LawTech.Asia

Southeast Asia's foremost Law & Technology Review

Category: Legal Research

Legal Technology in Singapore

Written by Amelia Chew, Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen, Josh Lee Kok Thong, and Tristan Koh

The LawTech.Asia is proud to publish the first-ever detailed outline of the legal technology sector in Singapore (as far as we are aware)!

This article is the result of a months-long project to map out the root, state and outlook of the legal technology sector in Singapore, and furthers LawTech.Asia’s fundamental purpose of improving awareness, knowledge and interest in legal technology. It is hoped that this article will be a helpful piece for legal professionals, legal technologists and law students to have a bird’s eye-view of legal technology in Singapore, and to assist in the building of a thriving legal tech community in Singapore. 

While intended to be extensive, the article does not purport to be exhaustive or authoritative, or to express the position of any particular organisation or initiative. This article will be a “living document” that will continue to be updated as more news comes to the fore.

To access the article, click here!

At the outset, the authors wish to express thanks for the innumerable sources of information available online, without which this project would not have been possible. Any mistakes herein remain the authors’ own.

Announcement of Collaboration: Resolve Disputes Online x LawTech.Asia

What is technology? What can it be? What can we shape it to be?

While we aren’t entirely sure – yet – of what technology is and what it can be, what we know about technology is that it is a force. It knows no boundaries. We also know that it is ever-changing: the dreams of yesterday become the technologies of today, while the technologies of today become the antiques of tomorrow.

Let’s face it too – we all know lawyers secretly can’t get enough of technology.

In this spirit, Resolve Disputes Online (RDO) and LawTech.Asia are proud to announce a special collaboration to answer these questions and share our vision – our vision in which technology can revolutionise the practice of law, and where the law can regulate new technologies for the betterment of society. We also look forward to uncovering for our readers, and ourselves, a little more about what technology is, and its impact on the legal industry.

For both our readers, this means that RDO and LawTech.Asia will be co-writing and co-publishing articles relating to law and technology. Some of the possible topics we intend to explore include:

  • Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
  • Access to Justice
  • The role of Blockchain in law
  • AI and the courts
  • Justice on the go

We can’t wait to get started.

This collaboration had its roots in Singapore (over coffee and kaya toast). As much as RDO is a legal tech company focusing on online dispute resolution – an area LawTech.Asia also covers, we realised that both our teams embraced the philosophy that technology can impact all parts of the legal industry. Advancements in one area of legal technology could easily generate lessons applicable to dispute resolution and ODR. After all, some say ODR is simply the adoption of technology in dispute resolution.

Through our contributions, we hope to foster and create a spirit of togetherness amongst societies, and to leave an indelible impact in the quest to provide a sneak peek into access to justice through ODR.

Look out for us.

This collaboration is proudly spearheaded by Ms Maryam Salehijam, Head of Content and Blogs, RDO, Mr Aditya Shivkumar, Co-founder, RDO, and Mr Josh Lee and Ms Jennifer Lim, Writers and Editors of LawTech.Asia.​

Joint Call For Papers Law x Technology: Transforming the face of the Law

Technology disrupts for the better of those prepared. Legal practice is hardly impervious to the implications that technology brings. The advent of blockchain and machine learning technologies is an opportunity, and a potential cost if not pursued. Conversely, the use of technology is equally subject to legal regimes and institutions. Developing a sensitivity to the mutual interaction of the two forces is of utmost urgency as governments and peoples search for a firm footing.

The Singapore Law Review (“SLR”), Asia’s oldest student-run legal publication, and LawTech.Asia, Southeast Asia’s foremost law and technology review, are collaborating on a special issue of the Singapore Law Review journal and LawTech.Asia online publication on the theme “Law x Technology: Transforming the face of the Law”.

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TechLaw.Fest 2018 – Meeting Where It Matters

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Amelia Chew

LawTech.Asia had the privilege of being a media partner for TechLaw.Fest 2018. The inaugural TechLaw.Fest, held from 4 to 6 April 2018, saw the convergence of more than 1,000 legal professionals, technologists, entrepreneurs and regulators to participate in critical conversations about the future of the legal community. This article shares some of the common themes that emerged across the three days of TechLaw.Fest, highlighting the state of legal technology in Singapore and situating its development in Southeast Asia and the world.

Keynote address by Mr Brad Smith (President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft) at the Law of Tech Conference, TechLaw.Fest 2018 (Photo credit: Singapore Academy of Law)

The state of law and technology in Singapore

In recent years, there has been a growing buzz around law and technology in Singapore. In his opening address at the Law of Tech Conference, Minister-in-Charge of the Smart Nation initiative Dr Vivian Balakrishnan highlighted seven major technology trends making a global impact today:

  1. Declining marginal cost of replicating, storing and transmitting information;
  2. Declining marginal cost of computing;
  3. Accelerated clock speed of technology;
  4. Wide deployment of sensors leading to an explosion of data;
  5. Increasing capacity to analyse data;
  6. Disruption caused by robotics; and
  7. Progress in artificial intelligence.

Minister Balakrishnan observed that these technological trends “interact and catalyse virtual cycles, feeding and accelerating one another”. The interaction and reinforcement of these trends have political and socio-economic ramifications, such as the creation of echo chambers and filter bubbles that threaten to disrupt the fabric of society.

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People: Andrew Arruda

Interviewed by Josh Lee | Edited by Samuel Lim

Andrew Arruda is the CEO and co-founder of ROSS Intelligence, the successful legal technology company that harnesses AI and natural language processing to enhance lawyers’ research capabilities on the ROSS research engine. Recognised as an inspiring legal mind in the field of AI, Andrew made the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017. He recently visited Singapore to deliver the closing keynote speech at TechLaw.Fest 2018, a legal technology conference that brought together the best minds in law and technology.

LawTech.Asia, a media partner of TechLaw.Fest, is honoured to have Andrew share with us the traits of a good legal technologist and the future use of AI in the legal industry.

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TechLaw.Fest Quick Chats: Edmund Koh, INTELLLEX

Interview by Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen | Edited by Amelia Chew

TechLaw.Fest 2018 will take place from 4-6 April 2018 in Singapore, bringing together leading thinkers in the space of Technology Law and leading makers in the space of Legal Technology. In the lead-up to TechLaw.Fest, the LawTech.Asia team will bring you regular interviews and shout-outs covering prominent speakers and the topics they will be speaking at TechLaw.Fest.

This week, LawTech.Asia sat down for a chat with Edmund Koh, Chief of Staff & General Counsel at INTELLLEX. Edmund will be speaking at the Law of Tech Conference on the panel titled Legal Issues in Legal Tech.

Edmund Koh (far right) with the INTELLLEX team

What do you think of Singapore’s Legal Tech Vision released by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL)?

It is a very ambitious and timely roadmap for law firms in Singapore. It’s a call for law firms to start embracing technology and innovation. In other industries, there has been more of an impetus to adopt technology already as it clearly makes a person’s work more efficient. In contrast, for the longest time, lawyers have thought that our work is so different and unique that it is not susceptible to disruption by technology. I think that is changing. The Legal Tech Vision is really telling the legal landscape that everyone should sit up and take note of what’s going on.

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Alex Toh LawTech.Asia

People: Alex Toh, Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School

Interview by Amelia Chew & Stella Chen

Alex Toh is currently pursuing a Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School. After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law in 2007, Alex started his legal career with the Litigation & Dispute Resolution department of Drew & Napier, and worked as legal counsel for Asia Pacific at American semi-conductor company Xilinx. Alex was a committee member of the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA), and founded their young lawyers committee – Peers.

In this interview, Alex shares about his own experience searching for what he wants to do, how he ended up at the intersection of law and technology, and how law students should approach their future careers.

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Legal Tech 101: What it is and why it matters

Written by Micole Yang

Talk about impending ‘disruption’ in the legal industry is rife. But how well do these speculations actually hold up? This series aims to summarize and analyze the key legal technologies out there, using cases – past, present, and future – to show you what they do. In this article, we’ll be focusing on legal research and contract-drafting technologies.

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Four Species of Endangered Lawyers

Written by Lynn, David Ho & Lee Ji En

Littered everywhere in the Singapore media is a doomsday prophecy for “young lawyers”. Even if they manage to beat the odds of getting a job amid the ‘glut’ of young lawyers, they are now told to hold off the self-congratulations as junior lawyers’ jobs are on the verge of being cannibalised by artificial intelligence. Last October, the newspaper headline “Technology could oust junior lawyers” brought home the existential threat to young lawyers, through the words of Law Society President Thio Shen Yi SC in the Law Gazette:

“Soon, innovative legal services which mass produce legal solutions may not only be cheaper alternatives to lawyers, but may also become better alternatives as they gain economies of scale.”

But why should the line be drawn between ‘junior’ lawyers and their seniors? In fact, Mr Thio, in his article, explicitly mentioned that “senior lawyers will not be spared either: the development of predictive analysis software has meant that the experience and intuition that we value can now be replaced with a computer’s predictions as to the outcome of a case or its likely settlement value” (read the original article here ). We tend to agree too.

So instead of panicking over the rise of legal tech, or the “glut”, let’s dig deep into how to future-proof our careers — starting by identifying the potential pitfalls if we insist on inertia.

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