Oxford lawtech selected for first national fast-track tech support pilot

Oxford Univeristy Law Faculty

An Oxford-based lawtech is one of five nationally which have been chosen to join the first Lawtech Sandbox R&D initiative.

Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Lab, part of Oxford University‘s Law Faculty, is developing a dispute and risk avoidance tool based on advanced machine learning techniques. The tool sorts and analyses a range of data within organisations to automatically detect early warning signs of an emerging dispute or issue with customers, suppliers and/or others.

LawtechUK, the government-backed initiative within the tech entrepreneurs organisation Tech Nation, aims to help transform the UK legal sector through technology. The Lawtech Sandbox has been designed to fast track transformative ideas, products and services that address the legal needs of businesses and society.

The start-up joins Amplified Global, Clause, ClauseMatch, and Legal Utopia on the pilot, which will run for three months from December, to accelerate the development of lawtech by providing access to tailored tools and services including access to legal data and eleven participating regulators.

The organisations joining the Lawtech Sandbox Pilot are transforming the way in which consumers and businesses interact with legal matters. Each is tackling key challenges within the legal sector. Amplifi helps customers engage with technical legal information, ClauseMatch transforms regulation into smart documents, Legal Utopia provides DIY tools and makes it easy to get legal support, Clause aims to provide an open source library of smart legal documents, and Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Labs is developing a tool for dispute and risk avoidance.

The five Lawtech Sandbox Pilot projects were chosen through a selection process with the Lawtech Sandbox Steering Board, from 65 applications received.

Jenifer Swallow LawtechUK Director at Tech Nation, said: “The Lawtech Sandbox is designed to accelerate digital transformation of the legal sector by providing targeted support to those who are building game-changing lawtech.

“We are delighted to move forward with five fantastic Lawtech Sandbox applicants, to support not only their development, but the wider sector and beyond, through what we establish and learn during this pilot.”

Dr Mimi Zou, Co-Founder, Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Lab, added: “I am thrilled to be selected for the Lawtech Sandbox Pilot. In the coming months, I look forward to accelerating the development of our prototype and testing its potential with in-house legal teams and other interested stakeholders in the LawtechUK ecosystem.”

The project is led by Dr Mimi Zou, Fangda Fellow in Chinese Commercial Law at St Hugh’s College, Oxford and Mark Beer OBE, Visiting Fellow at the Saïd Business School.

The Lawtech Sandbox Pilot is a free, government-backed initiative, and does not take an equity stake in organisations that join. The Lawtech Sandbox is inspired by the FCA’s sandbox, set up in 2016 to support innovative UK financial services firms delivering in the interests of consumers, and widely attributed as playing a key role in the growth of the fintech sector.