LawTech must comply with highest ethical standards

The Law Society of England and Wales has published the outcomes from its LawTech, Ethics and the Rule of Law discussion paper, unveiling a set of principles and guidance that would be beneficial for the solicitors’ profession.

In the face of Covid-19, the justice system moved online, pushing the profession to modernise quicker than expected.

But digital transformation is only successful when the capabilities of people are built and the functionality, limits and benefits of tools are understood.

Solicitors are bound by ethical standards and LawTech solutions must serve their needs while complying with these regulations.

In 2020, we conducted a series of 30 interviews with law firms, sole practitioners and alternative business structures to understand how LawTech solutions are designed, developed, used and procured and the ethical considerations that come into play.

“We have proposed five main principles to inform LawTech design, development and deployment. At its heart is client care, so LawTech can be used in a way which meets solicitors’ professional duties to their clients,”

said Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.

“These principles include compliance, lawfulness, capability, transparency and accountability and they will likely increase consumer choice, create clarity and reduce time spent on procurement.

“A more stable and predictable environment will also be created for LawTech developers, as they will have a better understanding of the profession’s standards and match their products with these standards.

“We hope this research will be the first step to digitally transforming the profession in a way which stays true to solicitors’ ethical obligations.”

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