The UK’s apparently booming lawtech sector now includes 356 companies, mostly founded in the past decade – but overwhelmingly aiming at businesses rather than citizens’ access to justice. The figure comes from the latest ‘ecosystem tracker’ published yesterday by the government-backed LawtechUK initiative.

According to the report, the number of lawtech companies has soared from 37 in 2002 and the sector is on track to attract £2.2bn in annual investment by 2026.

Noting that the UK is home to 43% of Europe’s lawtech startups, the report states that ‘legislative changes such as the Legal Services Act 2007 produced a great environment for technological innovation’.

Lawtech is defined as ‘a broad range of technologies that support, streamline, and, in some instances, replace traditional ways of delivering legal services’. This includes tools for dispute resolution, contract management, compliance, digital documentation, e-signing, and other automation processes, as well as systems handling practice management and client-facing online services.

Most of this activity is aimed at commercial users: 68% of companies in the market are targeting businesses. Only 7% of companies primarily serve the so-called business-to-consumer market. Increasing this share is a priority for the LawtechUK programme, which is due to wind down next year.

Introducing the report, justice minister Mike Freer MP said: ‘The UK is a uniquely supportive environment for lawtech innovation due to its flexible regulatory framework, world-class legal services sector, deep technological expertise, and entrepreneur-friendly business environment.’


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