Malaysian legal firm Shang & Co has developed what it calls as Malaysia’s first artificial legal assistant to help both employers and employees navigate thorny labour issues in the tumultuous COVID-19 era. Called AskAILA, the web-based application which was originally launched back in May 2020 to provide matrimonial and family law, has been updated to provide employers and employees with access to legal advice that is said to be at the fraction of the cost when compared to the traditional method.
With layoffs sharply increasing because of the global pandemic, Fion Wong, founder of AskAILA, described the app as a “preemptive solution” that aims to “prevent unnecessarily time-consuming and costly employment disputes by ensuring that both employer and employee are armed with adequate legal knowledge and guidance.” In other words, AskAILA allows subscribers to check if what they’re doing or planning to do (eg. terminating a worker) is consistent with the law.
Shang & Co claimed that the application is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and is sufficiently trained with local labour law and regulations to aid Human Resources (HR) as well as employers in Malaysia. The firm, which has labour law as one of its specialities, is already using the application internally to supplement the work of its lawyers.
Based on our quick run-through of the application, Shang & Co has adopted a very common chatbot user interface for the application. Represented by a “virtual lawyer” called Aila (hence the name of the application), users can either type or click on the keywords in order to obtain information.
The application boasts a variety of features that could be particularly useful for employers at SMEs including HR sample documents and checklists to eliminate errors and non-compliance to save litigation costs and damages. Additionally, a team of real-life legal advisors and experts will be ready on station to provide assistance any time of the day.
AskAILA is now available in the form of monthly subscriptions at three price points: RM268, RM300, and RM368. More information is available on the official AskAILA website.