Court Service to test ‘virtual hearing’ prototype

On-line conference with overseas representative

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working with Microsoft to build a prototype for a fully virtual hearing, which will tested in October, it has emerged. The latest development in the £1bn modernisation of the courts and tribunals, it will pilot virtual case management hearings in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

August 15th, 2017

LawBot team plans ‘lawyer v machine’ case prediction challenge

Ludwig Bull LawBot 2

The team behind LawBot, the legal advice chatbot created last year by Cambridge University law students, is planning a live ‘lawyer v machine’ challenge similar to the one in which IBM’s Watson won the US quiz show Jeopardy. LawBot was relaunched earlier this week and has started signing up law firms keen to secure access to leads generated by the chatbot.

August 3rd, 2017

Kennedys creates new route to partnership for employees with ideas

Richard West

City law firm Kennedys has launched what could become a new route to partnership for members of staff who can dream up ideas for tech products to help clients. Prototypes from the Ideas Lab will be developed in India, before returning home for completion.

July 28th, 2017

Legal tech firm to open source AI-based document tool

Daniel Katz

A legal tech firm is open source its AI-based document analysis tool next month, in one of the first moves of its kind for the sector. Its co-founder said he believed that the smallest legal tech start-ups could be based on the tool and then “1,000 flowers can bloom”.

July 26th, 2017

Firms turning to cyber insurance as scammer attacks continue to rise, Law Society survey finds

Concept of internet security

The proportion of law firms targeted by scammers has risen sharply over the last year, especially among larger firms, as has the number of practices taking out cyber-insurance, according to new research from the Law Society. The survey on indemnity insurance also showed that a significant minority of brokers continue not to disclose their commission.

July 24th, 2017

City firm throws weight behind legal app that propels start-up investments

Tim Bird Fieldfisher

City law firm Fieldfisher has invested in “game changer” technology that helps investors and start-ups conclude deals quickly online. SeedLegals describes itself as “the world’s first automated legal service for start-up funding rounds”.

July 24th, 2017

Land Registry steps up “frictionless” digital conveyancing project as it expands legal team

Land Registry

An expanding team of more than 100 HM Land Registry lawyers dealt with 100,000 legal enquiries last year, although the organisation has stepped up digital reform efforts aimed at automating key parts of the registry’s work. For instance, the piloting of a digital mortgage service, part of a plan to enable paper-free legal deeds, will be widened later this year.

July 19th, 2017

Inventor of parking ticket chatbot sets sights on automating divorce

Josh Browder 2

The student entrepreneur who developed a ground-breaking free chatbot ‘robot lawyer’ to help people challenge parking tickets is working on an ambitious plan to automate the divorce process with the assistance of a team of salaried paralegals, it has emerged. Josh Browder has obtained funding for legal support from a Silicon Valley venture capital fund.

July 18th, 2017

Law Commission paves the way for electronic wills


The Law Commission has set its sights on England and Wales becoming the first major jurisdiction in the world to allow electronic wills by proposing that the Lord Chancellor is given the power to introduce them by statutory instrument. It has also proposed giving the courts the power to treat a document as a will where the formalities are not followed.

July 13th, 2017

Online probate service enters first stage of testing


A six-month private test of the government’s new online probate service started last month, it has emerged as it looks to digitise the 280,000 applications received each year. As part of the project, HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working to better understand solicitors’ needs to reduce the number of applications that have to be returned.

July 11th, 2017