A former lawyer who became a developer over the years, Arthur D'huy is a self-taught man who now puts his technical skills at the service of lawyers. In this interview, he tells us about his career path from a Bordeaux law firm to Ubisoft's legal innovation team, looking back on the projects he has successfully implemented and giving his vision of the evolution of the legal profession.
Hello Arthur! Before talking about your experience at Ubisoft, can you tell us about your background?
My name is Arthur d'Huy and I studied business law for 5 years between Bordeaux and Paris. In my fifth year I decided to study financial law and then I came back to Bordeaux to continue my training and to take my lawyer's exam, which I failed the first time, and then I started working as a lawyer in a law firm to learn the business.
I also created a self-employed legal computer graphics company and through this I began to learn about the world of entrepreneurship. It was a mix between legal information and legal design, and I started to learn code with the aim of developing my own tools.
After a few months of making PowerPoint and PDF infographics for my clients, I had the idea of offering them a form to save time.
After a few months of learning by myself, I quickly discovered the limitations, especially when you don't come from a scientific or technological background like I do. So I decided to take the Le Wagon training course and after two months I completely put aside the legal course to take a technical course.
Here I am today at Ubisoft to put my legal and computer skills to good use.
It's really an atypical path in the French legal landscape. How did you end up at Ubisoft?
For a few years now, the legal sector has been digitalising, particularly thanks to automation, document generation and management solutions. To keep up with this transformation, Ubisoft's mentality is to be able to develop its own tools internally, and to grow projects from A to Z.
So they created a legal innovation team with a designer, a product manager, a legal advisor and a developer (myself) to accelerate the digitisation of the legal department. In this context, they found my career path interesting and that's how I joined the company 8 months ago... honestly it was hard to say no!
So what do you find most exciting about your day-to-day work?
What I find most interesting is the fact that I have complete freedom to do things my way. From a purely technical point of view, I don't have any fixed guidelines on what I should do and how I should do it. I love the craft side of programming, and in a big company like Ubisoft, you take the time to do things properly and carefully. I don't have the pressure to move fast every day and it's very nice to work in this environment.
Can you give us an example of a project that has improved the way the legal team works?
Today, thanks to the tools we have developed, operational staff are completely autonomous in generating contracts and sending them for signature.
In appearance, it takes the form of a form with a decision tree that allows the clauses adapted to the business need to be chosen.
I know more than one lawyer who would love to have you on their team! How did this need come about?
At Ubisoft, the legal department was already working with a task management tool that allowed operational staff to create requests using tickets. When the legal department realised that for certain tickets there was a recurrence of tasks that did not represent sufficient value, they called on the legal innovation team. The aim was to allow the legal department to get rid of all these tasks and become real business partners, with legal skills.
How did you come up with this solution?
In this project, we worked a bit like a start-up within the legal department. First, we had an ideation phase during which we collected data from the lawyers. Then there was a solution design phase, during which we produced the first mock-ups that we presented to the lawyers in order to gather feedback and iterate, and finally the development.
How do you work with the lawyers?
I realised as soon as I arrived that the aim of this legal innovation team is to integrate technology and entrepreneurship into the legal team. In this context, I said to myself that it would be interesting to set up code courses within the legal department, and I'm happy about that because there is a lot of interest, and even if the lawyers won't become developers tomorrow, they want to understand.
In the future, this may enable us to work on an equal footing during projects so that everyone can see what is possible and less possible when developing tools.
At Leeway, we are convinced that the legal profession is changing. What do you think?
The change that I see on a daily basis is above all the reduction of tedious tasks in order to offer greater capacity to advise, as well as the interpretation of situations and of the law in order to take advantage of it and make it benefit the company.
Outside of work, where can we find you?
I really love to eat (laughs), and I've just discovered two great places in Paris that I can share with you: Kunitoraya and Chez Joseph et Raymond.
What don't people know about you?
When I was younger, I did karting until I was 19, at the national and European level, and even at the world championship. I also drove with several F1 drivers in some races.
Do you have any recent readings to share with us?
The last book I read was Homo Deus, A Brief History of the Future by Noah Harari but otherwise at the moment I'm watching a lot of Etienne Klein's lectures on Youtube, who is a physicist and philosopher.
Finally, do you have any words for the readers of the blog?
Life is short so if you feel like doing something, go for it! Anyway, we always have the choice to go back at the right time, so we shouldn't be afraid to take risks.