uk legal sector

Legal sector to receive £4 million boost in tech funding

The UK legal sector is set to receive £4 million of investment which will help develop technological advancements. This, it is hoped, will modernise the sector and keep the sector competitive on the world stage.

The investment will help achieve a second phase of the LawtechUK programme, which aims to develop new technology like machine learning and data analytics tools.

LawtechUK is a government-backed initiative, which was launched in 2019 with the aim to transform the UK legal sector through technology, provide resources and courses, and to promote new ways of delivering and accessing legal services digitally.

This is aimed to boost access to legal services for individuals and businesses through technology.

Justice Minister Lord Bellamy QC said:

“A thriving lawtech sector will help ensure the UK continues as a world-leading legal services centre and attracts the very best talent.

This investment will support the market to develop the technology it needs to drive modernisation and deliver first-class legal services.”

The LawtechUK programme has been organised by growth platform Tech Nation, LawtechUK Panel, and industry experts.

Tech Nation has already launched Lawtech Sandbox, which researches and develops programmes for UK entrepreneurs to test and develop products or services aimed at improving access to the  legal needs of businesses and society.

An example of these start-ups is Legal Utopia. This is aimed at providing access to lawyers and help better understand legal issues via an app.

Director of LawtechUK Alexandra Lennox said:

“Technology has the potential to transform business’ and peoples’ experience of law, meet unmet legal needs and support professionals to deliver the next generation of legal services.

We have seen great progress towards this future since LawtechUK’s inception and this next phase of funding will build on those important foundations, helping cement the UK’s position as a global hub for technology and law.”

Lawtech Amplified Global also participated in the Sandbox, and its founder Minesh Patel said:

“Accelerators, incubators, and sandboxes are a lifeline for start-ups bringing novel solutions into the market. It’s fantastic to hear about the next series of MoJ funding, which will enable pioneering solutions to push the boundaries within the legal space.

Without the Lawtech Sandbox, an organisation of our size and stage would have found it really difficult to be working, or even engaging, with a telecoms giant and the cross section of stakeholders and regulators that we did.

The LawtechUK programme has rapidly accelerated our growth and helped us to get the product to market quicker than we could have ever imagined.”

LawtechUK has also produced a free online learning, as well as a website to allow the promote alternatives to traditional court hearings.

This investment will also continue the work of the LawtechUK’s Jurisdiction Taskforce which intends to make sure English law keeps pace with technological developments. This will target to maintain the UK remains at the summit for emerging technologies, and to increase market understanding of smarter contracts and digital assets.

Law Society of England and Wales vice president Lubna Shuja has welcomed the news stating:

“It is good to see the UK government is continuing to invest in LawTech.

Research from KPMG commissioned by the Law Society showed the UK ranks second only to the US for legal services, contributing £60bn gross value added to the UK economy and employing 552,000 people.

Our research also found the UK is a global hub for LawTech, with London serving as a magnet for global tech investors looking to get the latest cutting-edge technologies.

As we work with hybrid or flexible models, technology will play a prominent role so the profession can continue to deliver high-quality legal services to their clients globally.”

Tech Nation will continue to deliver the LawtechUK programme until December 2022. The new provider will deliver the programme from January, 2023 to March, 2025.

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