Plan for 28-month Online Court pilot emerges as MR foresees live-streaming Court of Appeal

Internet connection

A 28-month pilot of the Online Court is to start next month, with HM Courts and Tribunal Service providing face-to-face assistance to the half of people signed up to it who are expected to need help with filling in forms. Meanwhile, the Master of the Rolls has suggested that physical hearings may become capable of live streaming, particularly in the Court of Appeal.

June 23rd, 2017

AI technology “transformative but carries risks”, says Slaughters report

Ben Kingsley S&M (Small)

Company directors should consider the risks of using artificial intelligence technology so as to understand and manage their liability, according to a report by magic circle law firm Slaughter & May. AI was “the most transformative technology” of this century, it said. However, risks included AI being maliciously ‘re-purposed’.

June 23rd, 2017

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

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

Keep calm and carry on: BSB finds no evidence of “widespread change” at the Bar


Widespread change” is yet to happen at the Bar, with only a small minority of barristers planning to change the way they work or charge fees, a report for the Bar Standards Board has found. Despite the presence of “strong drivers for change”, the report said this did “not necessarily equate to a need or desire for a new approach”.

May 31st, 2017

Land Registry to trial blockchain-backed digital property transfer

Land Registry

HM Land Registry plans to live test a ‘Digital Street’ scheme which will enable the “almost instant” transfer of property ownership, backed by technology including blockchain – the secure distributed ledger underpinning the Bitcoin currency – it has emerged.

May 23rd, 2017

In-house lawyers “reluctant” to embrace technology

D Casey Flaherty NextLaw

In-house lawyers have been significantly slower to adopt technology than their counterparts in business, according to a prominent legal technology innovator. Former in-house lawyer D Casey Flaherty, an advisor to Dentons’ lawtech incubator NextLaw Labs, said lawyers as a group were “reluctant” to embrace technology

May 17th, 2017