UK-Singapore digital agreement highlights the importance of lawtech

The UK and Singapore reached in principle a digital economy agreement (DEA) that includes provisions which recognise lawtech as an important growth sector on the global stage.

“We welcome recognition of lawtech in the UK-Singapore DEA – a world first for these types of agreements – and we hope it is a much-copied precedent in future deals,” said Law Society of England and Wales president I. Stephanie Boyce.

“Technological development is changing the way in which legal services are delivered with profound implications for the international practice of law and the development of policies for international trade in services.

“We welcome the inclusion of provisions that encourage the use of technology to deliver legal services and cooperation between regulators, employers, and stakeholders in areas such as lawtech and artificial intelligence. We hope this will enable members of both the UK and Singapore legal professions to explore the opportunities in each other’s markets.

“The UK is playing a significant role in lawtech and we are seeing increasing numbers of employers utilising new technology to make their legal businesses more efficient while increasing access to justice for clients.

“The lawtech sector also maintains the UK’s attractiveness as a global legal centre.”

According to Law Society research, the global lawtech market is growing rapidly and is valued at $15.9bn. The adoption of new technologies could increase productivity growth in the legal sector from 1.3% per year to 2.7% per year.

Every £1 spent on legal services supports £1.50 in spending across the entire UK economy – a contribution that could be boosted by investment in lawtech.

I. Stephanie Boyce concluded: “We look forward to working with our colleagues in Singapore to ensure this deal, once signed, will provide the best benefit to our members.

“In the meantime, we will continue to contribute to discussions on the content of the final agreement.”

Notes to editors

Read the UK-Singapore DEA agreement in principle

Read our lawtech: a comparative analysis of legal technology in the UK and other jurisdictions report

Read our Contribution of the UK legal services sector to the UK economy report

Read about our global legal centre campaign

Read about our lawtech programme and events

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Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 0208 049 3928

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