UK and Australia Collaborate to Boost Trade in Legal and Tech Services

The following two days, that is, on May 13 and 14, 2024, a UK delegation of professionals in the legal tech services will be under the leadership of Justice Minister Mike Freer. The event follows last year’s conference, which proved so successful that millions of pounds of business were thrashed out.

The UK delegation will be discussing with Australian professionals in a series of workshops, roundtables, and networking events set up in conjunction with the Department for Business and Trade. The events will help UK-based lawtech companies that develop technology or software for legal services to win business and extend their market presence in Australia. In 2023, UK providers of legal services exported to Australia £88 million worth of business.

The visit will also seek to get Australian legal tech companies to establish or to expand in the UK, further building the UK as a global leader in legal services and technologies, and supporting smaller regional firms in international trade.

Based around the annual Legal Innovation and Tech Fest, this is the second year of what is to be a series of events aimed at actually sharing legal expertise between the two countries. Last May’s participating firms reported back £16.5 million of business wins.

Justice Minister Mike Freer said: “I am proud that the UK is home to some of the world’s greatest legal service providers and it is vital that we share our expertise and learn from our international counterparts to remain a leading and competitive jurisdiction. I am delighted to say that, as our statistics reflect, last year’s conference helped to make important connections and bring investment into the UK.”.

The delegation consists of a variety of innovative legal tech companies based in the UK, many of which are already turning over in excess of £20m per year. Avvoka specializes in the automation of legal documents through the development of a suite of technology to create, negotiate, and manage documents. It already serves its clients across four continents, including the United States, Singapore, and Australia. What professionals from Australia are looking for is how the government of the United Kingdom is providing support for innovation within the lawtech market and what government-backed initiatives are being taken to drive digital transformation in legal services, like LawtechUK.

The British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Louise Cantillon, welcomed Minister Freer and the UK legal tech companies, underlining the UK’s changing landscape in legal tech and the opportunities that have been opened up by the UK-Australia FTA.

The visit covers a full programme of events in Singapore from May 9 to 17, 2024 and in Sydney and Melbourne from 11-15 May. In Singapore, the minister will check out the most advanced probate, court transcripts, and AI technologies and discuss ways of making it easier for British lawyers to do business in the country—in particular, reducing regulatory barriers. In Australia, he will be leading a trade delegation of lawtech firms.

The trip is among the work the UK Government has in the aspect of stepping up bilateral trade and cooperation with Australia, taking advantage of the almost year-old free-trade deal to lower barriers when swapping goods and services. The UK has secured unprecedented market access commitments for legal services under four FTAs: with the EU, the EEA-EFTA, Australia, and New Zealand, combined to cover an estimated £2 billion of UK exports of legal services.

Notes to Editor: That means that under the UK-Australia FTA, UK lawyers will be able to practice all of home (UK), foreign, and international law in Australia using their UK titles and qualifications, without the need to re-qualify. Moreover, under the FTA, the Legal Services Regulatory Dialogue supports knowledge sharing and cooperation on legal technology and artificial intelligence. More information can be found on the GREAT website and the GREAT Legal Services campaign on LinkedIn. The campaign highlights the UK’s world-leading legal sector and helps UK legal professionals connect with their international counterparts.