Legal Utopia has been selected as one of five pioneering tech businesses by LawTech UK, the Ministry of Justice-backed initiative within Tech Nation to help transform the UK legal sector through technology, for the benefit of society and the economy.
The LawTech Sandbox was inspired by the FCA’s similar programme to support technology innovation in financial services. It has been “designed to fast track transformative ideas, products and services that address the legal needs of businesses and society” with the selected beneficiaries of the pilot to gain access to “a number of tools and services, to accelerate the development of game-changing lawtech, including access to useful legal datasets and a fast-response forum of eleven cross-sector regulators” (LawTech UK).
Jenifer Swallow (LawTech UK Director @ Tech Nation), comments: “The Lawtech Sandbox is designed to accelerate digital transformation of the legal sector by providing targeted support to those who are building game-changing lawtech, working alongside them to help raise the bar for business and society. Access to data, cross-sector regulator engagement, and timely input from decision-makers represents shared barriers to growth, all of which we address through the Lawtech Sandbox.
We are delighted to move forward with five fantastic Lawtech Sandbox applicants, to support not only their development, but the wider sector and beyond, through what we establish and learn during this pilot. We thank and encourage all who applied and congratulate the cohort of five as they move into onboarding. We look forward now to the collaboration and work ahead, alongside our great bench of participating regulators, Lawtech Sandbox partners, and Steering Board.”
Fraser Matcham (CEO @ Legal Utopia), comments: “It is a great opportunity to be accepted on, and engage with, this government-backed, lawtech focused sandbox to expand and accelerate our on-demand services for SMEs in the UK. We’re looking forward to sharing the significant ambitions and vision of Legal Utopia during this pilot programme and, of course, collaborating with multiple parties to enable significant progress with maximum impact.’
Legal Utopia had previously successfully completed one of the UK’s largest national legal consumer research projects looking at the needs of, and demand for, legal services by low-means consumers and businesses in collaboration with the University of Westminster. The substantial, 15-month research project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Legal Utopia Limited with its findings published in January 2020.
Legal Utopia was a previous resident of the Barclays LawTech Incubator and cohort member of the Wayra UK Accelerator in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh. It had previously collaborated with Norton Rose Fulbright and the Information Commissioner’s Office as part of the Regulator’s Pioneers Fund, funded by BEIS, on automated decision-making data protection regulation. The company received further valuable pro bono support from Mishcon de Reya, Baker McKenzie, and Dentons in its early MVP development.
The LawTech UK Judging Panel considered 65 applications and consisted of:
Chris Grant, LawTech Director @ Barclays Ventures
Sophia Adams Bhatti, Head of Strategy & Policy @ Simmons Wavelength
Nick West, Chief Strategy Officer, Mishcon de Reya LLP & Founder of MDR LAB
Matthew Smith, Manager – Policy, Innovate, FCA
Stephen Browning, Challenge Director – Next Generation Service at Innovate UK
Jenifer Swallow, LawTech UK Director, Tech Nation
Alexandra Lennox, Head of LawTech UK, Tech Nation