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Legal and tech experts to compete in Hackathon in Malaysia

According to a recent report, a total of 150 participants from diverse backgrounds will compete in Malaysia’s first-ever LawTech Hackathon on Oct 20 and 21.

Curated to create innovative new solutions to problems facing the nation’s legal industry, the competition offers a total prize pool of RMB16,000. The hackathon will be a competition for people from the legal and tech spheres to solve (“hack”) problems within the legal industry.

Aided by industry mentors, participants will work around the clock to tackle one of the four problem statements chosen by the organisers.

The creative energies of the participants will be directed toward one of the following four problem statements:

(i) Increasing access to justice;
(ii) Reducing overhead cost for law firms;
(iii) Improving communication between industry stakeholders; and,
(iv) Cultivating an innovative legal culture in Malaysia.

Experts in the fields of law, technology, education and business have been invited to judge the final products.

An accompanying data report will be released nationwide in the first quarter of 2019 to shed light on the state of law tech in Malaysia.

The event is hosted by LawTech Malaysia in partnership with one of the world’s largest multinational technology companies as the event’s exclusive technology partner. Various other large and small law firms, institutes and colleges will also be partners in the realising the event.

There is a growing trend of legal tech adoption all around the world.

In just the United States, there is an RMB65.83 billion (US$15.9 billion) Total Addressable Market for law tech. There is a 10% per annum growth on average for the global LawTech market which other countries such as the United States, China, Australia and Singapore are capitalising on.

The hackathon comes at a time when law tech in Malaysia is gaining steam.

A firm management software start-up was in the top 30 finalists under the Khazanah NEO programme and the Bar Council has set up a Future in Law committee to identify a regulatory framework for legal tech start-ups by the end of this year.

Some law firms have created their own innovative legal tech products to help them better serve clients in the modern legal marketplace while others have set up their own technology research and development arm.

A specialist in knowledge management for the legal practice and Strategy lead for the group that is setting up the event said stated that Malaysia has a lot of catching up to do on global legal tech advancement and the event’s creators hope the hackathon will be the beginning of the movement to capitalise on the benefits of technology in the legal industry.

When asked about the urgency of having a law tech movement in Malaysia, one of the Top 14 Fintech Influencers in Malaysia said that the day will come, pairing up with the robust fintech ecosystem in Malaysia where the merging with other regulated spaces like LawTech and RegTech will take shape.

Experts express excitement over the opportunity to start building the LawTech ecosystem nationwide, to give a new breath to the legal fraternity and making a mark in the perspective of contributing to global legal and LawTech market share, according to a specialist who is also a director of a major law firm in Malaysia.

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