Barclays and the Law Society launch a new law-tech incubator in London

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Barclays Bank Plc

24 April 2018

Barclays, in partnership with the Law Society, has launched a new law-tech incubator in London, with backing by law firms, as well as UCL and The University of Liverpool.

The law-tech Eagle Lab will open soon in Notting Hill, and create a centre of excellence. It will provide co-working space and support for up to 100 individuals, with events and meet-up space expected to be confirmed soon.

Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, said: “Law-tech is an area where the UK has every reason to be a world leader. It is home to some of the greatest law firms in the world and we want to help build on the success of its legal sector, and play a leading role in transforming law-tech in the future. The impressive range of partners supporting this initiative shows just how important this is.

“Our Eagle Labs are supporting thriving new businesses up and down the country, and our Notting Hill lab will lead the way as an industry centre of excellence for law-tech.”

The new incubator will provide access to mentoring and workshops. It will be supported by a an Ecosystem Manager and Barclays’ colleagues who will provide on-site advice for entrepreneurs on areas including business and personal finance, as well as connections into Barclays’ international networks.

Legal Geek, a start-up community, will also organise events to encourage the sharing of ideas, and help entrepreneurs network and collaborate.

Partnering law firms will provide feedback and guidance to help entrepreneurs develop, test and refine their products, with the potential to implement new technology into their firms.

Academic support will come from UCL and The University of Liverpool, which have expertise in artificial intelligence and law-tech.

Christina Blacklaws, vice president of the Law Society of England and Wales, also commented: “As new technologies continue to be developed, they are changing the way solicitors and their clients approach legal issues.

“Law-tech is an important area of focus for us as we seek to help solicitors and law firms keep pace with evolving client expectations. We want to ensure the profession is promoting and adopting new ideas and technologies to provide the best possible service to their clients.

“This collaboration will create a forum for solicitors to learn and innovate with entrepreneurs and developers for the common good of the legal sector. We encourage all our members to get involved.”

Jimmy Vestbirk, founder of Legal Geek, said: “The launch of this new law-tech incubator marks an exciting time for the legal profession. Technology is transforming how legal services are delivered and the market is starting to sit up and take notice, with the number of start-ups and investment in the sector rising.

“London is emerging as a global leader in law-tech, with an increasing number of high growth international legal startups choosing the city as their second market. The law-tech space has huge potential for growth, and with initiatives like this, I wholeheartedly believe that the same success we have seen in the UK’s thriving fintech scene can be replicated.”

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