20 May 2019

Singapore tackles low legaltech take up amongst law firms

The Law Society of Singapore launches initiative to encourage local legal firms to adopt new technology with only 12 per cent adopting technology solutions.

The SmartLaw Guild brings together practices that have adopted technology solutions such as practice management or accounting software and have been certified as ‘SmartLaw’ practices for workshops and sharing sessions.

“Stay relevant”

At a launch event, minister for communications and information S Iswaran called on Singapore's legal fraternity to integrate technology solutions to help them stay relevant and competitive. Mr Iswaran said, “A trusted ecosystem is key to the development of Singapore's digital economy, and the legal fraternity has an important role in the evolution of a regulatory architecture and the creation of legal solutions.” He added, “While we have made some progress, it is clear that more can be done.” Despite more than 80 per cent of Singapore law practices (SLP) agreeing in a 2018 LawSoc survey that technology helps the delivery of legal services, only 12 per cent or 115 practices have adopted technology solutions to date.

Skills training

The Ministry of Law, LawSoc, Enterprise Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched the Tech-celerate for Law programme, under which $3.68 million has been set aside to provide legal practices with up to 70 per cent funding support for adopting technology solutions. “We want to broaden the use of technology among law practices,” added Mr Iswaran. “Among those that have already started using technology solutions, we want to accelerate their adoption of advanced solutions such as document review and automated client engagement solutions.” Mr Iswaran also encouraged practising lawyers to take advantage of the skills training provided by the IMDA's Techskills Accelerator initiative in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber security and data analytics.

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