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Reshaping the Legal Profession with AI: Insights from Emma Wright, Senior Commercial and Regulatory Lawyer
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Reshaping the Legal Profession with AI: Insights from Emma Wright, Senior Commercial and Regulatory Lawyer 

In an age marked by rapid technological advancements, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various industries has become a common theme. One sector undergoing significant transformation is the legal profession. Emma Wright, a prominent figure in the legal field, is at the forefront of this change. As a senior commercial and regulatory lawyer with a focus on technology, cybersecurity, AI, and telecoms, Wright leads the esteemed Technology, Data, and Digital team at Harbottle & Lewis, a position she established after her move from Deloitte. Her expertise has not only driven her professional success but has also positioned her as a trailblazer in the realm of AI’s impact on the legal landscape.


Wright’s journey into the legal world was catalyzed by her early fascination with technology. A unique combination of interests propelled her to become a lawyer specializing in technology-related matters. Even as the only girl in her school’s computing class, she felt drawn to law. This seemingly disparate duo found its harmony during her time as a policy adviser in the UK Government. This experience opened her eyes to the potential fusion of technology and law, laying the foundation for her distinguished career trajectory.


Discussing the role of AI in reshaping the legal profession, Wright highlights the profession’s nascent digital transformation. She views AI as a potent tool for lawyers in specific contexts. Her perspective is centered on enhancing the service lawyers provide to clients. However, she also emphasizes the necessity of acknowledging potential risks, such as client confidentiality breaches or incorrect AI-generated outputs. This cautious optimism captures the broader sentiment among legal professionals as they navigate the uncharted waters of AI integration.


Beyond her legal practice, Wright’s influence extends to key roles in various initiatives at the intersection of law, technology, and ethics. She serves as the Director and Counsel of the Interparliamentary Forum on Emerging Technologies (IFET), a platform she co-founded with British MP Darren Jones. This not-for-profit venture has spearheaded the establishment of a global network of legislators dedicated to collaboratively addressing the regulatory challenges posed by emerging technologies. The IFET’s partnership with UNESCO underscores its commitment to advancing ethical AI regulation on a global scale.


Wright’s involvement with the Global Forum of Women 4 Ethical AI further solidifies her commitment to responsible AI adoption. This network of global experts endeavors to facilitate the integration of ethical AI across industries. Her collaboration with UNESCO and legislators from diverse countries in implementing the UNESCO Recommendation on the ethics of artificial intelligence showcases her dedication to influencing policy-making in this critical domain.


Recognized as a ‘Leading Individual’ by legal directories in her area of expertise, Wright’s professional accolades are matched by her advocacy for diversity and inclusion. She firmly believes that diversity of thought is instrumental in solving complex challenges. Her stance resonates with the growing recognition of the business value inherent in diverse perspectives. In this context, she underscores the significance of authentic conversations that bridge the gap between leaders, professionals, and changemakers. These conversations, grounded in business imperatives and constructive critique, form the bedrock of building a culture of acceptance on a global scale.


Wright’s role as a Non-Executive Director at Playfinder reflects her commitment to empowering communities through technology. Leveraging her tech sector experience and prowess in forging commercial partnerships, she contributes to Playfinder’s mission of democratizing access to sports facilities while generating revenue streams for schools. This alignment of purpose highlights her passion for equipping individuals with tools for a healthier lifestyle.


As a legal luminary and authentic leader, Wright embodies the principles of effective leadership. She defines authentic leadership as a fusion of transparency, consistency, and empathy. Her emphasis on transparency underscores the importance of open communication within teams. Consistency in setting expectations and demonstrating empathy to team members further contributes to her leadership approach.


Wright’s success habits provide insights into her operational effectiveness. She adheres to traditional paper lists, a practice that not only aids her organization but also facilitates effective delegation. This exemplifies her adeptness at leveraging tools and practices to optimize her productivity and empower her team.


Looking ahead, Wright envisions leading a diverse team of technology law experts who continue to advise clients on the ever-evolving technological landscape. Her focus on both cutting-edge developments and bleeding-edge challenges reflects her dedication to remaining at the forefront of technological advancements. This commitment to growth, both personal and professional, exemplifies her role as a forward-looking leader in the legal-tech arena.


In conclusion, Emma Wright’s journey from a young girl intrigued by technology to a prominent figure in the legal-tech sphere exemplifies the transformative power of passion, innovation, and dedication. Her insights on AI’s role in reshaping the legal profession, coupled with her involvement in diverse initiatives, shed light on the dynamic landscape where law, technology, and ethics converge. As an advocate for diversity, authenticity, and responsible AI adoption, Wright’s influence transcends her legal prowess, making her an inspiring figure for professionals across industries.

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