- £4m to modernize the UK legal sector through technology
- Desire to keep the sector at the forefront of legal services worldwide
- Investments to boost access for individuals and businesses
A new investment of £4 million will provide a second phase of the LawtechUK programme, supporting modernization through the development of new technologies such as machine learning and data analysis tools.
This will help ensure the UK maintains its competitive advantage globally, create jobs and improve access to legal services for individuals and businesses through technology.
LawtechUK is a government-backed initiative, launched in 2019, with an initial investment of £2 million to transform the UK legal sector through technology, providing resources, programs and courses to promote new ways of providing and accessing legal services through digital solutions.
Justice Minister Lord Bellamy QC said:
A thriving legal sector will help ensure that the UK continues to be a leading center for legal services in the world and attracts top talent.
This investment will help the market develop the technology it needs to drive modernization and deliver best-in-class legal services.
The LawtechUK program has been implemented by the Tech Nation growth platform in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the LawtechUK Panel, a council of industry experts.
Previous Tech Nation funding has already yielded results such as the launch of Lawtech Sandbox – a research and development program for UK entrepreneurs and start-ups to test and develop products or services aimed at meeting the legal needs of businesses and of the society.
Legal Utopia, a start-up that benefits from the sandbox, is an app designed to help people understand their legal issues and get access to lawyers.
LawtechUK Director Alexandra Lennox said:
Technology has the potential to transform the legal experience for businesses and individuals, address unmet legal needs, and help professionals deliver the next generation of legal services.
We have seen great strides towards this future since the inception of LawtechUK and this next round of funding will build on these important foundations, helping to cement the UK’s position as a global hub for technology and law.
Lawtech Amplified Global also participated in the Sandbox.
Founder of Amplified Global Minesh Patel said:
Accelerators, incubators and sandboxes are a lifeline for start-ups bringing innovative solutions to market. It’s fantastic to hear about the next round of MoJ funding, which will enable pioneering solutions to push the boundaries of legal space.
Without the Lawtech Sandbox, an organization of our size and stage would have found it very difficult to work, or even engage, with a telecom giant and all of the stakeholders and regulators we have.
The LawtechUK program quickly accelerated our growth and helped us bring product to market faster than we could have ever imagined.
LawtechUK aims to improve understanding and awareness of legal technology and has produced a free online learning and research center and website to enable sharing of experiences of remote alternatives to traditional court hearings.
The investment will also continue to support and promote the work of LawtechUK’s Proficiency Task Force to ensure that English law keeps pace with technological developments, helping the UK retain its place as an international hub. for emerging technologies. This builds on previous work to increase understanding of the market for smarter contracts and digital assets by presenting real-world examples of the use of these technologies.
Tech Nation will continue to offer the LawtechUK program until December 2023. Details of a competitive process to award the next round of funding will be announced in the fall. The new provider will offer the program from January 2023 to March 2025.
Notes to editors:
- The aims of the funding will seek to build on the brilliant work done so far by LawtechUK to:
- To increase innovation and adoption of lawtech in the delivery of legal services in the UK.
- Supporting the growth of the lawtech sector in the UK.
- Enable English and Welsh law and UK jurisdictions to become the foundation for emerging technologies, by supporting and promoting the work of the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce.
- The LawtechUK Panel was established in 2018 by the Secretary of State for Justice and acts as an advisory board to LawtechUK. Made up of high-level figures from industry, government, academia, the judiciary, regulators and the legal tech community, its members play an active role in LawtechUK’s work programme.