A new initiative has been launched which aims to bring together the legal and digital sectors in the Leeds City Region. ‘LegalTech in Leeds’ will seek to help drive digital adoption, improve access to legal services, and support entrepreneurs seeking to work in LegalTech.

Designed and delivered by Whitecap Consulting, a strategy consultancy headquartered in Leeds, the new initiative is being supported by [email protected] – a Leeds City Council funding scheme launched last year with the aim of creating fresh collaboration opportunities for innovation-led businesses.

LegalTech in Leeds will publish a set of industry challenges that are faced by law firms, in-house legal teams, and other organisations. Through an event-based format, the initiative will bring together current and future leaders involved in the legal sector, and will help support tech entrepreneurs seeking to engage with the legal sector. It will also aim to enhance access to legal services for consumers and businesses in the region.

Bruntwood SciTech, Barclays, DAC Beachcroft, Leeds Law Society, rradar, Pinsent and Masons, Salesforce, Toca.io and University of Law have already committed to support this programme, and further sponsorship and support is being sought from the organisations in the legal and digital sectors.

LegalTech in Leeds will have three key objectives:

  • Accelerate Digital Transformation – by creating stronger links between Legal and Tech / Digital sectors to meet client needs
  • Enhance Access for Citizens – by improving access to legal expertise and justice for Consumers & Businesses
  • Drive and Enable Innovation – by supporting Entrepreneurs who can help enhance the provision of legal services

The LegalTech in Leeds conference on 24th March will be a showcase event, hosted in central Leeds, bringing together law firms with LegalTech firms, tech firms, startups, digital experts, and other stakeholders. The agenda will include keynotes, panel discussions, and a series of reverse pitches featuring legal services providers, as well as tech firms and innovators who will pitch their ideas as to how they can support the challenges faced by the legal sector.

Julian Wells, Director at Whitecap Consulting, says:

“We are delighted to announce the LegalTech in Leeds programme, which we hope will make a significant impact in bringing together the legal and digital sectors in a way that creates value for all involved. It’s important to stress that LegalTech is not restricted to the regulated legal sector, and innovation in this space can come from non-regulated organisations and activities. We are seeking involvement from a broad range of organisations and entrepreneurs.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

“The legal and digital sectors in Leeds are both notable success stories in their own right, so it’s great to see work taking place that will help them tap into each other’s respective strengths and build closer and mutually-beneficial relationships.

“This scheme really captures the ethos behind the council’s [email protected] funding programme, which was launched to encourage the kind of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking that will benefit the city’s wider economic future. We are delighted to be playing our part in what promises to be a hugely-productive initiative.”

Deb Hetherington, Head of Innovation for Bruntwood SciTech, said:

“Leeds is home to a large number of legal organisations and some of the most disruptive digital startup and scaling businesses in the country and we’re very excited to be supporting this much-needed event. Our ‘home of tech’ for the city, Platform, is the base for several LegalTech firms, as well as digital transformation specialists and pioneering entrepreneurs working in a variety of technology related fields who can play a key role in galvanising this activity and making it a great success. Across the three key objectives, there is a real opportunity to ensure diversity and inclusion is seriously considered and included, which is something we are very passionate about improving in the life sciences and tech sector, and will be actively supporting throughout.”

The new initiative builds on the findings and recommendations of a report published in September 2020 by Whitecap Consulting in collaboration with key stakeholders including Leeds City Council and a number of stakeholder organisations from the region’s legal sector. The report highlighted the significant legal sector in the region, and recommended that closer links should be developed with the thriving digital sector.

Tickets for the LegalTech in Leeds conference can be booked here, and any organisations seeking to get involved in the initiative should email [email protected]