LegalTech in Leeds hosts first event

LegalTech in Leeds







Last week we hosted the first LegalTech in Leeds event, which took place at Platform and featured speakers and delegates from across the region’s legal and digital sectors.

The LegalTech in Leeds initiative aims to bring together the legal and digital sectors via a series of event-based initiatives, and is being made possible by the support of Bruntwood SciTech, Barclays, DAC Beachcroft, Leeds City Council, Leeds Law Society, rradar, Pinsent Masons, Salesforce, and University of Law.

We would like to say a big thank-you to our speakers and those who attended the event. For those who could not attend, we have produced a brief write-up of the event.

We kicked off proceedings with introductions from Julian Wells, Director of Whitecap Consulting, who outlined the concept and key objectives of the LegalTech in Leeds initiative. Nick McCafferty, Business Innovation Manager at Brunwood SciTech, then spoke about the commitment and support for the initiative from Bruntwood as well as its dedication to driving the growth of the regional science and technology sector.

Tom Matusiak, a Director at Leeds Law Society and Legal Director at the law firm Stewarts, then spoke about how evolving technologies are leading to a critical juncture for the legal services industry and expressed the need to build the necessary collaboration that will allow the legal sector to address its current challenges. Tom stated:

“These LegalTech in Leeds events are designed to build collaboration between the legal and tech sectors. We want the events to find solutions for genuine challenges, build genuine connections, and give professionals, firms, start-ups, and graduates even more reasons to choose Leeds and develop in Leeds.”

Julian Graham-Rack, CEO of PrinSix Technologies, explained how PrinSix focuses on empowering businesses to create and control high performance digital journeys that are agile, insightful and customer centric through moving execution out of IT and into operational teams.

Julian highlighted how today’s digital journeys are often inflexible, expensive to create and slow to improve whilst also relying on the need to understand the customer before it can effectively serve them. PrinSix transforms digital engagement through more dynamic data that is gathered in real-time and controlled by analytics leading to journeys that can be changed and deployed in minutes. Applied to the legal sector, PrinSix can offer deeper customer insight at a reduced operational cost and technical overhead.

Paul Berwin, founder of Berwins Solicitors, was up next to discuss how they have started on their journey of digital transformation by firstly evaluating and understanding what they needed and what they already had in their current technology stack. Paul noted the challenge that many small law firms face with regards to LegalTech solutions as they are often more relevant to larger law firms that manage big cases and extensive data sets.

One priority for Berwins has been to improve the first engagement that a client has with one of its solicitors by eliminating any unnecessary form-filling and paperwork. A key element of this is to create a client portal which is a project that is currently underway.

Then we heard from Asad Ali, Corporate and Commercial partner at Gunnercooke, who stressed the significance of the customer relationship when providing legal services going forward. Asad spoke about how Gunnercooke uses fixed fees, along with customer service and relationship building to standout in the highly concentrated and competitive legal sector in Leeds. Asad states:

“There are so many legal services providers in Leeds so how can we differentiate? It’s about the relationship you build with the client. We should be thinking about reaching trusted adviser status and opening up our client portfolios and networks.”

Our final speaker was Patrick Grant, Project Director for Legal Tech and Innovation at the University of Law, who spoke about how technology is being integrated into the modules taught on their Law degrees. The introduction of 21st century legal skills, project management and process improvement are all examples of how traditional law degrees are evolving at ULaw.

As well as this, the option to study modules such as an Introduction to Technology and Innovation and pure LegalTech, which involves AI and automation, demonstrates how the University of Law is leading the way with preparing students for the future world of work in a technology driven legal sector.

Overall, it was great to hear some of the disruptive thinking within the legal and tech sector as well as providing a fantastic opportunity for thought provoking discussions and relationship building between the sectors, and we look forward to our next Drop-in session on 10th March at Avenue HQ, Leeds and the LegalTech in Leeds Conference 2022 on 24th March at West Gate, Leeds.