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ChatGPT, poachings and policies: What’s hot in law this week (30 Jan to 3 Feb)

From new artificial intelligence (AI) to growth for firms of all sizes, here is your weekly round-up of the biggest news stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 03 February 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 30 January to 3 February, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1.     ChatGPT not likely to wholly replace lawyers (yet)
After a rumoured $10 billion injection from Microsoft, Open AI and ChatGPT are currently making global headlines. Here’s what it could mean for lawyers, law students and the regulatory landscape.

  1.     K&L Gates continues to take from HWL Ebsworth
Last month, global law firm K&L Gates added three partners from BigLaw rival HWL Ebsworth for its corporate and asset management and investment funds practice. Now, it has added another partner from HWL, who is bringing four lawyers with her.


  1.     Legal bosses should not slide into employees’ DMs, say partners
Team leaders and managers who are inclined to message their lawyers via social media platforms should revert to more conventional modes of communication, according to three workplace relations specialists.

  1.     ‘Vacation bonus’ incentives unlikely to drive real change
While one international firm’s new “vacation bonus” initiative has made headlines across the globe, some have labelled it “superficial and one-dimensional” and called for meaningful change in the legal profession.

  1.     Is organic growth becoming harder for small law firms?
While some boutique firm owners — as well as ChatGPT — think that organic growth is increasingly difficult in the current climate, others are not as convinced.

  1.     Navigating a recession — especially as a younger GC
This general counsel talks about how to be successful in the role of general counsel through a recession and discusses how to be taken seriously at a young age.

  1.     How to take a holiday as a boutique firm owner: Part 1
Everyone needs a little break once in a while. But how can boutique firm owners prepare their firms to be able to survive without them? These practice owners weigh in.

  1.     What’s next for Hall & Wilcox?
In conversation with Lawyers Weekly, Hall & Wilcox managing partner Tony Macvean said that although overall, the firm had a successful 2022, there were a number of headline issues the BigLaw player is continuing to focus on in 2023.

  1.     Allsop CJ appointed Companion of the Order of Australia
Last week’s 2023 Australia Day Honours List named Federal Court Chief Justice James Allsop as a Companion of the Order of Australia, with numerous other legal professionals being recognised for their contributions.

  1. 2 in 3 companies still failing to meet modern slavery reporting requirements
While the new Modern Slavery Act legislation has been in effect for over four years, many organisations still have work to do to make sure their corporate reporting is up to scratch, according to this HRLC lawyer.