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Legal technology first is new milestone for profession

Sam Moore: UK first

A Scottish lawyer has become the first in the UK to receive an accreditation in legal technology, marking a new milestone in so-called LawTech.

Sam Moore, innovation manager at Burness Paull, has been awarded ‘Accredited Legal Technologist’ status by the Law Society of Scotland (LSS).

The new professional standard is the first of its kind in the UK and was launched to reflect the growing impact of technology within the legal sector – and with it the emergence of specialist roles such as legal process engineer, legal analyst, and legal technologist.

It follows last week’s announcement by Codebase, the UK’s largest tech incubator, that it will host an event aimed at developing technological developments into the legal services sector.

The Edinburgh centre is bringing its LawTech Bridge programme to Edinburgh after a successful event in London.

CodeBase’s chief strategy officer and LawTech Bridge lead Steven Drost said: “LawTech Bridge breaks down the barriers between law firms and startups and provides a forum to discuss the technological advances and innovation that are needed to future proof law and Scotland’s economy.”

The event, supported by Barclays Ventures, takes place on 27 November with keynote speaker Charlotta Cederqvist, head of business development at the Law Society for Scotland.

Commenting on the new accredited status Burness Paull managing partner Tamar Tammes said: “Until now ‘legal technologist’ has only been loosely defined, and while that’s been great for early adoption we think it’s positive to see the Law Society of Scotland putting a framework in place for a recognised specialism.

“Tech is becoming an increasingly powerful enabler in legal services with benefits in terms of speed, accuracy and cost. There has been a massive increase in new technologies aimed at the legal industry.

We feel it’s important to have a good understanding of the market

– Tamar Tammes, Burness Paull

“It’s important that as a firm we closely monitor the market, and that we’re committed to investing time and money researching and piloting new approaches or products for improved service delivery.

“We know that we can’t implement every promising idea out there, so we feel it’s important to have a good understanding of the market and invest wisely in the best prospects.”

Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, added: “Our view is that legal technologists will work with other legal professionals to deliver and present legal advice to clients differently, improve knowledge management techniques and reduce time spent on repetitive, labour intensive tasks.

“We hope that as the status develops over time this will become a quality mark that all working in legal technology will wish to hold as it provides assurance to the public, clients and to the legal profession.”

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