Bad news for barristers: SFO adopts AI-powered document review after successful test in Rolls-Royce case

Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office has bought a document review system backed up by artificial intelligence to improve significantly its document analysis capability – and put out of work barristers who it previously used to identify material subject to legal professional privilege.

April 11th, 2018

Project to make smart contracts mainstream grows, as top firms burnish tech credentials


Smart contracts in cross-border commerce moved a step closer to the mainstream this week when three City law firm giants joined a project that is seeking to create global legal standards for blockchain-backed transactions. We also report on firms’ technology training moves and a knowledge transfer partnership between a law firm and university.

April 10th, 2018

First building block of Online Court goes public

Lucy Frazer MP

The first element of the Online Court went public today, with a beta test enabling people to issue county court money claims for up to £10,000 more easily. The Ministry of Justice said the civil money claims pilot scheme “begins to deliver the vision… for claims worth up to £25,000 to be solved in an online court”.

April 6th, 2018

First digital mortgage added to Land Register as blockchain conveyancer adopts AI

Neil Singer Clicktopurchase

The first digital mortgage deed was entered into the Land Register today following collaboration and testing with Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancing. Meanwhile, an online property sales platform that uses the blockchain to record property transactions has adopted artificial intelligence in its auction process.

April 5th, 2018

Axiom launches Brexit AI product to help companies update 7.5m contracts

Brexit Direction Sign

Leading alternative legal services provider Axiom has launched a purpose-built service, incorporating artificial intelligence, to help companies update over 7.5m financial services contracts in the run-up to Brexit. It described this as the largest contract rewriting and updating exercise ever seen.

March 28th, 2018

Survey: mid-sized firms spend on tech but don’t check whether it was worth the money

Computer and mouse

Mid-sized law firms are convinced that their IT spend is adding to profitability but three out of four make no effort to measure their return on investment, according to new research. It also found that more than two-thirds of firms had no CRM system and more than a quarter had no practice management system.

March 28th, 2018

Start-up aims to change the way companies manage legal costs

Ed Strickland

A start-up is aiming to change the way large firms buy legal services by offering them a software tool to calculate and manage their costs. ClearCosts enables general counsel and other major buyers of legal services to calculate “a proportionate fee for each stage of a dispute” and measure their lawyers’ performance.

March 26th, 2018

Master of the Rolls: More than four in ten of applications to Court of Appeal come from litigants in person

Sir Terence Etherton

The proportion of applications to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal by litigants in person has gone up by 50% in the last 10 years, the Master of the Rolls has said. He said the judiciary was considering “the facilitation of settlement” of claims in the Online Court.

March 20th, 2018

Judiciary threatens to pull out of Online Court pilot over lack of communication from officials

Mr Justice Birss

The judiciary has threatened to withdraw from the Online Court pilot – which could go public by the end of this month – if there are “any further false claims or data” about the project from Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service. The pilot, for money claims under £10,000, could move from invitation-only to ‘public beta’ stage on 26 March.

March 7th, 2018

Legal input “needed after blockchain”, says fintech solicitor in wake of pioneering deal


Lawyers will be vital to high-end fintech deals even after blockchain transactions become mainstream, according to a solicitor at the forefront of innovating with cutting-edge technology. He was speaking after helping to secure a pioneering use of the distributed ledger to transfer financial securities.

March 7th, 2018