The future of innovation and technology in the legal sector will be the focus of a new report that will analyse how the West of England can extend its growing reputation and competitive advantage in LegalTech.

Commissioned by the Bristol Law Society, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), Invest Bristol & Bath and Bristol+BathLegalTech, the report will provide comprehensive analysis of the region’s strengths in LegalTech and innovation and provide recommendations for the growth of the sector. Foot Anstey, Burges Salmon, Datasharp Integrated Communications and VWV have all signed up as business partners so far.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said:

“The West of England is a vibrant and dynamic hub for innovation in professional services. LegalTech brings together our forward-looking legal sector with our globally recognised tech sector to revolutionise the way the legal industry operates.

“This report will provide valuable data and insights not only for the region but for the entire country, being the first comprehensive survey of LegalTech in the post-COVID world. The report is a central tool for promoting the region’s strengths in LegalTech; taking the exciting Bristol+BathLegalTech initiative to the next level as a driver of digital transformation in the legal services sector. This all underlines the West of England’s national and international importance as a centre of innovation.”

Over the coming months, regional strategy firm Whitecap Consulting will work with local expects to conduct the analysis; engaging with key players across the legal and tech sectors. The project team will work closely with Chris Bull, co-chair of the Bristol+Bath Legal Tech group and a former Professional Services sector Chair for the West of England LEP.

The final report will be used by Invest Bristol & Bath, WECA’s inward investment and international trade arm, to inform the national debate about the development of a LegalTech industry as well as promote the strength of the sector nationally and internationally, attracting further investment and business opportunities to the region.

Bristol Law Society President Ben Holt said:

“Bristol Law Society recognises the increasing use of and huge potential for LegalTech amongst the law firms in our region. It is a key driver for many firms in streamlining their current offering and delivering services in innovative ways in an increasingly digitalised and agile work place. Bristol is a diverse legal sector with large firms looking to partner with tech firms and lead the way on innovation, and smaller firms looking to harness the power of tech products to deliver services more efficiently.

“There is a complementary drive within the courts and pro bono groups to use LegalTech to help drive the administration of and access to justice which is critically important to our broader justice system. Additionally, there is a great opportunity to work together with our excellent universities and other legal education providers to upskill and inspire the next generation of future lawyers and legal tech specialists in this burgeoning sector.”

The LegalTech sector in the region is one of the fastest growing in the UK and is a core component within the West of England’s Local Industrial Strategy. Establishing the region’s dynamic LegalTech sector as an international centre of excellence is a central factor in the development of the region’s legal industry, which is already recognised for its leading-edge track record of innovation and technology adoption.

Ben Holt added:

“Bristol and Bath’s legal services need to be represented and put on the map nationally and internationally and so we are encouraging our members to support this report which, together with the Bristol+BathLegalTech group, is essential to making our mark and shouting about the breadth and depth of what we offer in this space.”

Whitecap Consulting recently produced a widely acclaimed report on the FinTech sector for the West of England Region.

This announcement first appeared on the WECA website here.

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Want to get involved and have your say?

This research includes an online survey open to anyone with an interest in this sector, which can be accessed here and takes around 5 minutes to complete.

To enquire about taking part in a stakeholder interview or supporting the research please contact us via our website or email Stuart Harrison.