The Law Society has called on the government to help nurture developments in legal technology as part of its initiative to get the economy on its feet again following the pandemic. This could include more flexibility over the apprenticeship levy and tax breaks for lawtech startups, the Society said.
Lawtech is one of the key themes of an initaitive, 'Return, Restart and Recovery', announced by the Chancery Lane today. The campaign will be in three stages: helping solicitors and firms return to their offices safely; helping solicitors and firms to restart the economy; and empowering solicitors and firms to drive the recovery after coronavirus.
'Solicitors are ready, willing and able to play their role in helping Britain’s economy and society to recover from this pandemic,’ said Simon Davis, president. 'As we enter this new phase of the response to coronavirus, with government beginning to lift some restrictions, it is clear that technology will play a vital role in driving the post-coronavirus recovery across all sectors of the economy, including legal services.'
One way to empower law firms to create new jobs would be to allow them to spend the apprenticeships funding on lawtech seats and training in lawtech skills.
Meanwile tax incentives to develop and adopt lawtech would help drive the adoption of technologies that will build the resilience of local economies and provide the bedrock of our prosperity.
Other items on the list include creating a legal data trust to improve accessibility of data for those seeking to innovate and investment in upskilling the judiciary to ensure the business and property courts are able to deal efficiently with intellectual property claims arising from lawtech.
The Law Society campaign stresses the importance of access to justice in the recovery process. 'We want to build resilience in our communities by making justice accessible to all,' Davis added.
*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.