The Ministry of Law (MinLaw), the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc), Enterprise Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced the launch of a new $3.68m scheme to help Singapore Law Practices adopt technology yesterday.
Under the new Tech-celerate for Law programme, Singapore Law Practices can get funding support of up to 70% of the first-year cost of adopting baseline and advanced technology solutions: Baseline technology solutions for practice management, online legal research and document management can help the law practices perform their essential day-to-day tasks more efficiently.
Advanced technology solutions which are powered by artificial intelligence can help the law practices strengthen capabilities in document assembly, document review, eDiscovery and client engagement.
Mr Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State for Law and Health, said at the launch of Tech-celerate for Law, “Technology is changing the way legal services are delivered and will help power the growth and development of Singapore legal services. MinLaw and LawSoc will support Singapore Law Practices in technology adoption. We launched Tech Start for Law in 2017. The new Techcelerate for Law is a step up. “
“We are extending support beyond baseline to also cover advanced solutions. We have also earmarked more funds for Techcelerate for Law. We would encourage the Singapore Law Practices to make good use of this extra government support to accelerate their own technology adoption.”
Legal technology crucial to the development of the profession
In a study by LawSoc and MinLaw, 85% of lawyers surveyed agreed that legal technology was crucial to the development of the profession and 72% felt that there was a need to increase the level of technology adoption in their firms. In 2017, MinLaw, LawSoc and Enterprise Singapore (then-SPRING Singapore) launched the Tech Start for Law to help Singapore Law Practices adopt baseline technology solutions.
Between 1 March 2017 and 28 February 2018, 115 Singapore Law Practices collectively adopted 143 units of technology solutions. 99% were small and medium Singapore Law Practices. Each law practice can receive funding of up to $30,000 for baseline solutions and up to $100,000 for advanced solutions.
Mr Gregory Vijayendran SC, President of the Law Society of Singapore, said “The new Tech-celerate for Law Programme will accelerate our lawyers’ advancement of that journey especially for our smaller law firms. This sequel offering demonstrates the firm commitment by, and strong collaboration between, MinLaw, Enterprise Singapore, IMDA and LawSoc to assist our members future-proof and future-ready their legal practice to brave the new challenges and future shocks posed by radical disruptions.”
Mr Satvinder Singh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore, said “With technology rapidly reshaping the way companies do business, it is imperative for the legal services firms to embrace digital solutions to raise their operational efficiencies and explore new growth opportunities. This initiative, which is aligned with Enterprise Singapore’s focus on helping Singapore enterprises raise productivity through digitalisation, will make it easier for legal services firms to access a wider range of digital solutions to level up their business capabilities and competitiveness.”
The technology solutions under Tech-celerate for Law have been evaluated and pre-approved by IMDA under the “SMEs Go Digital” programme, in consultation with MinLaw, LawSoc and Enterprise Singapore. To further support lawyers in adopting technology, Workforce Singapore and LawSoc will be starting a series of programmes to equip them with the skills for practising law in a digitialised environment and for managing transformation and innovation. These will be launched in second half of 2019.