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LSB Technology Project

Technology and regulation – Developing approaches to regulation for the use of technology in legal services

New technological innovations, including artificial intelligence applications like algorithmic decision-making, automated document assembly, chatbots as well as other developments like blockchain, have the potential to transform how legal services are provided, including making them more accessible and cheaper for consumers, but they also create risks for consumers and providers.
The LSB’s recently published research Technology and Innovation in Legal Services found that legal services providers want to make use of technological innovations, but many do not because of real, or perceived, regulatory, ethical and practical risks.

It will be up to the legal service regulators to anticipate and respond to the risks raised by new technologies so that legal service providers can use them to deliver better services to consumers.
As part of fulfilling its commitments in its current Strategy and Business Plan, the LSB is undertaking the following project to assist the regulators in this work.

Developing approaches to regulation for the use of technology in legal services

Our project will create a resource of information and advice that the regulators can use to develop their own approaches to technology regulation that meet the needs of their respective professions and consumers. It will consider what lessons can be learned from how new technologies have been regulated in a variety of sectors as well as how other jurisdictions are currently approaching legal services technology regulation. We will examine the ethical issues that technology raises for legal services, its potential impact on the regulatory framework created by the Legal Services Act 2007 and how it will affect legal education. We will also look at the impact of particular technologies, including artificial intelligence applications and blockchain, from the perspectives of consumers, providers, developers and regulators, among others.

We will do this by commissioning a series of papers from academics, legal professionals, technology experts and others examining a range of topics. The papers will be supported by a series of recorded interviews and discussion events where the authors comment further on these issues. Following the publication of these papers and interviews, and the live events, we will prepare a report summarising the issues and the approaches legal services regulators may wish to use in addressing them.

We intend to publish an initial set of papers and supporting materials in early 2019 and to complete the project in early 2020.

Further information

For more information on this project, please contact the project manager, David Fowlis