Be prepared with the ‘Dawn Raid App’ before the authorities come knocking

Multinational law firm Baker McKenzie is developing a Hong Kong version of its global antitrust app

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 December, 2017, 6:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 December, 2017, 10:42pm

Need advice when the Securities and Futures Commission or other enforcement agencies raid your office?

Luckily there is a digital solution in the form of an app that can provide immediate legal help.

Dawn Raid App, developed by multinational law firm Baker McKenzie and available for download, provides real time advice via smartphone on how to respond when the authorities come knocking.

Baker McKenzie said it planned to expand the functionality of the Dawn Raid App to include the SFC among the enforcement agencies it covers, according to a spokeswoman.

The new app could prove popular as regulators step up their enforcement efforts in Hong Kong.

On Thursday, the SFC for the first time launched a coordinated operation in partnership with the Independent Commission Against Corruption to raid eight premises including the offices and homes of executives from Convoy Global Holdings and Lerado Finance Group.

The app is among the innovation strategies led by Baker McKenzie global chair Paul Rawlinson, in a bid to provide the next generation of legal services for tech-savvy clients.

“Simply being a good lawyer is no longer enough. Clients need us to have the ability to harness this new technology and invest in smarter ways of working,” Rawlinson said.

“Nowadays, many of our clients are facing the same pressure to adapt with innovative technology. We need to change our service delivery and business model so that our firm stays close to our clients’ needs,” Milton Cheng Wai-meng, managing partner of Baker McKenzie’s Hong Kong office, said in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “We have already launched a number of apps, and have a few more in the pipeline.”

The Dawn Raid App has been downloaded by more than 4,000 Baker McKenzie clients worldwide. The app provides its users with practical guidance on what to do when officials of the enforcement agencies arrive for an announced inspection.

As a starting point it is best to stay calm and be cooperative with the investigators. the law firm also advises taking a photo of the search warrant and forwarding it via the Dawn Raid App. This will put the user in immediate touch with a Baker McKenzie lawyer, supported in 44 countries.

The law firm also makes use of an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help lawyers carry out due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. The tool can be used to help analyse complex documents, something particularly useful when massive amounts of data are involved.

“Traditionally, due diligence performed during M&A transactions would typically require lawyers to go through hundreds of contracts to search for relevant clauses. That was the old way,” Cheng said. “The new AI tool can potentially save around 20 to 30 per cent of the time spent by junior lawyers to manually collect and input data. This will allow our lawyers more time to do the analysis.”

Cheng believes, that technology will help to create a new breed of lawyers, rather than making them obsolete.

“No robot could ever replace a good lawyer,” he said. “It is true that technology can reduce time spent by lawyers on the labour intensive data gathering tasks and hence save on costs. However, we still need lawyers to meet with clients to understand their business needs, analyse the data that was collected, and come up with an appropriate strategy and tactical plan to assist clients.”