In this article Matthew Berrick interviews Abdul Hakim Manattil who worked for over 16 years at the well known Al Tamimi & Company law firm based in the Middle East. After leaving the firm Abdul went on to create Codengines. A company dedicated to leveraging information in the LegalTech space to assist automation of legal services across the world for businesses.
Thank you for sharing your insight!
Tell me a bit about your journey into law, your career at Al Tamimi Law firm and what made you pursue a career in technology?
I started my career in 1997. I entered the Legal Industry of the UAE around 17 years ago, with Al Tamimi and Company giving me an opportunity, where I learned a lot, working closely with lawyers. The legal industry widened my perspective and insights, because of which I am and where I stand today. I have proficiently learned the ins and outs of Litigation and other Legal processes. Adding to this, I always had a passion for IT and molded myself into a specialist. I believe in creating solutions that are feasible, practical and long-lasting. It’s been a personal journey for me, and I believe we improve and grow every single day.
After years of being a part of the Legal industry, I realized that there is a major gap between the legal industry and technology. I got to understand that technology was a factor so immensely lacking, as lawyers here in the region are still stuck to the traditional ways of practicing the profession. Then, I decided to introduce LegalTech to Law firms so they can keep the competitive edge as technology is one of the most required factors in industries around the world today. Combining my knowledge from IT and Legal, I founded CodEngines Software, a LegalTech firm based in Dubai.
Can you explain a bit about what AI is and how it could be implemented by law firms?
Artificial Intelligence (AI), in simple teams, is when we use machines to perform tasks and operations that typically require human effort. Machine Learning is the process of feeding data and information to machines, which is then transformed into algorithms studied by the machine to perform important tasks.
The implementation of AI in law firms is transforming the entire landscape of the legal industry. This not only reduces time and complexity of a task, but also provides efficiency and productivity. It is there and we see it in the present to some extent, and the future will for sure be all about it.
What is Codengines Software and who are some of your clients?
CodEngines Software is a dynamic fast growing bilingual Legal workflow automation software solutions company that aims to deliver seamless and easy-to-use digital products. We focus on AI, IOT and other upcoming future technology like Blockchain. My team and I are constantly updated with trending Tech topics, as the industry is highly dynamic and continuously changing. Our bilingual legal task automation system named CasEngine is a case management solution that is efficient, user-friendly, and eases the workload by presenting the best automation solutions, which our team has specially designed after years of study about the expectations of the Legal Industry in the Middle East.
After we started receiving big clients such as Etisalat, Dubai Holding and international law firms such as Stephenson Harwood, we stepped up our game by adding more features for client convenience. We have some of the biggest law firms in the UAE as our clients, who have trusted us with our system.
We became known for our well-designed, user-friendly and bilingual automation system around the MENA region, courtesy of our satisfied clients who recommend us to more firms, especially after the COVID 19 lockdown series. We received over 380 requests in 2 months for online demo and trials while employees practiced work from home. With more trials, we welcomed more clients with all praise for our system and its features.
What is unique about Codengines Software and how does your service help law firms become more competitive as a business?
We believe LegalTech firms and automation systems are scarce in the MENA region, which is why our product can be named at the top of the list. This is also because we believe in the value of the system, and we do not focus on the sales merely, but we make our clients realize the value of it and the change it is bringing about in the legal industry.
Our vision is to digitize the Legal industry, bringing in a revolutionary change and making professionals and law firms around the region realize the significance and benefits of LegalTech. Along with this, one important factor that we induce through our automation system is the culture of innovation. In order to vantage legal service deliverance to their clients and increase competitive advantages, law firms are now incorporating innovation strategies through the use of digital technologies such as AI, data analytics, automation and more.
What has been a career highlight for you so far?
I would say my overall experience so far has been challenging as well as exciting. Challenging because it’s a struggle to make people realize the value of automation systems in the legal industry. And, exciting because our firm is the face of an ongoing revolutionary wave that is taking over the legal industry. More and more firms are coming forward and realizing the benefits of LegalTech, which makes us feel grateful.
If I have to choose one specific career highlight, it would be becoming a CEO for the first time in my life under 40! It is a highlight as it changed my whole day to day routine and my overall career path. I remember vividly the first time I imagined having my own company and doing the change that I have always envisioned. They say dream big, and big things happen. I say, have a vision that you truly feel passionate about and believe in, and it will happen!
(6) How do you think artificial intelligence will change in the way firms practice the law in the next 5 years?
I feel LegalTech is extremely important, especially now when we are facing such an unprecedented crisis. Many lawyers get worried about losing jobs, as AI machine learning takes over. But this is not the case. LegalTech empowers lawyers and employees to work in real-time, regardless of their location or time zone.
Automation systems are the game-changers in this industry, proving to be a strong factor as to why the future of law would be completely different from what can be seen today, and we are proud to be the face of digitization of the legal industry.
Future of Legal industry with AI will work on more than one part, some of the things that AI can do would be generating leads and clients, opening a case, reviewing of documents, creating evidence and facts sheet, automating conflicts check and generating Legal opinions.