The legal community is highly diverse and generally organises itself into segments based on practice areas such as Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Dispute Resolution, to name a few, or specifically focusing on either practicing lawyers, in-house legal counsels, academic researchers or more recently on legal technology. However, as new technologies enter society at an increasing speed, inviting multiple stakeholders and perspectives to the table is the only way to develop future-proof, comprehensive legal responses encompassing several different practice areas and verticals within the legal industry.
The Global Legal Forum, organised annually in The Hague by India-based Law Pundits does just that: it invites legal practitioners from various segments, specialisations, perspectives and cultures to discuss law and legal issues relevant to contemporary micro and macro trends and new technologies. The unique composition of speakers, subjects and attendees attracted to Global Legal Forum has proven highly effective, leaving attendees inspired and with praise for the depth and relevance of the event.
“What we found missing in the legal industry, was a globally relevant, multi-perspective platform that allows the kind of discussions required to provide a solid and comprehensive legal response to the extremely fast developments in technology and society, which drastically affect both our professional and personal lives,” he continues. Vishnu and his team believe that in order to keep the world safe and secure in the near and far future, a platform for legal discussions, similar to the World Economic Forum is required.
A platform where law ministries, managing partners of law firms, in-house counsels, law students, law professors and legal tech companies exchange notes and ideas. Ideally, they will then take the outcomes of their discussions back to their countries, firms and organizations and perhaps even influence how justice systems work. “With this ambition in mind, The Hague was our first choice for this forum from the beginning,” says Vishnu.
“Considering both the legacy of The Hague as a center point for international peace and justice and home to almost all major international legal institutions and a large international legal community, this city is the most credible location to build the Global Legal forum”. The Hague’s reputation helps to attract influential leaders from the various verticals in the Legal industry, who bring discussions to a high level and have the impact the Law Pundits team aim for. But there is also a more personal component to Vishnu’s preference for The Hague. “To be honest, I’ve been in love with The Hague since the first time I visited this city” he confesses. “Although I grew up in different Asian countries such as UAE and India, The Hague was the first place I stayed outside of Asia and it was the best time of my life."
"The vibrant area in and around the beach, the friendliness of the citizens, all of whom speaks fluent English, made that time truly amazing. Many of the people I met at that time, some 20 years ago in The Hague are still close friends today,” Vishnu concludes.
The growth of Global Legal Forum, which had its first edition in 2018, was impacted a lot by the pandemic. “The pandemic slowed down our growth dramatically, and kept us from reaching the scale we originally aimed for at this point, but we are very positive about our future outlook."
Because they aim to propel legal responses to new technologies in order to keep individuals and organisations safe, the aim is to increase the involvement of policy makers over time. “We need all segments of the Legal industry, including policy makers, to contribute to the discussions to give them solid substance. This enables the new acquired knowledge and insights to be taken back to attendees’ home-countries, to inform new legal policies, help with access to justice and rule of law ” Vishnu continues. Policy makers are often confronted with bureaucratic systems that make it difficult to make changes. They are not always aware of the technological solutions that are available, and the service providers that can help with implementing new solutions. Also, there is always a lot to learn from how other countries deal with legal issues.
Global Legal Forum 2022 took place on December 1st and 2nd, with the central theme: how can technology improve the way in which law is being practiced, and make legal advice more accessible. With speakers and attendees from over 20 countries, the 3rd Annual Global Legal Forum was a great success.
The Global Legal Forum will return in October 2023 back to The Hague. As part of their vision, GLF expects to welcome legal policy makers, Law Ministers, Judges, In-house Counsels, and cutting edge legal technologies from all over the world to the Hague in 2023.