Singapore launches $3.68m scheme to boost legaltech

Law practices can receive funding of up to $130,000 for adopting advanced tech solutions.

A new $3.68m scheme to help Singapore law practices adopt technology has been launched by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc), Enterprise Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), an announcement revealed.

Under the new Tech-celerate for Law programme, Singapore law practices can get funding support of up to 70% of the first-year cost of adopting baseline and advanced technology solutions.

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According to the agencies, baseline technology solutions for practice management, online legal research and document management can help the law practices perform their essential day-to-day tasks more efficiently, whilst advanced technology solutions which are powered by artificial intelligence can help the law practices strengthen capabilities in document assembly, document review, eDiscovery and client engagement.

Each law practice can receive funding of up to $30,000 for baseline solutions and up to $100,000 for advanced solutions.

“Technology is changing the way legal services are delivered and will help power the growth and development of Singapore legal services,” Edwin Tong, senior minister of state for law and health, said in a statement, adding that the agencies have earmarked more funds for Tech-celerate for Law.

In a study by LawSoc and MinLaw, 85% of lawyers surveyed agreed that legal technology was crucial to the development of the profession, and 72% felt that there was a need to increase the level of technology adoption in their firms.

In 2017, MinLaw, LawSoc and Enterprise Singapore (then-SPRING Singapore) launched the Tech Start for Law to help Singapore law practices adopt baseline technology solutions. Between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2018, 115 Singapore law practices collectively adopted 143 units of technology solutions. 99% were small and medium Singapore law practices.

Interested Singapore law practices can apply for funding support to use up to seven of these solutions, depending on their needs. Application will start on 2 May and end on 1 May 2020.

To further support lawyers in adopting technology, Workforce Singapore and LawSoc will be starting a series of programmes to equip them with the skills for practising law in a digitialised environment and for managing transformation and innovation. These will be launched in H2 2019.

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