UK-Singapore digital deal includes a world first on lawtech

The signing of a digital economy agreement (DEA) between the UK and Singapore has been welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.

“The DEA – which is the first of its kind to include specific commitments on technology in legal services (lawtech) – will help ensure that UK businesses have access to Singapore’s growing digital economy,” said Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.

“The UK-Singapore DEA paves the way for future agreements with its focus on technology and lawtech.

“Currently, lawyers and law firms operating internationally are required to deal with a regulatory patchwork of data and digital provisions. These lead to higher compliance costs, uncertainty for businesses and often conflicting positions and protections for individuals.

“Provisions which provide greater clarity and certainty for businesses operating internationally in the digital sector are therefore a welcome development to these cross-border providers.

“Singapore is a world-leader in lawtech, alongside the UK. Collaboration and cooperation as well as increased opportunity for innovation will provide great benefits to both our legal professions as they grow in this area.

“Lawtech is becoming important for all lawyers, as the initial lockdown saw a huge push towards greater digitisation as manual processes, such as signing documents, became much more difficult under Covid-19 conditions.”

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.

Research from KPMG for the Law Society has also shown that every £1 of productivity saving in the legal services sector could generate between £3.30 and £3.50 of additional GDP for the UK by 2050.*

“We are keen to play our part in establishing a dialogue on the use of technology to deliver legal services with our counterparts in Singapore, and to help ensure this deal is beneficial to our members,” added I. Stephanie Boyce.

Notes to editors

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Press office contact: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100

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