Whitecap Consulting, the Leeds-headquartered regional strategy consulting firm, will conduct the analysis during the first half of the year, engaging with key players in the legal and tech sectors, as well as a range of organisations which have an involvement in this area. The output will be a published report detailing the findings and recommendations as to how the region can collectively build its competitive advantage in legal tech and innovation.
The work is being supported and co-funded by a number of organisations in the region, including Leeds City Council, Leeds Law Society, University of Law, Harrogate Borough Council, Addleshaw Goddard, Blacks, DAC Beachcroft, Eversheds Sutherland, Pinsent Masons, Reed Smith, Squire Patton Boggs, Shoosmiths, Stewarts, and Walker Morris.
The legal sector in Leeds is the fastest growing in the UK and is said to be worth £300m per year to the regional economy. It is hoped the output of the analysis will help increase collaboration between the legal and tech sectors in Leeds, including across the region’s core strengths in technology development, data analysis, HealthTech, and FinTech.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“Finance and law have been core to the Leeds economy for centuries, and as the landscape changes and digital moves forward at a phenomenal pace it is important we bring together leading names in both the legal and tech sectors to work together and act as a catalyst to open up new opportunities in the city. As a city I believe we agree that any growth we see needs to be for the good of our people and our communities, so therefore it is fantastic to be at the start of this new collaboration and to see what can be achieved in the future.”
Emma Pearmaine, President of Leeds Law Society, says:
“Leeds is the UK centre of excellence for legal services outside London. In addition to the top quality legal expertise, our region’s law firms and related firms of different sizes are innovating in terms of legal technology, in terms of client experience and service delivery, and in many other ways. Leeds Law Society has a great relationship with Leeds City Council and we are excited to be collaborating with them and with many other stakeholders in the region to showcase and promote the expertise in our region.”
Richard Coates, Managing Director of Whitecap Consulting, says:
“As with many industries, the legal sector faces a number of challenges and opportunities arising from advancements in technology and innovation. Technology-related advancements are now commonly being badged as ‘legal tech’ and a significant focus is being placed on user experience, process improvements and efficiencies available via technology enhancements, artificial intelligence and automation. There are increasing signs of disruption in the sector on a national and international basis, including significant investment into legal tech start-ups.”
Whitecap has conducted similar projects analysing the FinTech sector in Leeds City Region, as well as other UK regions in which it has a local office presence, including North East, Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Bristol.