Westminster Legal Policy Forum

Legal technology in the UK - new services, regulatory issues, and impact on the sector and consumers

Morning, Monday, 2nd December 2019

Central London

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



This seminar will be a timely opportunity to assess the future of the legal technology landscape - and how its development will affect the overall growth of the sector, established and new legal firms in the UK, and the quality and range of services for clients.


This seminar is scheduled to follow the publication of the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s legal statement on the status of cryptoassets, distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and smart contracts under English private law.


Delegates will consider the conclusions reached and the optimal approaches for increasing certainty and investor confidence, including legislative possibilities.


The discussion takes place as the pace of innovation is increasing. We expect discussion of the implications of developments such as the launch of the first off-the-shelf connected parametric insurance contract - including the potential of this model for other ‘connected’ products.


Delegates will consider how to maximise the potential benefits as well as manage the risks of the increasing use of algorithms in decision-making across the legal sector.


It comes as the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation calls for evidence on bias in algorithmic decision making, both in areas such as recruitment and in criminal justice. It also follows a paper from Law Society’s Public Policy Technology and Law Commission, which found a ‘concerning’ lack of standards and transparency about the use of algorithmic systems in the justice sector.


Attendees will assess the recommendations reached in the report, including the creation of a National Register of Algorithmic Systems, as well as examples of best practice in this area.


The agenda will draw out discussion on the potential for artificial intelligence to transform legal services, as well as the variety of new AI-facilitated business models that are emerging for both incumbent firms and new entrants to the market.


Attendees will consider what policies and strategies are needed to ensure that there are sufficient skills and knowledge-sharing facilities across professional services, as well as how UK labour markets and supply chains will need to adapt.


It comes with the government investing £3m into ‘Transforming accountancy, insurance and legal services with AI and data’ as part of the modern Industrial Strategy, including the Oxford-run project ‘Unlocking the potential of AI for English Law’.


In light of the Legal Services Consumer Panel Lawtech and Consumers report, delegates will look at how consumer protection and key principles, such as assuring choice and representation, can be safeguarded in the changing legal landscape.


We expect discussion on how to resolve the potential conflict between strict transparency obligations and commercial confidentiality for developers.


Delegates will also consider cybersecurity innovations and what protective practices law firms should be implementing in order to manage emerging threats to data and disruption of digitsed processes. This includes cloud solutions to increasingly sophisticated ransomware.  


As increasing numbers of legal and professional service firms set up legal tech incubators, we expect this seminar to bring out latest thinking on how this collaboration is bridging the gap between start-ups and major law firms and creating long-term partnerships. Attendees will consider the use of mentorship and resource-sharing practices within these organisations, as well as questions over stakeholder engagement.


Discussion will also consider where funding is best directed, and at which stage of growth it is most beneficial. This follows the launch of government backed initiatives such as the Legal Access Challenge, which aims to maximise the potential use of digital technology by SMEs to help widen access to legal support.



Keynote Speakers

Professor John Armour

Professor of Law and Finance, University of Oxford and Principal Investigator, ‘Unlocking the potential of AI for English Law’

Christina Blacklaws

Consultant; Chair, LawTech Delivery Panel and Chair, Next Generation Services Advisory Group, UK Research and Innovation

Owen Derbyshire

Panel Member, Legal Services Consumer Panel and Founder and Chief Executive, Twenty One

Keynote Speakers

Christina Blacklaws

Consultant; Chair, LawTech Delivery Panel and Chair, Next Generation Services Advisory Group, UK Research and Innovation

Owen Derbyshire

Panel Member, Legal Services Consumer Panel and Founder and Chief Executive, Twenty One

Chris Grant

Head, LawTech Innovation, Eagle Labs and Head, Relationship Management, Barclays

Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos

Chancellor of the High Court and Chair, UKJT

Professor John Armour

Professor of Law and Finance, University of Oxford and Principal Investigator, ‘Unlocking the potential of AI for English Law’

Chair

Bambos Charalambous MP

Member, House of Commons Justice Select Committee (subject to Parliamentary business)

Speakers

Michael Cross

News Editor, Law Society Gazette

Professor Katie Atkinson

Professor of Computer Science and Dean, School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science, University of Liverpool

Senior speaker confirmed from the Legal Services Board

Emily Foges

Chief Executive Officer, Luminance

Gary Gallen

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, rradar