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UK Government Financial Support To Aid Development in ODR

The UK’s Ministry of Justice is to provide £2m of funding to help with the development of new systems of online dispute resolution suitable for resolving the disputes of small businesses. The project leaders, LawTechUK Vision, will develop a ‘sandbox’ to help test new ideas for technology assisted resolution.

LawTech UK itself is a collaboration between an industry body called Tech Nation, the government-sponsored Lawtech Delivery Panel and the Ministry of Justice.

Four initial projects were announced: a ‘UK SME Dispute Resolution Platform’, the Lawtech Sandbox, a lawtech online hub and a guidance and training centre.

The Lawtech Sandbox will bring together interested parties in technology, law and business as well as public to test innovative products coming to market. It will work with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, Legal Services Board, Information Commissioner’s Office and the Ministry of Justice.

Justice minister Lord Keen of Elie QC said: 'The LawTech Sandbox is an important next step in delivering cutting-edge technology and furthering our reputation as a globally trusted destination for legal practice.'

It is unclear how this will sit alongside the existing online court programmes such as the Civil Money Claim Court.

Christina Blacklaws, immediate past president of the Law Society and chair of the Lawtech Delivery Panel, said: 'The exciting and broad range of projects we are launching today as LawtechUK will help place technology at the heart of a new era of legal services. We look forward to further extending our membership within the lawtech community, and to collaborating across the sector to ensure global leadership in legal services for years to come.'

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