The Ministry of Justice has announced it has allocated £2 million in Government funding to Tech Nation to support the digital transformation of the UK legal sector and create a climate to support the development and use of UK legal technology.

Tech Nation will be responsible for delivering outcomes to achieve the aims of the funding, including through driving forward and building on the work of the Lawtech Delivery Panel. The focus will be on developing solutions to some of the most pressing challenges and harnessing the biggest opportunities in lawtech and the UK legal sector. 

Established in 2018, the panel is industry-led and Government-backed, bringing together senior and expert voices to identify and address both barriers to and catalysts for the growth of lawtech.

Jenifer Swallow, former TransferWise General Counsel, has been appointed by Tech Nation to lead the executive delivery function. 

The funding reflects the UK Government’s commitment to galvanising the growth of lawtech in the UK and positioning the UK as a global leader in legal technology. International investment in lawtech reached $1663m in 2018, a 714% increase on the previous year, and UK investment in lawtech alone has increased 3x in the past year, rising to £61 million. 

Jenifer Swallow commented: “The transformational potential of tech is huge. Considering the foundational nature of law and legal services for our businesses and wider society, I am delighted to have the opportunity as director of the lawtech delivery function to help accelerate the evolution of the sector through tech.”

Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation, added: “English law is the most popular choice of law in the world for commercial contracts and governs about 40% of all global corporate arbitrations, among other aspects. Emerging technologies are transforming the legal sector; investment in UK lawtech has tripled in the last year alone.

“We look forward to working with the distinguished panel members, tech entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Justice and the wider ecosystem to grow this sector’. 

Christina Blacklaws, Chair of the Lawtech Delivery Panel, said: “Today’s announcement signifies the critical next step in the future of Panel, with the welcome support of Tech Nation to develop the necessary legislative and regulatory frameworks to ensure that global business uses English and Welsh law and enhances the growth of the lawtech sector, with ethics at its heart.

“I look forward to working closely with Jenifer and Tech Nation to make a success of this initiative.”