Practice points

Legal chatbot to issue own currency as new platform aims to predict case outcomes

Ludwig Bull LawBot 2

LawBot, a legal advice chatbot created by four Cambridge University law students, is to relaunch next month in seven countries with the aim of becoming a commercial operation funded by issuing its own cryptocurrency. The new version analyses the quality of users’ claims, moving from decision-tree reasoning to data-driven intelligence.

June 21st, 2017

Road trip seeks out top European lawtech start-ups

LegalGeek road trip (Small)

Nextlaw Labs – the tech venture launched by global law firm Dentons – has joined with London lawtech community Legal Geek to tour European capitals in search of the best legal technology. So far, a team of lawyers and technologists has visited Amsterdam and Berlin, and will visit Brussels this week and Paris next week, before returning to London’s Canary Wharf.

June 20th, 2017

Law schools “trapped in the 1970s”, Susskind says

Future for Lawyers conference at RBS

Many law schools are teaching law “as it was in the 1970s”, Professor Richard Susskind, IT adviser to the Lord Chancellor, has said. Professor Susskind said there was “little regard” for technology or artificial intelligence, leaving law graduates “not just ill-prepared for legal work as it is today, but very ill-prepared for how it will be tomorrow”.

June 16th, 2017

SQE could be delayed beyond 2020, SRA admits as top City firm partner lays out concerns


The Solicitors Qualifying Exam could be postponed beyond its launch date of 2020, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has admitted. In a further development, the regulator has said it was possible that the all-powerful central assessor of the new exam could also be a course provider.

June 15th, 2017

Law graduate pay “very average”, while gender gap opens from the start

law books with graduation hat

While the top end of recent law graduates are second only to business students in their earning power, the average wage law graduates receive does not stand out among other occupations, a massive government study has found. It highlighted too that an earnings gap between men and women entering the law opened up at the very start of their careers.

June 14th, 2017

New definition of ‘client money’ dropped but SRA gives green light to third-party accounts

Legal Futures Conference Nov16: Innovation

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has dropped a new definition of ‘client money’ which would have excluded fees and disbursements in response to the concerns of practitioners, but is otherwise moving ahead with a huge rewrite of the accounts rules that reduces them from 41 pages to just seven, and approves the use of third-party managed accounts.

June 13th, 2017

Public interest crowdfunding platform raises $2m for US expansion

Julia Salasky CrowdJustice

CrowdJustice, the online funding platform for public interest legal cases, has raised $2m (£1.5m) from an investment round to expand its presence in the United States. CrowdJustice’s founder and chief executive told Legal Futures that it was an important time to be in the US to help give voice to people “between elections”.

June 8th, 2017

Law firm launches data analytics team to help lawyers predict the future

Andrew Dunkley

Insurance law firm BLM has set up a specialist data analytics team to help its lawyers make better predictions about their cases. Headed by a solicitor and a data scientist, it uses machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence (AI), to predict the length, cost and result of litigation.

June 7th, 2017

Solicitors lose claim over losses caused by tax mitigation schemes

Tax calculator and pen

Partners at a leading personal injury law firm have lost a professional negligence action against the accountants who recommended they sign up to two ultimately unsuccessful tax mitigation schemes. They succeeded at every stage of their claim only to fall at the last when the judge ruled that they brought the action out of time.

June 5th, 2017

Direct access chambers and specialist financial services set launch BSB ABSs

Daniel ShenSmith

A ‘virtual’ chambers that supports direct access work has set up an alternative business structure, as has a niche financial services chambers, which become the second and third to be regulated by the Bar Standards Board. It licensed its first ABS, a collaboration between a London chambers and football agents, earlier this month.

June 1st, 2017