The artificial intelligence is a threat only if we stop to develop the natural intelligence

“To be adaptive will be the most important quality in business in the future.”

Stankov ∙ Todorov ∙ Hinkov & Spasov, Attorneys-at-Law recently celebrated its 11th anniversary. However, the story begins earlier. In 2004 they meet in the halls in the Law Faculty in Sofia University. Shortly before they graduate the idea of having their own law firm was in mind. Years of hard work follow along and in 2013 their dream of own law firm was finally a reality. Today Stankov ∙ Todorov ∙ Hinkov & Spasov is among the most established law firms with a team of 25 professionals, who defend the interests of one of the biggest public and private business entities in the country and abroad.

The interview is part of the specialized edition of 24 hours newspaper and TREND – “The men. Main role”, part of the series for successful people with visionary spirit. The new edition is dedicated to these men who take important and hard decisions on a daily basis, to the leaders who will determine the direction tomorrow of the business, technologies, the values and the ambitions of the nowadays person. “The men. Main role” is edition for the curious, for the looking and the brave, for the people with inborn sense to the changes and with deep sense of responsibility to the success.

– The logo of your law firm is the lighthouse of the sea. Why did you choose it?

-The lighthouse of the sea expresses to the great extent our understanding of the business we lead. Similarly to the lighthouse, our main task is to navigate our clients, not to let them lost in the sometimes stormy sea of life and trade cases. We love the meaning of the lighthouse that it stays always on its place, where it should be – in good and bad – always ready to serve. Such a trust we build with our clients and they know that we always have their backs.

– In the business card we pointed out that Stankov ∙ Todorov ∙ Hinkov & Spasov is established on the basis of your friendship. Are there any roles, when we speak about friendship?

In our case – no. The roles are not a good idea in a long term. People get tired when they try to be someone else. During the last 20 years we are always together. We know each other so well, that there is no way that someone will get into a role. But we are different.

The lesson is to “get into the shoes” of the other one, to accept the different opinion, to be as direct as possible to each other. Our friendship demands huge and unstoppable care. Our business, as well.

– Do the idealists have a place in such business?

It is preferable to be a realist, if you want to be a lawyer. The essence of our job is to defend an interest. We do not define it. Our task is to help our client in the best way possible. When you have a problem you do not search for an idealist lawyer, but for a lawyer who will do their job and defend your interest.

– Are there “male” and “female” businesses?

In our field – rather not. In many aspects ladies are better than us men. That is why we work with so many women at the firm. We call them our “tender blades”. They are great. There are many challenges for women that often happen early in the career.

Family and children fall mainly on their shoulders. At the same time, their work ethic and professionalism are very high. We men are a little different. Let’s just say that sometimes we have a lower threshold of pain (they laugh).

– Do you have a vision for the industry you are developing in the next 10-20 years?

In the technological times we live in, doing business in general will transform significantly in such a period. The legal profession, as conservative as it is, will also change. The way in which litigation is resolved is also likely to change. Imagine that, for the most part, court decisions are drafted by artificial intelligence, which will be able to write a decision in seconds, based on an analysis of case law that has been developed over years. If we were to change the word ‘vision’, we would use ‘adaptability’. In our opinion, this will be the most important quality not only in the legal business, but also in other areas.

– Is the acquisition of a “starring role” by artificial intelligence in our lives a threat or an opportunity?

It is only a threat if we stop developing our natural intelligence. We should not marginalize our own role by relying on machines. Being a laywer is a highly intellectual activity in which artificial intelligence would technically do very well. But it cannot replace trust, empathy and partnership, which are purely human manifestations.

Modern people will have to continually train and retrain their mind if they are not to fall behind the dynamics of the world in which they live. And this effort will be for life.

– What should leaders be in 2024 and what will they be in 2044 in politics and business?

From Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, we see the same human qualities that define leaders: boldness, courage, commitment, hard work, determination. The same will be true not just for the next 20 years, but for the next 2,000 years. However, there are contemporary qualities that are particularly important. One of them is emotional intelligence.

Gone are the days when the leader will hit on the table and everyone will line up in two lines.

Every manager needs to be a mentor without being a mentor, to listen without being a psychoanalyst, to be willing to roll up their sleeves and stand by their people, to shorten the distance with their team but not let the line of roles and responsibility blur.

– Is there a relation between the success in the career and the success in the personal life?

Yes, for both of them you have to work really hard.

– Whom you would like to express your thankfulness?

To the people who have trust us, to our colleagues who are with us and have been with us in the past 11 years. Our law firm is like a football team, you won’t get far with just centre forwards, everyone is important.

– What would you like people to say after reading your starring role?

“These lawyers will get the job done. I need to call them!” (they laugh).