Collaboration is key for Scotland’s legal tech community
IT teams across the country are working overtime to help their organisations support colleagues who have moved to home working. The immediate focus for many in the legal profession is ensuring access to files and systems that Using technology to keep us working together LEGAL TECH will allow them to continue to provide necessary services for their clients. The unprecedented situation we are all facing in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and the steps being taken to protect the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and clients – and of course our families and loved ones – has emphasised the need to ensure we can make full use of existing technological solutions. We have seen a rapid response across the legal sector. Many solicitors are moving to remote working, which may be completely new to some. Or, they are putting a skeleton staff in place to reduce risk while keeping colleagues connected and able to continue supporting clients. We work with several organisations to provide as a wide a range of technology solutions as possible, and would encourage anyone in the legal sector to get in touch with us if they are feeling unsure and need some support. After the initial wave of activity, it will be important to review what elements of this rapid change of working practice worked well and should remain, and what will be a relief to move on from. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention; we will continue to work with our LawscotTech partners to support innovation in technological solutions, specifically designed for the legal sector and its clients. Most recently, for example, we have put in place an agreement with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which will allow us to act as a gateway to the ICO’s specialist innovation hub. This is a very positive step for us. The shared aims of the agreement will enable closer working between the Law Society, our members and the ICO, allowing us to take a more collaborative approach and exchange information to support our growing legal tech community. The ICO is working in partnership with technology innovators on ‘data protection by design’ and we will be able to introduce firms to the ICO team who can support the development of tech solutions that have built-in GDPR compliance, which will offer security for businesses and individuals everywhere. Of course, we don’t know yet if we are witnessing the start of a permanent shift to increased numbers of us working remotely, or whether we will be so pleased to have the option of going back to the office, that we shall return in our droves just as soon as we can. What will remain key is that we continue to work with our growing legal tech community in Scotland to stimulate innovation and develop solutions to support legal professionals and the individuals, industries and communities they serve. Find out more about LawscotTech at lawscottech   Paul Mosson is Executive Director of Member Services and Engagement for the Law Society of Scotland