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Legal Innovation Briefing - October update

October 05, 2018


Partners Simon Vannini
Special Advisors Caroline Ferguson
Senior Associates Louise Taylor

Legal innovation & technology Digital & new technologies

Welcome to this month’s Legal Innovation Briefing, a monthly selection of insights and updates curated for in-house legal teams.  

Technology-driven changes in the legal sector are driving the creation of an interesting network of communities focused on legal innovation and all that it encompasses.

Whether you’re in Sydney, Singapore or San Francisco, you can easily find multi-disciplinary groups working together to navigate the changing legal landscape and shape the future.

In New Zealand, a number of communities are emerging, including the establishment of a local chapter of the global Legal Hackers movement. This team is currently in the process of helping to map the state of legal innovation in Asia Pacific, the results will be shared at the next FutureLaw Conference at Stanford Law School in April 2019.  

In-house teams feature at 2,000 strong Legal Geek conference 

One of the fastest growing and most diverse legal innovation communities is that being led by Legal Geek in London.

It all started in 2015, with a small group sitting around a table eating pizza and discussing whether the risk averse legal profession would embrace change.

Just three years later, Legal Geek are preparing to welcome 2,000 attendees to their annual conference which will showcase numerous examples of just how the profession is truly embracing change and technology.

At the conference on 17 October, there is a stage dedicated to in-house teams with a great line-up of speakers including Chris Fowler, General Counsel at BT (formerly British Telecom).

Our own Caroline Ferguson is also speaking at the event. She will provide a full run-down of the in-house stage and the conference more generally in our November briefing.

What we are up to: Legal Innovation workshop series and Innovation Capability Programme   

It’s been a busy few weeks with workshops in our Legal Innovation series being held in Christchurch and Wellington.

Next week we have the last workshop in our current series - we will be covering how legal teams can effectively engage with agile processes in Hamilton on Wednesday 10 October. 

It also continues to be a busy time within Simpson Grierson with our Innovation Capability Programme in full swing. Our group of 20 innovation champions have now finished their formal training with Inventium, Australia’s leading innovation consultancy. Our champions are now focusing on putting best practice innovation methodologies into action by prototyping and testing various ways to improve client experience.

If you would like any further information on the workshops or the Innovation Capability Programme, please contact Caroline Ferguson (09 977 5336 /

Digest: interesting reports and resources from local and global legal innovation communities

  • Better Rules Discovery Report - based in Wellington, the Service Innovation Lab team facilitated a small multidisciplinary group from Inland Revenue, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Parliamentary Counsel Office and a private sector software company. The group's purpose was to identify the opportunities and challenges of making government rules machine consumable so they can be used for effective and efficient service delivery. The Report sets out their key findings and recommendations – it’s a fascinating read.
  • Legal Geek Startup Map - although the 2018 edition is set to be released shortly, the 2017 version provides an excellent snapshot of the LawTech startup scene and the types of products and services available (eg online market places, risk and compliance, analytics and search).
  • Singapore’s Legal Technology Vision - in consultation with stakeholders in the legal industry, the Singapore Academy of Law has put together an interesting five year road map focused on the digital transformation of the legal industry. The authors highlight that although the road map is a call to action for lawyers to become part of the disruption, they also reassure readers that the future is not frightening – there will be assistance for those who are willing to adopt new ways of working..