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Legal Services Board Urges Embrace of Technology in Legal Sector

Lawyer at laptop

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has recently issued new statutory guidance advocating for a more proactive engagement by legal regulators in promoting technology and innovation within the legal services sector. This guidance is aimed at enhancing how legal services are delivered to meet consumer needs effectively.

The Legal Services Board Encouraging Innovation

According to the LSB, innovation encompasses a broad spectrum of activities. It includes not only the development of new products but also novel approaches to delivering legal services, such as innovative business models and improvements in efficiency and productivity.

The LSB emphasises that innovation isn't always directly consumer-facing. For instance, supporting innovation might involve updating the ongoing competence requirements to ensure that legal professionals are up-to-date with technological advancements and other innovations in their field.

Research and Consultation Background

This guidance is the culmination of extensive research and consultation, including a significant survey conducted last June. The survey highlighted that the pandemic had notably boosted lawyers' confidence in utilising technology and innovation, marking a substantial shift in their adoption over the past three years.

An earlier study also revealed a disparity between lawyers' perceptions and the public's actual interest in the use of technology in legal service delivery.

Outcomes for Regulation

The LSB has outlined three key outcomes for regulation:

  1. Enabling Technology and Innovation: Regulators are encouraged to promote the use of technology in disseminating information about service quality, pricing, and redress mechanisms. They should also educate the public on the advantages of accessing legal services through innovative technologies to enhance trust.

  2. Balancing Benefits and Risks: It is essential for regulators to consider the necessary steps legal service providers must take to ensure consumers understand how technologies, such as artificial intelligence, are used in service delivery.

  3. Supporting Market Innovators: Regulators are expected to foster a regulatory environment welcoming to technology providers and innovators. This could involve implementing pilot projects or regulatory sandboxes to trial new products and reduce market entry barriers.

Legal Tech is Making a Major Impact

With a demand to embrace technological innovations, legal tech businesses are thriving and already making a positive impact within the legal sector. Innovative tech products that are enhancing processes, ensuring compliance within the regulatory guidelines and enabling legal professionals to build strong relationships with their clients.

The Lawtech Software Group have crafted innovative, game changing legal technology products that are making a huge impact at law firms across the UK and beyond. Verify 365, our core product is enabling lawyers, solicitors and conveyancers to complete fast, compliant lite and enhanced identity checks within a few minutes and access all the tools and information they need in one place.

Built within the regulatory framework, Verify 365 ensures firms are practicing compliantly. Complete enhanced due diligence on both individuals and businesses, access tools to complete source of funds checks with open banking and utilise our award winning DynamicID technology for the most effective biometric identity checks.

Our core products are making a significant impact at firms and embracing legal technology will make the legal sector a stronger industry. Innovations in technology are enhancing many areas and with more growth expected in 2024, its essential firms and officials are fully embracing this technology wave.

A Call for Rapid Implementation

Alan Kershaw, the chair of the LSB, stressed the importance of access to legal services and the potential of innovation to bridge existing gaps. He remarked, "Too many people fail to access the legal services they need, and there is a real opportunity to address this by fostering an environment that not only supports but actively encourages innovation in the market."

Kershaw expressed the LSB's determination to ensure that regulation supports rather than hinders innovation while acknowledging the need for ongoing vigilance concerning the associated risks.

He concluded by expressing an expectation for regulators to align with the LSB's vision promptly, focusing on understanding public needs and developing frameworks that effectively balance the benefits and risks for those requiring legal services.

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