AI as co-pilot: supporting force alongside humans | Deloitte Netherlands


Embracing AI as a co-driver in the legal landscape

Be Artificial Original: unlock creativity and innovation with AI 

In the rapidly evolving landscape of legal services, Artificial Intelligence is not just a tool; it's a transformative force. This article invites you to explore the exciting synergy between human legal expertise and AI capabilities. Rather than replacing lawyers, AI acts as an invaluable co-driver, accelerating tasks and unlocking new levels of creativity and innovation. Deloitte Legal’s Ferd Grapperhaus and Dominique Poot will explore how AI is reshaping the legal landscape, making it more efficient, insightful, and responsive to client needs.

Deloitte will be deploying AI in non-legal business processes, creating both new opportunities and (potentially legal) risks. Legal processes in organisations will shift as well, also because AI can produce excellent results in researching, drafting, scoring RFPs, data processing, or answering legal questions. And finally, legal service providers and alternative legal service providers alike will have to be looking for a revenue model other than ‘hourly billing’. Deploying AI provides just the opportunity to free up human experts to add more value, originality and creativity. ‘Despite this technological edge, human expertise remains indispensable,’ says Grapperhaus. ‘Tomorrow’s lawyers will be more than just experts in law, they will be skilled in feeding and leveraging AI, too.’

Integrate AI into your business processes

So, legal services are going through a change. Poot stresses, ‘While we don’t expect everything to be automatic within five years, we do see a shift in legal professionals’ role towards knowledge and interpretation. Apart from retrieving information, AI also provides insights. One example is the ability to review all one’s contracts for a particular clause. What used to be time-consuming and costly is now simply question you can feed into the system. How do you deal with these new possibilities?’

Poot urges companies to act now: ‘Integrate AI into your business processes to optimise and accelerate. It’s crucial because it allows your team to be prepared for the technology shift. Even if you are not developing your own AI, it’s important to recognise the opportunities and apply the technology.'

AI will not replace lawyers, thinks Poot. ‘But it will expand our capabilities and enrich our service offering. It will drastically accelerate what used to be a manual job, so we can add more value to the process as humans. AI thus enhances what we already do, and enables us to achieve more. A legal counsel who currently does everything manually leaves valuable resources unused, needlessly burdening highly skilled staff. Having a legal team work below its level is no longer necessary, especially at a time of limited budgets and expanding, sometimes even international, responsibilities .’Deploying AI may mean more challenges for professionals - in a positive way, Poot believes. ‘Exploring and using the possibilities that AI offers, allows the valuable employee to enjoy their work even more, take on new challenges, and grow as a professional. A professional with challenging work is likely to stay committed longer.’ Grapperhaus supports that conclusion: ‘Precisely because AI is artificial, it offers professional service providers the opportunity to come up with more creative, original solutions themselves.’


With ever-changing and more complex legislation, companies have a need for broad advice, of which Legal is one aspect

Multidisciplinary approach

Deloitte offers a wide range of services, and as Poot emphasises, Legal does not operate as a standalone entity. ‘Our approach to issues is holistic and AI enables us to respond faster. What does an organisation stand for and what does this mean for them? How do we navigate within the current legal context? We focus more on preventive support than after the-fact repair. With ever-changing and more complex legislation, companies have a need for broad advice, of which Legal is one aspect. Deloitte strives to be a strategic partner, joining companies’ thought processes. When one only works with lawyers, it can be difficult to see AI’s potential and so Deloitte takes a multidisciplinary approach. It is essential for lawyers to understand what AI has to offer, so they can ask specific questions when they consult an AI expert. We also attend GPT training courses to explore AI’s possibilities and limitations and what role lawyers have to play in this. The future belongs not only to the classic lawyer, but to the lawyer who knows how to best use AI.’

AI as co-driver

Deloitte primarily regards AI as a supporting force, acting as a co-driver alongside humans. Poot states, ‘Humans still need to be critical and validate, but not everything needs to be done manually. If AI were to play a role in an organisation, it would be that of a coordinator, or a co-driver. Having AI by your side allows you to take preparatory actions you would not have been able to do otherwise. AI speeds up processes, such as preparing a country-by-country overview of applicable laws.’ It can also draft contracts, search policy documents, or scan new legislation, says Poot. ‘Suppose you have performed an audit. Why would you still sift through all that data to prepare a report on your findings by hand? AI enables you to process information more efficiently and more broadly and can greatly reduce much of the routine work, leading to better control. A platform like Moonlit illustrates how AI can provide overviews. Manually searching through  all legal documents and discovering every detail is almost impossible. AI can improve both the speed and quality of your work.

Staying alert is crucial though. In one example, a lawyer failed to do so and cited fictitious cases in court, which had been created by ChatGPT. So it is important to understand AI’s nature, what it does and its possibilities, but also what it is not, and the pitfalls you may face. As a lawyer, you can then use the technology responsibly. It is essential to remain critical when deploying algorithms, evaluate whether they are ethically and legally correct and how to deal with them. With AI, data protection is another major issue that we are very conscious of at Deloitte.’


AI speeds up processes, such as preparing a country-by-country overview of applicable laws. It can also draft contracts or search policy documents.

Human touch

Deloitte Legal takes a balanced view of AI: ‘When deploying AI, we look for the value it brings to our clients,’ says Grapperhaus. ‘We ask ourselves how we can use AI responsibly, and how we can be transparent about the role of AI in our work.  

We strive for reliable, practical AI that always adds value. Our approach is responsible; we do not want to blindly follow trends without considering risks. We are optimistic but realistic. Even though AI enhances our services, human interaction remains crucial. There will always be experts to interpret AI data and adapt it to specific client needs, to look critically at results and to ask the right questions.’

The expertise this requires is different from what is asked of the conventional lawyer, adds Poot. ‘In addition, the need for people who can deal with AI support is growing and requires new roles and capabilities within organisations.’

‘One of those new capabilities is to give guidance to algorithms’, says Poot. ‘Moonlit works so well because tax professionals have given context to the platform. Training by professionals is also fundamental. Perhaps in the near future, context can be built by generative AI; then the work of legal professionals will move even more towards interpretation and error correction. Either way, we need to think about what the client expects from us tomorrow, given that generative AI is here to stay.’ Grapperhaus: ‘Generative AI is just disruptive, full stop. So you have to make sure, anyway, that you maintain a critical attitude towards both your profession’s angle and what your organisation delivers.’

Poot notes that the legal sector in general is receptive to innovation, but he also pleads for realism. ‘Let us not have unrealistic expectations from AI: it is not a panacea. If deployed properly, though, it can create an environment in which organisations’ legal teams can further contribute to the missions of the organisations they support. The workflow set-up should be such that it’s easy for someone to work with AI effectively. With access to all relevant case law, you can still be a sharp lawyer while working more efficiently.’

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