Sunday LegalTech Review – 2nd September 2018

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ILTACON 2018

ILTA’s 41st Annual Conference took place recently in National Harbour, Maryland with a theme of innovation.

It was a great opportunity to meet and speak with some of the leaders in the legalTech space, including those innovating within law firms (such as Orrick’s Chief Innovation Officer, Wendy Butler Curtis – read the interview here) and the lawTech providers themselves who were present in the exhibitor hall (especially the startups).

Artificial Lawyer’s Richard Troman’s chaired the first of four panel sessions on legal AI, and has also written about the event in general concluding that:

“one thing was clear from ILTACon: legal tech as an industry and as an area of importance for law firm management is booming.”

Global Legal Blockchain Consortium – Annual Meeting

The weekend before ITLACON saw the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium’s (GLBC) annual meeting take place at National Harbor. The meeting included proof-of-concept presentations from OpenLaw and Legaler. You can read some of the highlights in this article by Thomson Reuters Senior Legal Editor – Joe Green.

2018 Legal Hackers International Summit

I was fortunate enough to attend the fourth Legal Hackers International Summit which took place in Brooklyn, New York last weekend. It was a great opportunity to meet fellow members of the LH movement, share experiences and talk about what the future holds for Legal Hackers.

Through an awesome lineup of speakers and a number of innovative workshops, Legal Hackers delivered a great community weekend.

One of the main outcomes I think we will see is greater collaboration between chapters in the future (such as sharing workshop templates and meeting ideas) making it easier to further the LH mission within your own LH chapter.

I am looking forward to the 2019 summit, as well as some of the other events that were talked about during the weekend hopefully coming to fruition.

Australian National Blockchain launches

A consortium of businesses have launched an Australian National Blockchain (ANB) in order to “build Australia’s first cross-industry, large-scale, digital platform to enable Australian businesses to collaborate using blockchain-based smart legal contracts”.

The platform is a collaboration between CSIRO’s Data61, law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and IBM. According to the CSIRO press release the new platform will:

“represent a significant new piece of infrastructure in Australia’s digital economy, enabling companies nationwide to join the network to use digitised contracts, exchange data and confirm the authenticity and status of legal contracts.”

UK LegalTech Mission to Switzerland and Austria

The Department for International Trade, Scottish Development International and the Ministry of Justice have started sending out invitations for a UK LegalTech Mission to Switzerland and Austria on 6th and 7th November 2018.

According to the invitation, the two day event will enable legalTech companies to:

“meet new customers and potentially win lucrative new contracts and highlight UK capabilities in the Legal Tech field”

The Swiss event is being organised in conjunction with the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce whilst the Austrian event will form part of the second FUTURE-LAW legalTech conference taking place in Vienna.

You can express your interest in being part of the mission through surveymonkey.

World’s Oldest “Blockchain” hidden in the New York Times

Daniel Oberhaus writes in Motherboard about how Surety have been publishing a weekly hash in the classified’s section of the New York Times for over 20 years.

Using Surety’s AbsoluteProof cryptographic timestamping service users can:

“apply tamper-evident digital ‘Seals’ to all forms of electronic information, providing long-term and independent proof that the information existed at a point in time and has not been altered since.”

Instead of posting client hashes to a public digital ledger, Surety creates a unique hash of new seals added to the database and publishes it to the New York Times – allowing anyone to check that the ledger has not been corrupted.

Whilst this system is a variation to what we might typically think of when we consider blockchain, it’s an interesting case study when considering immutability and protecting against 51% attacks for smaller ledgers.


Also published on Medium.

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