A project to connect legal technology innovators with people who need their services is to benefit from the latest slice of government money awarded to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The £167,856 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via the Regulators Pioneer Fund will be used to create a new network of regulators, expert research institutions and local government, the SRA said.
The SRA’s project will test and promote new technology in communities around Swansea and Bristol. It will involve Swansea and West of England Universities, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the West of England Combined Authority.
The first part of the project will involve researching what innovations are available and how they connect with those in need of them. The partnership will explore the feasibility of developing these innovations for wider use. The SRA will then showcase these connections so that they can be replicated across the country.
Supporting the adoption of legal technology is one of three priorities in the SRA’s current corporate strategy. The grant is its second from the pioneer fund, which also paid for the £750,000 Legal Access Challenge, which awarded prizes last year.
Anna Bradley, chair of the SRA board, said the new project ‘will focus on working with local partners and communities to identify innovative services that can increase access to legal services. We know this is hugely important because the majority of people and small businesses don’t seek legal help either because of concerns about affordability, or simple lack of confidence and familiarity with the legal sector.’