Law, Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship Lab (LITE Lab) at HKU Faculty of Law recently received one of the three 2022 Legal Innovation in Operations (LIO) Projects awards from Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC), the leading organization dedicated to transforming the business and practice of law, in front of an audience of nearly 2,500 legal service professionals at the CLOC Global Institute 2022 (CGI 2022) at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
“CLOC stands for creativity and innovation, and we are proud to recognize those who demonstrate these values in the relentless pursuit of transformation at scale in legal operations,” said Mike Haven, president of CLOC’s Board of Directors and Head of Legal Operations and Associate General Counsel for Intel.
The CLOC LIO Project Awards were developed to honor innovation and design excellence in legal operations and recognize those contributing to the evolution of the global corporate legal ecosystem, and LITE Lab was recognized for its “innovation-focused experiential student/client business challenge”.
This is the first time a university programme and an Asia-Pacific initiative has been named a winner of the global CLOC LIO Project Awards. The other innovative 2022 award recipients are Villa-Visual Law Studio with TIM Brazil for their introduction of telecommunications visual contracts and Digitory Legal with Kaiser Permanente for their data-driven Equity, Inclusion and Diversity program for outside counsel selection.
LITE Lab’s founding executive director Mr Brian Tang joined representatives from the other CLOC LIO Project awardees to share learnings and actionable takeaways at a separate panel at CGI 2022, and also joined Jenn McCarron (Director of Legal Operations & Technology at Netflix) for the CLOC Talk Podcast that will be released later in May.
Launched in 2019, LITE Lab is an interdisciplinary and experiential programme that fosters law, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship (LITE) at top 20 globally ranked HKU Faculty of Law. By collaborating with ecosystem partners such as Cyberport, Hong Kong Science & Technology Park, HKU’s iDendron, Fintech Association of Hong Kong and Association of Corporate Counsel – Hong Kong, LITE Lab@HKU curated and introduced a variety of new courses that enable undergraduate and postgraduate students to work with students from 6 of HKU’s 10 faculties and real-world under-resourced project partners to tackle real world legal innovation and technology issues of such tech startups, social entrepreneurs, NGOs and legal departments.
In its inaugural year, LITE Lab’s Lawtech & Regtech Sandbox partnered undergraduate law students with the legal and operations departments of project partners HSBC, FedEx Express and Goodman Asia to co-design proof-of-concept legal triage and document automation using no/low code tools to address their real-world painpoints. This win-win university-industry collaboration assists with the digital transformation journeys of students and legal departments alike, and some of the student prototypes have even been implemented. Details of LITE Lab’s award-winning LIO Project submission can be viewed here.
LITE Lab@HKU previously also won the World Commerce and Contracting Innovation & Excellence Award for Outstanding Cooperation & Collaboration APAC 2021 with FedEx Express and is a global finalist for the ongoing FT Innovative Lawyer’s Collaborative Innovation Award 2022.
“It is an honour to be recognized by CLOC for our pioneering win-win initiative to better prepare our next generation of legal professionals in a way that also positively impacts under-resourced organisations and the current legal profession in their legal innovation and technology journeys,“ said Mr Tang. “This prestigious award would not have been possible without the trust and genuine collaboration of the general counsel and legal operations leaders at our inaugural project partners FedEx Express, HSBC and Goodman Asia, together with ecosystem partners such as Association of Corporate Counsel – Hong Kong, Clifford Chance, and a growing number of no/low code platforms, to whom we are most grateful. We look forward to exploring further collaborations with other interested parties to expand our impact globally.”
Shogo Osaka, Managing Director Legal, FedEx Express North Pacific, whose team was recently named Asian Legal Business’ Asia’s Top 15 In-house Teams 2022, said, “The co-design project with LITE Lab has offered us a great opportunity to transform some legal-tech ideas into reality. Through collaboration with the law students to design and develop proof-of-concept tools, we not only achieved a tangible benefit to automate repetitive tasks but also enjoyed a rewarding experience of supporting the students’ growth.”
Award presenter Farrah Pepper, Chief Legal Innovation Counsel at March McLennan, echoed a common refrain heard from legal professionals regarding LITE Lab: “I wish they had that when I was in law school.”
- CLOC is the leading organization dedicated to transforming the business and practice of law.
- The Legal Innovation in Operations (LIO) Project was developed to honor innovation and design excellence in legal operations and recognize those contributing to the evolution of the global corporate legal ecosystem.
- LITE Lab@ HKU is an award-winning interdisciplinary and experiential programme that fosters law, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship (LITE) at top 20 globally ranked University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law.
- Brian Tang is founding executive director of LITE Lab@HKU and an innovator, ecosystem builder and educator at the confluence of law, technology and finance that previously held senior leadership roles at global investment bank Credit Suisse in Hong Kong and international law firms Sullivan & Cromwell in New York and King & Wood Mallesons in Perth. Brian was named by Asia Legal Portal as One of the 30 People to Watch in the Business of Law in 2022