Al Hounsell

Director - Strategic Innovation and Legal Design
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP


Al Hounsell is a senior lawyer and innovation leader responsible for leading strategic innovation, legal service design and the NRFC innovation solutions development team. Mr. Hounsell works at the intersection of law and innovation, directing strategic and legal advice to clients and lawyers in matters such as: the drafting and automation of legal contracts for technology and financial services clients, A.I.-assisted due diligence, regulatory compliance management and architecture, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies in the legal tech space. Leading the solutions development team – a cutting-edge team of legal engineers and full-stack developers – he has overseen the production of numerous legal apps, leveraging innovative technologies and artificial intelligence. He has also played a significant role in developing bespoke solutions both internally and directly for clients in the areas of document automation, data analysis and visualization, and workflow process innovation.

Mr. Hounsell is a licensed lawyer, entrepreneur and seasoned coder with an extensive background in full-stack software development, having built innovative technologies for a number of tech startups prior to and during his studies at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business.

Subsequent to completing his articles with Norton Rose Fulbright Canada's Toronto office, Mr. Hounsell joined the knowledge management team. He is now uniquely able to work at the cutting edge of legal tech and process innovation, leveraging his background in business, law and software development. In short order Mr. Hounsell has won numerous awards in the area of legal technology.

He is the 2024 recipient of the "Innovative Leader of the Year" award from ILTA (International Legal Technology Association), a 2022 and 2023 winner of the Canadian Law Awards' "Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm" award, a 2021 Fastcase 50 award recipient as well as 2019 and 2020 recipient of the ILTA Distinguished Peer Award for "Young Professionals to Watch." Under his direction, his team's work in client solutions development was recognized as "highly recommended" at the 2019 Legal Week Innovation Awards in the category of International Law Firm Innovation. His contributions to Norton Rose Fulbright placed first overall in the global, firm-wide Global Chair Innovation award for his focus on application building platforms.

Mr. Hounsell also serves as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where he teaches in the area of legal innovation, design and technology and where he sits on a number of technology, innovation and teaching committees, and is a member of the Ontario Bar Association's AI Task Force.



Professional experience

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M.B.A., Schulich School of Business, York University, 2015

J.D., Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, 2015

  • Ontario 2016
  • Innovative Leader of the Year (ILTA Distinguished Peer Awards, 2024)
  • Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm (Canadian Law Awards, 2023)
  • Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm (Canadian Law Awards, 2022)
  • Innovation Leadership - Fastcase 50 Award (2021)
  • Excellence Award - Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm (Canadian Law Awards 2021)
  • Gold Award - Best Use of Technology in a Law Firm (Canadian Law Awards 2020)
  • Young Professional to Watch List (ILTA Distinguished Peer Awards, 2019 & 2020)
  • "Highly Recommended" designation (Legal Week Innovation Awards, 2019)
  • Global Chair Innovation Award (2018)
  • Davis Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP prize (awarded to the three highest-ranking students in the combined courses of business associations, commercial law and tax)
  • “AI Disruption and the Future of Law,” National Judicial Institute, Calgary, 2024
  • “AI Lecture Series,” Yale Law School, New Haven, 2024
  • "Incorporating AI Technology into Your Corporate Legal Practice: Evaluating the Practical and Ethical Implications", CBA Skilled Lawyer Series, 2023
  • "AI Disruption and the Future of Law," Osgoode Hall A.I. Forum Closing Plenary, Toronto, 2023
  • "AI – What it Means for the Insolvency World," Canadian Bar Association, Montreal, 2023
  • "Quorum Club: The Impact of A.I. on GC's work," Toronto, 2023
  • "Innovation Programs: Strategies for Success," ILTACon, Orlando, 2023
  • "Beyond Hype and Hesitation: Generative A.I. and the Future of Law," Closing Keynote, Ontario Bar Association Techxpo, Toronto, 2023
  • "Generative artificial intelligence and its impact on the legal profession," Canadian Lawyer LegalTech Summit, Toronto, 2023
  • "How A.I. is Innovating Traditional Practices in Business and Law," Business and Law Conference, Toronto, 2023


  • "AI Task Force," Ontario Bar Association
  • Adjunct faculty member, Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • International Legal Technology Association
  • Toronto Knowledge Management Legal Forum
  • Toronto Law Firm Innovation Leaders Group
  • National Leaders Innovation Roundtable
  • Thomson Reuters Document Automation Network


2023 Technology privacy and cybersecurity summit

Webinar | November 1, 2023

Technology, privacy and cybersecurity summit

Webinar | October 26, 2022

Canadian Law Awards 2022

Resource and tool | May 24, 2022