Al Hounsell

Director of Strategic Innovation & Legal Design,
Norton Rose Fulbright

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Norton Rose Fulbright

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Director of Strategic Innovation & Legal Design,
Norton Rose Fulbright


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 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 (International Legal Technology Association) 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.

Honors and Awards

Young Professionals to Watch Award
International Legal Technology Association (ILTA)
2019, 2020