The latest Sunday LegalTech Review from a once again snow covered Sheffield!


LegalEx takes place on Wednesday and Thursday this week at the Excel Conference Centre in London. I’m speaking on both days in the CLC conveyancing theatre, so pop along and say hello!

Computational Law & Blockchain Festival: March 16th-18th

The first annual Computational Law & Blockchain Festival is taking place this weekend. Organised by Legal Hackers #clbfest2018 is a three-day global event bringing together coders, designers, lawyers, policymakers, researchers, and students to co-create the future of law, legal practice, and policy.

Blockchain For Lawyers

In the second part of a two part article Gary Nuttall, Managing Director Distlytics (a distributed ledger advisory firm) answers some of the big questions about Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), starting with the basics of “What is a blockchain and why is it useful?”.

LegalTech is “burgeoning” say’s Prof. Richard Susskind

Speaking at the British Legal Technology Forum earlier this week, Susskind said: “A few years ago, there were around 200 legaltech companies. Now there are more than 2,000.”. A press release from NetLaw Media contains a write up of the event.

Trepidation about the risks of legal technology is being replaced with impatience for the benefits

In a recent blog post, Jay Pinkert of Mitratech covers four key areas in legaltech:

  • The Ascent of Legal Operations and the Business of Law
  • Robot Lawyers
  • Millenials and the Younger Generation of Technology Users
  • The New Face of Innovation

Jay notes that: “Trepidation about the risks of legal technology is being replaced with impatience for the benefits. And instead of jostling for their own share of the shrinking legal spend pie, the successful players will be the ones that harness legal tech to collaborate and execute with a 360-degree view of the client’s business.”.

ABA TechShow 2018

Techshow Today has released several videos of panel discussions from the ABA TechShow 2018 including The Women of LegalTech, Securing Law with Blockchain and Law Student Perspectives. The keynote address at ABA was delivered by Dan Katz (associate professor and director of the Law Lab at Chicago-Kent College of Law) who urged the audience to embrace technology and process improvement to #MakeLawBetter.

Law firms are riding the digital wave in Singapore

The Singapore Business Review talks the Singapore lawyers about the rise of legaltech following the decision of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) to launch the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP) in early January. The FLIP programme is intended to encourage the adoption of technology, drive innovation, and create a vibrant ecosystem for legal technology.

The Daily Show AI week

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show ran a week of features on the Robot Apocolypse Now. Watch the segment on Disrupting the Legal System with Robots including an interview with Joshua Browder of DoNotPay

AI’s rising challenge to the core legal system

Chris Middleton writes in Diginomica about the challenges that new tech poses to the existing legal system, for example “to establish liability when errors are made by autonomous or AI-driven systems, and whether a robot or computer can itself be said to have a duty of care in the same way as a doctor does.”.

Legislation interpreting web browser plugin wins Hong Kong’s first LegalTech Hackathon

Asian Legal Business reports on the Decoding Law – the winners of Hong Kong’s first ever LegalTech hackathon. Decoding Law is a machine learning powered browser plug-in that helps people to read and understand legislation by breaking down complex legislative drafting into simple language and explains defined terms.

Humans Wanted: Big Law Needs People to Make AI Work

Bloomberg Law discusses the importance of human expertise when designing processes and making best use of legaltech, as well as the perceived threat lawyers might feel with respect to emerging technology. Stephen Poor of Seyfarth Shaw LLP notes:

“It’s important to think about automation not as replacing jobs, but replacing tasks; not replacing humans, but augmenting humans”

Women in tech: the £150bn advantage of increasing diversity

To mark International Women’s Day Guardian technology journalist Joanna Goodman released an article about the advantages of increasing diversity in the male-dominated tech industry as well as the size of the current challenge.

In 2016 Goodman published Robots in Law: How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Legal Services and regularly writes for the Law Society Gazette. Goodman recently delivered an excellent presentation at LegalTech Wales titled AI and NextGen legal services, where she talked about how law is playing catchup with all the automation and services that use our data and how this is changing the rules around personal data and its use.

LawFest 2018 sees record attendance

New Zealand’s legal innovation and technology LawFest event earlier this month attracted over 250 legal professionals from across the country. LawFest provides a platform for legal professionals to discover technology and develop a greater understanding of how technology and innovation can impact them, their organisations and their clients.

Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation launches research streams

Allens and the University of New South Wales have officially launched the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation, unveiling ten new research streams to tackle legal issues surrounding data, artificial intelligence, privacy, online social collaboration, intellectual property and digital platforms. Allens are a commercial law firm based in Australia and Asia who have an alliance with UK firm Linklaters LLP.

Also published on Medium.

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