In comes LegalTech

LegalTech in Scandinavia

writer icon Juan Samper     Minc   |   Startups     🕐 22. Mar. 2018

The ever vibrant Öresund startup scene experienced last Tuesday, 20th of March, the region’s very first LegalTech event organized by and sponsored by LegalWorks. is an initiative created by a team of lawyers and entrepreneurs, such as the founders of LegalTech startups Trygga Avtal, Green Counsel, INIRES and Handl.Rocks. Their aim is to transform the region into the center of legal innovation by holding discussions about how technology is, and will continue to, affect the legal profession as we know it.

Around 60 people from diverse backgrounds gathered at the startup incubator Minc in Malmö. And witnessed an exciting introduction to what is all about.

The event began with a brief speech by Charlotta Kronblad, Sweden’s first Phd student to research the impacts of technology in the legal profession. Kronblad’s speech was as brief as it was useful to introduce the subject, especially to those outside of the legal profession, who accounted up to almost half of the audience.

Kronblad talked about, how different areas of the legal profession are beginning to be affected by technology, and the benefits of implementing technological solutions for current actors. She also shed light on how the business models of law firms may be disrupted by the entrance of competitors that by not being members of the Swedish Bar Association, can both provide legal advice and receive external investments. Additionally, she shared one of the most important conclusions from her research, which is that change in the legal market is more about behaviour than technology itself. Meaning that for technology to take over in legal practice, the processes behind legal practice are bound to change first to enable a higher rate of digitalization.

The keynote speaker was a great opener for the two panel discussions that followed up. The first panel, whose members where Ulf Lindén, COO of LegalWorks (the sponsor of the event), Sophia Lagerholm, head of Knowledge Management at Delphi and Tabitha Cooper, from Nordea Group Digital; discussed what are the drivers for change in the Swedish legal scene.

The panelists proved to have a good mix of experience in the legal market, both from the lawyer’s and client’s perspective. The discussion began with some assertions on Kronblad’s conclusion about how a change of behaviour is posed as an important milestone for the true rise of LegalTech. Afterwards, they reached very interesting insights around the fact that new competitors seem to be the biggest force for change in the market. The discussion shed some light of an interesting gap in knowledge about the ins and outs of the legal profession between those who practice it and those who don’t.

The second panel was composed by Christina Blomkvist, founder of Green Counsel and part of the team, Rik Nauta, CEO of Donna, Sissela Engquist, an IP Lawyer and organizer of Critical Tech, and Daniel Persson, head of business development of Min Doktor.

The second discussion deepened on the topic about the gap of knowledge that exists about the legal profession. However, the highlight of this discussion were the insights given by entrepreneurs about how the legal market seems to be responding to the surge of legalTech. Issues such as the user friendliness of technology don’t seem to be as much a problem as, for example, the lack of compatibility between different solutions seem to be the reason why simple word processors are still the most popular tech tools among legal professionals.

Once the panel was over, both guests, panelists and keynote speakers enjoyed ‘finger food’ and drinks. This space demonstrated to be excellent for feedback about the event and to discuss future discussions and events. The Öresund region is certainly an appropriate place to become a center of legal innovation.

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