Paul Rawlinson, global chair of Baker McKenzie, joined the Mayor of Beijing, Jining Chen, at the 13th International Business Leaders Advisory Council Meeting (IBLAC), to discuss the future development of the capital city. Paul was among the top 17 business leaders from many of the world's leading companies who convened in Beijing on 26-27 May to exchange ideas about turning Beijing into a national high-tech and innovation center, further opening up the capital city's service sector and enhancing its urban management.

The IBLAC is composed of CEOs and Chairs of well-known multinational corporations in 18 different industries across 11 countries and regions. Baker McKenzie was invited to join the Council Meeting in 2004, and remains the only law firm on the Council.

At this year's Meeting, the international advisory group provided suggestions for the innovative development of Beijing. As Paul noted the legal industry is no exception when it comes to innovation. While digitization and artificial intelligence (AI) will inevitably transform the future business model of the sector, the key to business sustainability is also about attracting and developing talents, and to build a team that possesses and deploys a range of legal, commercial and digital technology skills.

"Baker McKenzie has been in Beijing for 25 years — longer than any other law firm, and we have seen the city grow into a truly global business and economic powerhouse. We are honored to contribute to and participate in this progress," Paul said. "As Beijing transforms itself into an innovation hub, law firms need to also  harness new technology and invest in smarter ways of working. 'The New Lawyer' is no longer solely providing  legal advice, but also working closely with AI and machine learning to become more efficient and innovative in service delivery".

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