Singapore to launch Asia’s first legal tech startup accelerator

Singapore’s law firms have been slow to adopt new technologies, but that may change in the coming months.

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Singapore to launch Asia’s first legal tech startup accelerator

Singapore will launch Asia’s first legal technology startup accelerator in April, according to the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL). It is designed to place the city-state at the forefront of technology and innovation in Asia’s legal sector.

This is the second attempt of the Future Law Innovation Program (FLIP), a two-year pilot program started by SAL, to launch a legal tech startup accelerator. An initial accelerator —simply titled Accelerate!— was supposed to launch in July 2018, but FLIP decided to shelve Accelerate! due to the need for a more streamlined program.

Legal tech startups around the world interested in operating in Singapore and in using the city-state as a platform to expand abroad can join FLIP’s project.

The program will be three to six months long, with experts in innovation and entrepreneurship—such as Ash Singh and Peter Dingle—providing mentoring support, local market knowledge, and advice on business strategies and management. SAL and FLIP are expanding the pool of mentors that can provide startups with industry knowledge, access to networks and data, and investment support.

So far, the legal industry in Singapore has been slow to embrace technological innovation. General reluctance, costs for upgrades, and the lack of specialised knowledge are some factors hindering Singapore-based law firms from modernising their operations, said Stefanie Lim to Channel NewsAsia. Lim is the assistant director of legal productivity and innovation at the Law Society of Singapore.

Currently, only a handful of law firms have taken the plunge to adopt legal tech in their enterprises. One of Singapore’s leading law firms, Rajah & Tann, is among them. It recently created a legal tech subsidiary called Rajah & Tann Technologies to provide legal tech solutions and services for clients.

FLIP’s upcoming accelerator will help the legal industry leverage technology to catch up to other legal markets in the world. Legal tech incubators and accelerators have been launched in the United States, Austria, Spain, and other countries.

Editor: Brady Ng