Magic circle firm Allen & Overy is set to announce the next members of its innovation incubator this week. The firm is expected to reveal which aspiring entrepreneurs will make use of the firm’s ‘Fuse’ space for the next few months.
Fuse, set up last year, is billed as a space where technology companies, lawyers and clients ‘collaborate to explore, develop and test legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions.’
Once in residence, companies have access to A&O lawyers, technologists and clients to create practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by companies, financial institutions and law firms. Applications to join the second cohort opened in January this year.
Meanwhile, Barclays yesterday set-up its own law-tech incubator, a move it hopes will ‘turbo charge’ the UK’s law tech sector.
The ‘Eagle Lab’ venture is backed by City firms including A&O, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co and Latham & Watkins, as well as University College London and the University of Liverpool. The Law Society is also supporting the scheme.
The lab will open in Notting Hill, London, and create a co-working space for up to 100 people. The incubator will allow access to mentoring and workshops. Partnering law firms will provide feedback and guidance to entrepreneurs and will have the potential to implement the technology in their firms.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, said: ‘Law-tech is an area where the UK has every reason to be a world leader. It is home to some of the greatest law firms in the world and we want to help build on the success of its legal sector, and play a leading role in transforming law-tech in the future.’
Law Society vice president Christina Blacklaws, added: ‘As new technologies continue to be developed, they are changing the way solicitors and their clients approach legal issues. Law-tech is an important area of focus for us as we seek to help solicitors and law firms keep pace with evolving client expectations.’