commerce will also arise. The lawyer thinks of the many buying possibilities that this virtual world offers. Xavier Pecan asserts: “What would be interesting is to confront the metaverse with current judgments”. The metaverse, in a nutshell, is the displacement of what we know all too well in classic websites, a “A legal issue we should exchange.”.

How do we train? Franck Guiader created the Gide 255 three years ago. It is entirely dedicated to consulting in digital transformation, so “Ready to answer”. For companies you didn’t expect, Franck Guiader recommends surrounding themselves with experts. “There are gray areas, no coordination of international rules, arbitration being conducted from one jurisdiction to another, territorial matters.” All companies, large and small, should step up their efforts on these topics.

Ultimately, law firms’ entry into the metaverse will depend on a language that clients, technology providers, and the company understand. But you have to see entry into the metaverse in two stages: the customers stage, closer, because the demand is increasing. And this is from the cabinets, once everything is well solidified.

Olivia Fuentes

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