A smart combination that creates a real advantage – there ought to be law against it

Pairing tech PhD students with leaders at Deloitte can, upon first hearing it, seem like a fairly unusual endeavour. However, when the collaboration bears fruit in the form of ground-breaking legal industry solutions, it no longer seems so strange.

One of the key challenges the legal industry faces is the adoption of new technology. This is mainly due to lawyers not being adequately prepared to evaluate technology, engage with start-ups or implement products.

Our new legal practice, Deloitte Legal, is set on addressing this. Earlier in 2020, we started working with Conception X – a deep tech incubator that helps PhD students from across the UK turn their cutting edge university research into viable start-ups. Through this collaboration, we are able to support PhD students with the commercialisation process and, at the same time, determine how innovative, new technology can actively shape the legal industry.

The commercialisation process is a comprehensive one. Over 50 of our industry, technology and venture experts come together to run the PhD students through business model canvas exercises, value proposition formation, customer identification and use case refinement. We also act as a sounding board for important milestones in a start-up’s journey, helping with investor presentations and new customer acquisition.

Working with members of the Conception X cohort helps us to futureproof our legal practice, leveraging tech breakthroughs, like how AI can be used to better understand and utilise data in contracts. When considering the sheer number of contracts impacted by events like a pandemic, it’s easy to see how nascent technology like this could free up a significant amount of lawyers’ time, but also provide benefit across all sectors where contracts are the cornerstone of business.

Laura Bygrave leads our venturing capability within Deloitte Legal, and has been collaborating with Conception X. She explains,

"We’re able to look at how we can solve problems that are 5 to 10 years away. We’re actively getting ahead of the curve."

If you work in the legal industry and would like to hear more about how the use cases we’re developing with Conception X can benefit your firm, why not drop us a line at helloventures@deloitte.co.uk? We’d also love to hear from you if you’re running an AI or data analytics start-up that could help shape the future of the profession.

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