The UK could learn from Singapore’s ‘expertise in innovation’, including how legal technology can improve the court system, a government minister has claimed.

Speaking at the start of the ‘Legal Services are GREAT’ campaign last night, Lord Keen of Elie QC said he would be observing how Singapore is ‘leading the way’ in harnessing legal technology.

Although the campaign’s aim is to promote the UK as the jurisdiction of choice for commercial dispute resolution, as well its expertise in wider legal services, Keen said it was keen to ‘work with other legal centres where they are trying new and innovative approaches’. ‘We are now seeing an enterprising Singapore system that is leading the way on legal tech and I will be seeing for myself how this is improving the way courts operate here. Legal tech is a clear example of the innovation and dynamism that has been the driver for much of Singapore’s success,’ Keen said.

’It is a success motivated by the Singaporean spirit – the energy, the entrepreneurial can-do attitude, the innovation, the truly global outward-looking optimism.’

Singapore’s courts pioneered electronic filing in the 1990s. Current government intiatives to support computerisation include a scheme called Tech Start for Law, which pays 70% of the first-year costs of adopting technology products for practice management, online research and marketing. It estimates that going paperless will cut the courts’ operating costs by two thirds. 

Lord Keen is due to travel from Singapore to Sydney where he will promote the campaign at the annual conference of the International Bar Association.

Keen, advocate general for Scotland and minister of justice spokesperson for the Lords, also stressed that while London brings access to the world’s biggest specialist legal centre for dispute resolution and commercial litigation, Scotland too has ‘a wealth of legal expertise’ including in oil, gas and renewable energy.