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Barclays is aiming to put entrepreneurs on the right path to successful law businesses with its latest incubator.
The bank, which already has accelerators for various technologies across the UK, is opening its next Eagle Lab, based in Notting Hill, London.
The incubator has begun in partnership with the Law Society, University College London (UCL), the University of Liverpool and group of law firms including Brethertons, Allen & Overy and Latham & Watkins.
Eagle Lab will provide 100 entrepreneurs with co-working space, mentorship from Barclays and its partners and academic and business advice.
Barclays UK CEO, Ashok Vaswani, said the UK is in position to be a world leader in law technology (lawtech) and the company has created the lab to support this.
“[The UK] is home to some of the greatest law firms in the world and we want to help build on the success of its legal sector, and play a leading role in transforming lawtech in the future,” he said.
“Our Eagle Labs are supporting thriving businesses up and down the country, and our Notting Hill lab will lead the way as an industry centre of excellence for lawtech.”
Law Society vice-president, Christina Blacklaws, said lawtech is developing because of new client demands and the incubator will help entrepreneurs to deal with this change.
“As new technologies continue to be developed, they are changing the way solicitors and their clients approach legal issues. Lawtech is an important area of focus for us as we seek to help solicitors and their clients approach legal issues,” she said.
“We want to ensure the profession is promoting and adopting new ideas and technologies to provide the best possible service to their clients. This collaboration will create a forum for solicitors to learn and innovate with entrepreneurs and developers for the common good of the legal sector.”
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Law startup community, Legal Geek, will also support the project by organising entrepreneur networking events and its founder, Jimmy Vestbirk, said these labs could do for the legal industry what financial technology (fintech) has done for financial services.
“Technology is transforming how legal services are delivered and the market is starting to sit up and take notice, with the number of startups and investment in the sector rising,” he said.
“London is emerging as a global leader in lawtech, with an increasing number of high-growth in international legal startups choosing the city as their second market,” he added.