LSB considers the ethical implications of technology to ensure regulation protects consumers

The Legal Services Board (LSB) is reflecting on the ethical implications of technology to ensure people who need legal services are not harmed by innovation. This follows the release of a new episode in the LSB’s ‘Talking Tech’ podcast series on ethics, technology and education.

In the episode, Professor Lisa Webley, Head of Birmingham Law School at the University of Birmingham, considers the latest technological developments in legal services and how they may affect the current practice of law. The podcast accompanies a paper by Professor Webley examining how these changes may give rise to ethical considerations similar to, or distinct from, those already affecting the profession, and whether these may require a regulatory response.

The paper and podcast episode are part of the LSB’s ongoing research series: Developing approaches to regulation for the use of technology in legal services. The LSB will draw on these and other insights to inform its approach and assist the frontline regulators to respond effectively to LawTech.

Dr Helen Phillips, Chair of the Legal Services Board, said:

“Technology does not stand still and as it continues to revolutionise how people access legal help and advice, we want to ensure regulation keeps pace. It is vital that we consider the ethical implications of technology and continue to protect consumers.

“Innovation that increases fair and equal access to justice is in the public interest and we encourage the safe use of technology to provide services that better meet the needs of society.”

The episode on ethics, technology and education is the sixth in the series.

The podcast is also available on Apple Podcasts, Android players, Spotify and PodBean.


About Professor Lisa Webley

Professor Lisa Webley is Head of Birmingham Law School at the University of Birmingham. Her research concerns the regulation, education and ethicality and professionalism of the legal profession, and broader access to justice and rule of law concerns. She has been the Principal Investigator on several large research projects and has undertaken funded empirical research for public bodies and organisations including the European Commission; the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Trade and Industry, Jersey Finance Limited in the context of lawtech adoption and currently Innovate UK working with Engine B on a secure data exchange platform for professional services including legal work. She is head of research in CEPLER.

Lisa is General Editor of Legal Ethics and Co-Director of the Legal Education Research Network. She holds visiting professorships at the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University Australia and at the University of Portsmouth, and has been a visiting scholar at Melbourne University and Hong Kong University. She holds a Senior Research Fellowship at IALS, University of London. She is co-author (with Harriet Samuels) of the Complete Public Law: Text, Cases and Materials (OUP) and Legal Writing (Routledge). She was awarded the OUP Law Teacher of the Year prize 2016. She holds the Chair in Legal Education and Research and is Head of Birmingham Law School, at the University of Birmingham.The Legal Services Act 2007 (the Act) created the LSB as a new regulator with responsibility for overseeing the regulation of legal services in England and Wales. The new regulatory regime became active on 1 January 2010.

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