Lawyers prepare for ‘driverless M&A’ as smart contract era dawns

The nation’s top law firms are braced for disruption as « smart contract » technology threatens thousands of legal jobs and lawyers’ role intermediating commercial negotiations and disputes is automated by computers.

One of the country’s biggest law firms, Allens, sent a report to its clients on Friday afternoon admitting that lawyers’ business model of profiting from an absence of trust in companies transacting with each is under threat from trust being coded into computers via distributed ledger technology, also known as blockchain.

Blockchain refers to new database technology where information is shared across a network of users who each hold a full and updated copy of the records.

« Smart contracts » are an application on the blockchain, referring to computer protocols which verify and execute the terms of a contract, removing the need for humans to monitor compliance and enforcement.

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Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 21 juin 2016 à 13 h 53 min.