New Webinar Series Announced - Challenges and Opportunities of Becoming AI Ready in Times of Crisis

Posted on: 02/06/2020

Together with the Next Generation Services project team, AI for Services launched a series of weekly webinars on the use of tech during/post Covid-19.


Amidst the Covid-19 crisis, professional service firms have changed their ways of working, taking operations online. The ability and agility with which firms have come to embrace digital technologies and virtual working has been unprecedented, but there is an opportunity to develop new ways of working as opposed to simply taking old operations online.


While the priority has been in adapting to the new normal, evidence has shown that there is an increased appetite for and engagement with technology. Ensuring that firms realise and leverage the advantages effectively adopting and implementing technologies to enable and augment new ways of working can be challenging. However, where successful such technologies may represent the first steps in the wider transformation of the firm.


Navigating this process requires understanding the value of data and potential technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to the future of Professional Services Firms. AI for Services, in partnership with the Next Generation Services project team, are offering an exciting and informative lunchtime programme focused on the organisational and operational opportunities and challenges associated with becoming AI ready.


Join our series of weekly webinars delivered by leading academics and professionals drawing on their experience from across the professional services. As well as sharing their own perspectives and experiences on the opportunities and challenges facing the future of professional services firms, there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion about how technology is changing the way we work, and how this will continue in a post Covid-19 world.


What to expect

Grab a drink and a sandwich and join our one-hour online Thursday webinars to hear expert insights and stimulating debate by joining the AI for Services community. Each webinar will include presentations from thought leaders, followed by an interactive Q&A session.

Upcoming Webinars

Incubators, Incubation and Nurturing Technology in the Professions – REGISTER HERE
9 July, 12:30 – 13:30

Some of the most successful technologies transforming professional services have their roots in an incubator, where they benefit from unique collaborative work environments, networks, mentorship, prototype testing and investment opportunities. In this seminar, we place the incubation experience centre-stage and ask internationally leading incubators to share how they spawn innovation, help create cutting-edge technology and operate at the vanguard of professional services change.



  • Laura Collins Scott – Create+65, Clifford Chance
  • Ville Simola – CEO, Maria 01
  • Sophie Martinetz – Founder, Seinfeld Professionals
  • Hersh Perlis – Director, Legal Innovation Zone
  • Jorge Martins – Session Chair | NextGenPSF Co-I, University of Sheffield


Preparing the next generation of lawyers and accountants – REGISTER HERE
16 July, 12:30 – 13:30


While technologies, including machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence can be expected to diffuse into law firms and legal services, the speed, ultimate extent and shape of their diffusion remains unclear. This creates challenges in knowing what skills lawyers and others working in legal services will require in the future. This webinar will therefore consider what types of people, in terms of skills and abilities will be needed in the “law firm of the future”. Should lawyers learn to code, for example, or would it be better that they learn to collaborate with technical specialists. The webinar will also discuss how the education and training system, including university law schools, can and should respond to this.



  • Joanna Kingston Davies – Chief Operating Officer, Jackson Lees Group
  • Andrea Marshall – Resource Coordination Manager, Freshfields
  • Stuart Whittle – Partner and Innovation Guru, Weightmans
  • Jonathan Patterson – Managing Director, DWF Ventures
  • John Haskell – Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Manchester
  • Claire Mcgourlay – Session Chair | Professor of Legal Education, University of Manchester



Opportunities and Dilemmas of IT in Professional Services (Customer Versus Client Perspectives) – REGISTER HERE
23 July, 12:30 – 13:30


Though the utilisation of sophisticated, emerging technological solutions by professional services firms is becoming more prevalent, many are not adopting these technologies. Typically, this is due to concerns regarding their efficacy or their cost effectiveness. In response, this webinar explores some of the ways that new technologies can create value for organisations of all sizes and considers major barriers to their adoption.



  • James Sullivan – Head of Legal & Company Secretary, Monzo Bank
  • Neil Bruce – Vice President & Group Counsel, American Express
  • Ify Okoli-Watson – Assistant General Counsel, Thomson Reuters
  • 4th Speaker TBC
  • Fraser McLeay – Session Chair | Professor of Marketing, University of Sheffield

Past Webinars

Now is the time for tech: The future of professional services beyond the crisis – 4 June

The crisis has seen an increased engagement with digital technologies, and the aim of this webinar is to explore how professional services firms can capitalise on this momentum to promote the uptake and use of more advanced capabilities.


From Enduring to Adapting: Embedding change in professional service firm – 11 June

It is increasingly apparent that in the wake of Covid-19 world firms are changing their business models to operate in a crisis context, this webinar explores how to embrace opportunities for technological change and business model innovation moving forwards. It is crucial for firms to embrace and embed changes in their working practices and culture if they are to realise their full potential to enhance productivity and profitability.


Seizing opportunities: Technology and the future of the firm – 18 June

This webinar explores how the pandemic has demanded firms to operate virtually in a way that is unprecedented and arguably marks a new era for technology in the professions. Where firms go from here will define their future competitiveness, and this session explores the challenge for firm wide leaders not just to bounce back, but bounce forward.


The Realities of Adopting AI in Mid-Tier Firms – 2 July

The opportunities but also challenges of adopting new technology were on the agenda of many mid-tier firms before the disruptions of Covid-19, and are even more important now. In this webinar we explore the approaches, experiences and challenges faced by firms. Our expert panel will consider the distinctive opportunities technology creates for the mid-tier and the way technology can help firms prosper in an ever more competitive business environment.



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