The Legal Services Board (LSB) has published a new collection of articles on legal technology by 11 individuals and organisations, including a judge, a national barristers’ chambers, tech firms and regulators.
The publication comes as the efforts of everyone across the legal services sector are focused on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Technology is playing an important role in helping meet the immediate challenges and it will support recovery in the longer term. Effective regulation will ensure that consumers continue to be protected.
The articles show how different parts of the legal services sector perceive technological innovation and how, in their view, technology may improve access to justice. They outline the potential risks that face the sector, as well as the likely opportunities of lawtech, and how regulators can help ensure the benefits are realised.
‘Perspectives on Lawtech and Regulation’ was commissioned by the LSB as part of its work on legal technology and regulation. The article authors are:
- Owen Derbyshire, Member of the Legal Services Consumer Panel
- Julia Salasky, CEO, Legl
- Chris Handford, Director of Regulatory Policy, Solicitors Regulation Authority
- Felix Brown, Policy Officer, CILEx Regulation
- Simon Davis, President, The Law Society
- Dr Birgit Clark, Lead Knowledge Lawyer IP & Technology at Baker McKenzie, on behalf of CITMA
- Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court.
- Mariette Hughes, Head Ombudsman, Legal Ombudsman
- Stephen Ward, Managing Director, Clerksroom Barristers Chambers
- Elizabeth Comley, Deputy General Counsel and Head of Data Protection, Slater & Gordon
- Lorraine Robinson, Head of Legal, Farewill
The LSB has also announced plans to provide practical support to regulators by setting up an expert reference group to share knowledge, consider issues and act as a route for partners to engage with the legal regulators collectively. The group will involve technology experts and practitioners from outside of the regulatory bodies as well as representatives from the regulators.
Matthew Hill, Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board said:
“One of the Legal Services Board’s roles is to help foster a regulatory climate that supports innovation and increases access to legal services for everyone who needs them, while maintaining high standards.
“The impact of Covid-19 has brought into even sharper focus the vital role that technology can play in keeping the wheels of justice turning. We want to remove barriers to innovation, and we encourage regulators to explore how we can use technology to reshape legal services to better meet the needs of society.
“As this new collection of articles illustrates, there are many potential opportunities, but there are some risks though. It is important that nobody is disadvantaged as technology advances, particularly the vulnerable.
“We will work with others from across the legal and technological sectors to ensure everyone who needs legal services can reap the benefits of lawtech.”