Interview by Lenon Ong | Written by Amelia Chew | Edited by Josh Lee
In November 2019, Clifford Chance announced that it was launching the Automation Academy, a training programme designed to give trainees and lawyers a foundational understanding of how to automate legal contracts and other tasks using a no-code platform. The LawTech.Asia team sat down with Laura Collins Scott, Innovation Lead at Clifford Chance, and her team to learn about the firm’s approach towards training lawyers for the evolving legal industry.
Written by Cai Xiaohan, Tristan Koh, Utsav Rakshit | Edited by Josh Lee Kok Thong
In October 2018, LawTech.Asia published the first-ever detailed outline of the legal technology sector in Singapore. It was 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. The article was imagined as a “living document” that will continue to be updated as more news comes to the fore.
Much has happened in the legal tech scene in Singapore since then. To encapsulate these developments, LawTech.Asia is proud to present the second edition of “Legal Technology in Singapore”.
Our first edition had argued that Singapore is currently in the midst of a “legal tech revolution”, which began sometime in 2015 and which was spearheaded by the government in Singapore. The past year has seen the government invest even moreresources into new initiatives to support legal tech adoption, and this edition of our article has been updated to include the following new developments:
Recent statements by the Judiciary on legal tech in Singapore;
New assistance schemes to support the adoption of technology in Singapore, such as:
Asia’s first legal tech accelerator, GLIDE by FLIP;
Tech-celerate for Law by the Law Society of Singapore, which will fund legal tech adoption by law firms;
Advancement of legal tech in the State Courts;
The establishment of the SmartLaw Guild;
The new creation of legal tech office-holders in public sector institutions; and
The development of tech-related curricula in local law schools.
In this second edition, we also posit that the Singapore legal tech revolution has entered into a new phase: new ground-up initiatives in the legal profession to support legal tech adoption. We suggest that more law firms, law students, and legal tech solution providers have started their own initiatives to encourage legal tech adoption. This new edition of our article covers, in particular, the law firms which have championed legal tech adoption by being early adopters, producing their own technology, or launching their own legal tech incubators / accelerators.
In our first edition of the article, we had also outlined three forces influencing the development of Singapore’s legal tech revolution: the liberalisation and internationalisation of Singapore’s legal industry; the increasing sophistication of clients; and increasing technological capability. In this second edition, we introduce a fourth influence: the progressive changes in Singapore substantive laws. We argue that, as Singapore’s lawmakers introduce progressive laws which encourage, rather than inhibit, legal tech growth, this would also shape the course of the legal tech revolution for the better. Laws discussed include the passing of the Payment Services Act 2019 as well as the proposed amendments to the Electronic Transactions Act.
To access the updated version of the article, “Legal Technology in Singapore”, click here!
As before, 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.
From 16-17 November 2018, LawTech.Asia co-organised the Legal Hackers APAC Summit together with SG Legal Hackers and the Singapore Academy of Law. This saw over twenty Legal Hackers chapter organizers from at least ten different countries in the Asia-Pacific region converge in Singapore to discuss the latest developments in law, technology and innovation in the APAC region.
The list tracks the likely movers and shakers of the legal industry in 2019, and LawTech.Asia is fortunate to be named alongside luminaries such as Ms Teresa Cheng (Hong Kong Secretary of Justice) and Ms Melissa Kaye Pang (President of the Hong Kong Law Society) for this year’s edition.
LawTech.Asia has an unwavering goal – to inspire legal innovation through partnerships and thought leadership. By the nature of our work, we walk alongside and are supported by giants who stand tall in their fields. Hence, this achievement has come very much as a pleasant surprise to all of us. We have met many leaders at the forefront of legal tech in the region, all of whom would more than deserve a spot on the list.
Nevertheless, this recognition only strengthens our resolve to work even harder towards our vision of become “The Economist of legal technology in Asia”.
We dedicate this to all of LawTech.Asia’s partners. This recognition belongs to you as much as it means to us.
From all of us at LawTech.Asia, a very big thank you.
It has been a joy working with you in 2018. All of us at LawTech.Asia would like to wish you a very fruitful 2019!
Looking Back at 2018
2018 has been a tremendous year for LawTech.Asia. We produced a total of 28 articles’ worth of thought leadership, industry insights, and conversation points (not too bad for a team of volunteers!). We were appointed Media Partner for major legal tech conferences (TechLaw.Fest 2018 and LexTech 2018). We co-organised local and regional legal tech events, such as the APAC Legal Hackers Summit 2018 and the SG Legal Tech Meetup. We engaged in collaborations with overseas legal tech companies, such as Resolve Disputes Online.
With these projects, LawTech.Asia’s visibility has grown. We’ve been told that our articles – which are known for their neutrality, substance and clarity of thought – are something to look forward to. These words of encouragement mean much to us, and strengthen our resolve to do even better.
Throughout 2018, LawTech.Asia has taken big strides towards its goal: to raise awareness, interest and thought leadership on the legal tech sector in Singapore and the region.
Internally, we’ve also expanded our team – from five members to the current 14, and are in the midst of expanding further to meet our manpower and resource needs.
Looking forward to 2019
There remains much work to be done. The legal tech sector in the region continues to develop, and there are still many minds and hearts that we can – and should – be touching. In this game, we are in a constant race against man, machine, and time.
With that, our focus in 2019 is to better position ourselves as The Economist of legal technology in Asia. To that end, we will put even more effort into producing thought leadership that is relevant, regional and respected. We also aim to strengthen our network of partners, with whom we hope to build a resilient community of legal innovators. We hope to share more details on these initiatives soon.
All of these would not have been possible without your continued readership and support for LawTech.Asia. For that, you have our deepest thanks. Thank you for partnering and journeying with us in 2018, and we hope you will continue to support us this year.
From all at LawTech.Asia, here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Rajah & Tann Technologies (R&T Technologies), the dedicated tech arm of Rajah & Tann Asia recently completed its acquisition of LegalComet for an undisclosed sum.
Rajah & Tann has long been one of the leading law firms in Singapore. In more recent times, the firm has begun exploring the delivery of tech-augmented legal services, most notably through the setup of Rajah & Tann Technologies in 2017. This move has placed Rajah & Tann alongside prominent international names such as Linklaters and Allen & Overy, both of which are recognised for their strong innovation efforts. Linklaters and Allen & Overy have set up incubators in order to nurture and work alongside legal tech startups to change the business of law.
In contrast, R&T Technologies’ current model of operations is not based on incubation of startups but rather acquiring and offering capabilities in legal tech itself. The team has identified six key areas of expertise: Data Breach Readiness & Response; Cybersecurity; Virtual Law Academy; E-Discovery; LegalTech; and RegTech. R&T Technologies’ offerings are designed for both their existing clientele as well as other law firms seeking to implement legal tech solutions. Headed by Rajesh Sreenivasan and Steve Tan as Directors; Wong Onn Chee as Technical Director; and Ong Ba Sou as Chief Technology Officer, the R&T Technologies team brings with them a broad range of experience in law, technology and project management.
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.
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.