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Legal Tech

Legal-technology, namely the use of tech tools to support legal services, is a booming industry: 2019 saw $1.2Bn in legal-tech investments, of which 48% is invested in the UK. The Covid-19 pandemic has also been a catalyst for law-tech as it has prompted law firms to rethink their traditional business models. Our research seeks to provide a much-needed study on this nascent area, which is set to revolutionise conventional legal thinking. To this end, we have liaised with key partners bringing insights from London’s vibrant law-tech scene, such as Legal Utopia, ContractOne, and Cognitiv+. We have held roundtable discussions with various stakeholders from the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Greece and the USA seeking to snapshot  the current landscape in law-tech, map key challenges and opportunities, and to suggest a roadmap for the future of the legal profession. We have been exploring the matter from two points: legal tech innovation as a tool (design and performance – technical aspects), legal tech innovation as services (access to justice and accountability – legal aspects).

We are grateful to have received input from an impressive line-up of legal tech experts, including:

  • Judge Dory Reiling (retired senior Judge, Amsterdam District Court), the Netherlands

  • Sue McLean (Technology and Fintech Partner, Baker and McKenzie LLP), UK

  • Rebecca Keating (Barrister, 4PumpCourt), UK

  • Maria Jesus Gonzalez Espejo (LegalTech Entrepreneur, CEO, Innovation in Law Studies Alliance), Spain

  • Vasilis Tsolis (Founder and CEO of Cognitiv+), Greece

  • Olivier Theraux (Head of Research & Development, Open Data Institute), UK 

  • Sophia Ahmad (Associate Consultant, JDX Consulting), UK

  • Harry Kliaris (Trainee Lawyer, Giannini & Associates), Greece

  • Fatimazahra Dehbi (University of Greenwich), UK

  • Fraser Matcham (Chief Problem Solver, Legal Utopia - Director of Legal Innovation, University of Westminster), UK

  • Howard Shrobe (Director CyberSecurity Initiative, MIT CSAIL), USA, 

  • Lal Akhtar (Founder and CTO MedChamber), UK, 

  • Lal Chandran (Co-Founder and CTO iGrant), Sweden, 

  • Jeannette Gorzala (Attorney at Law, Stadler Völkel), Austria, 

  • Evangelos Katsikis (Managing Partner KKLegal) Greece,  

  • Danaja Fabric Povse (Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) Belgium. 

 

The application of innovative technologies such as Machine Learning or Natural Language Processing in law not only promises to revolutionise every aspect of the legal profession but it also poses intricate questions that call for a multidisciplinary approach:  How does this use of data science blended with jurisprudence translate in a legal services context and what are the implications this holds for the rule of law? Is this a sustainable business model? Most importantly, how will this impact the legal profession and access to justice?

Our research fellows Dilara Altun, Eva Souchet, William Phillips and Vikalp Jaiswal have further produced podcast interviews on these matters with international experts on the field, such as Ahmad Haj Mosa (Head of AI, PwC Europe), Christina Backlaws (former President of the Law Society of England and Wales), Jeannette Gorzala (Stadler Völkel Austria) and Fraser Matcham (CEO of LegalUtopia).

You can follow some of the discussions held at our Legal Tech Microlabs here and here, as well as listen to the legal-tech podcasts here (insert link to the podcast section).

This project is funded by the Higher Education Investment Fund (HEIF).

 

Project Leads:

Dr Argyro Karanasiou

Dr Taimoor Khan

 

Research Assistants:

Eva Souchet

Dilara Altun

William Phillips

Vikalp Jaiswal 

 

Research Support: 

Fakhar Raza, University of Greenwich

Karen Ward, University of Greenwich