This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.More info

Taikoo Place Insiders: Patricia Wong of Baker McKenzie

Dynamo Patricia Wong is Director of IT Service Delivery, Asia at Baker McKenzie, the global legal giant with more than 13,000 employees – approximately 500 of whom are based here in Hong Kong. Patricia started with the firm 34 years ago, and today, she’s the point woman leading their transition into a complex, and promising new age of legal technology. Patricia spoke with The Mag about how tech is transforming the legal business for both lawyers and clients – and revealed the identity of this superwoman’s favourite superhero.

We hear a lot of talk about "legal tech" nowadays – can you give us non-lawyers an idea of what it is, and why it's such a big step forward not just for the legal profession but for all clients too?

“Legal tech” refers to technology and software solutions designed to manage, streamline and automate both legal tasks and processes. It also includes platforms designed for lawyers to collaborate cost effectively and securely with their clients – anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

What it means is that we can enjoy greater collaboration amongst our firm’s teams across practices, offices and regions – and we’re also able to give our clients a seamless service experience.

Has it been difficult to make the transition to digital? What were some of the challenges?

Change is hard of course. And spending extra time learning new processes in the demanding and time-sensitive legal market is a challenge too.

Baker McKenzie started our digitalisation journey over a decade ago. We researched and invested in the right technology infrastructure and applications, and we have also been investing in our people – upskilling and investing towards a more agile, innovative and digitally enabled workforce. In fact, many of our lawyers are now working exclusively on paperless platforms.

Are there new technological tools that you're particularly excited about, and why?

Yes! Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) technology is opening important new business opportunities across many industries. In the coming years, it’s going to be an even more essential technology. Companies and institutions are exploring, if not already using it, to implement home and industrial applications, smart city automations and more. Apart from being an increasingly crucial technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning are projected to experience unprecedented market growth in the next few years.

That does sound fascinating. How will AI/ML impact the legal industry?

Machine learning and data science are already with us. Today, we and the other firms in the legal industry are deploying these technologies across an array of uses – contracts review, transactions due diligence and eDiscovery. As AI/ML technology gains maturity, I believe that legal firms – along with businesses in general – will be using these technologies to drive greater efficiency and stay competitive.

At Baker McKenzie, we developed a new innovation arm called "Reinvent," combining the power of innovation, machine learning, data and predictive analytics, and legal project management capabilities–and we recently received the AI innovation Award at the 2022 Legal Innovation Awards.

Baker McKenzie was located in Central for many years before moving to join the Taikoo Place community. What advantages have you discovered in the neighbourhood? Do you find the community environment helpful in your daily work and routine?

Yes – Swire's dedication to sustainability, arts and community development resonates with me. And Tong Chong Street Market adds liveliness to the Taikoo Place community.


Do you have a favourite local spot to recommend for a lunch, dinner or snack?

The Refinery, Mr. & Mrs. Fox, Enoteca and KIN Food Hall.

If I could meet one of my heroes in person it would be…

[Laughs] If Marvel heroes were real, I would like to meet Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk. She became a hero accidentally but embraced her superpower in her daily work/life to help people around her. She is funny, smart and strong.


Pilates, yoga, kickboxing or…?

I love Aerolatino dance. The Latin music combined with dance combos is a great way to de-stress and stay fit.

Now that we're travelling again, what's the first stop on your bucket list?

I just recently returned from the USA and Canada so the next stop on my list will be Osaka and Kyoto.

App Image