A ‘regulatory pathfinding’ programme to help more lawtech companies “navigate the regulatory environment” has been launched by Lawtech UK.
It comes as Tech Nation – one of the three bodies behind LawtechUK – has selected three lawtech firms for its international growth programme.
LawtechUK said both the regulatory and a mentoring programme had been developed from its sandbox initiative, which enables start-ups to work with regulators and decision-makers.
The regulatory programme, open to any organisation needing regulatory guidance for lawtech initiatives, helps companies “navigate the regulatory environment by identifying which regulator they need to speak with, addressing challenges that cross UK jurisdictions or regulatory regimes, understanding the challenges, and getting their questions answered fast”.
The ‘expert mentoring’ programme, in collaboration with Barclays Eagle Labs, is “designed to fast-track transformative products and services looking to address the legal needs of businesses and society”.
Start-ups are helped by a “carefully matched expert mentor” from LawtechUK’s network of law firms, businesses, investors and public bodies.
LawtechUK said the courses aimed to help companies “overcome the challenges or regulatory blockers halting their development, and accelerate legal innovation in the UK”.
Firms can choose one or both of the free programmes, depending on the areas of the business they need guidance on and what is most valuable for their growth. The deadline for applications is this weekend.
Jack Cane, LawtechUK sandbox lead, said the organisation wanted to support “far more lawtech pioneers than previously possible”.
He went on: “Two of the highest impact elements of the sandbox for lawtech pioneers are having industry experts by your side, backing you and helping shape your offering, and having navigation support through the regulatory landscape. Now, we are making it easier than ever to access these unique experiences.”
Tech Nation is a growth platform that, along with the LawtechUK panel and Ministry of Justice, are behind LawtechUK.
Its four-month international growth programme, part of the government’s digital trade network, is designed to accelerate expansion into Australia and South-East Asia.
Avvoka, selected for the Australian programme, is a document automation, negotiation and analytics tool designed to help law firms, in-house legal teams and businesses draft and negotiate documents and use data insights from that process to draft better documents.
Cognitiv+, chosen for South-East Asia, is an artificial intelligence platform that extracts data from contracts, policies and legislation to provide law firms with deeper insights into their legal data.
Robin AI, also chosen for South-East Asia, uses a combination of proprietary software and machine learning to “re-imagine how contracts are drafted, negotiated and used”.
In a separate development, central London law firm Mishcon de Reya said three early stage lawtech firms have become the latest to join its MDR Lab; they would be based at its offices over the next three months, working closely with lawyers and others “to improve their products and find product-market fit”.
Version Story is a version management tool that facilitates legal collaboration by helping lawyers who work in teams compare and merge document versions and organise a document’s history.
SettleIndex is a financial and risk modelling platform that enables lawyers to model, visualise and evaluate disputes and use data to inform litigation strategy.
Amplifi is an intelligibility tool that helps lawyers objectively assess and simplify the language used in contracts and other legal documents.
The law firm said it had signed commercial agreements with nine MDR Lab companies, and invested in four of them including most recently DraftWise, which took part in its winter 2020 programme.
Dan Sinclair, head of MDR Lab, commented: “Given the growth of the legaltech ecosystem and pace of change, scouting the market and using technology to help solve problems for our core business and for our clients has become a permanent activity.”
Separately, Mishcon de Reya announced that it has signed a commercial agreement with Della, which recently took part in the MDR Lab programme, to make its AI-driven contract analytics platform available to selected teams across the firm.