Reflections from TechLaw.Fest 2019

Contributed by: Lenon Ong

Edited by: Benjamin Ho

TechLaw.Fest 2019 is an event platform where numerous legal technology companies showcase their products to interested parties. As an event that facilitates the sharing and flow of many wonderful ideas and opinions on legal technology, it attracted legal and technology professionals, as well as policymakers and undergraduates keen to share and learn more about law and technology. The event bustled with many wonderful ideas and opinions on legal tech.

1. Main Exhibition Area

At the main exhibition area, visitors at TechLaw.Fest learned more about the current products and services available in the legal technology market and witnessed product launches and its coverages at the Tech Talk stage. Some exhibitors showcased tools useful for law firms, including those for the management and review of documents, litigation support and filing systems, workflow automation, and electronic discovery. Several start-ups, venture capital firms, educational institutions, and financial institutions were also present.

2. Conference Programme

The main Conference Programme held adjacent to the main exhibition area, hosted panel discussions and seminars on pertinent issues, including to computational law, automation, digitalisation, and amongst other things, the use of data.

The key takeaways from TechLaw.Fest 2019 can be summarised into two themes: first,  that the legal profession will be disrupted by technology, and second, on how the legal industry can help shape the laws and policies relating to emerging technologies while equipping itself with the necessary tools in this data-driven age. Delegates at this year’s event heard speeches from prominent speakers such as Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee and also  representations from institutions including the  Supreme Court of Singapore, the Infocomm Media Development Authority, the National University of Singapore, and various technology companies. From these talks, one would gather that the current explosion of data is unprecedented – and much unlike the past industrial revolutions – and that the legal industry needs to do much to embrace the waves of disruption.

3. Intangible assets in the digital economy

Given how intangible assets are becoming an increasingly imperative part of start-ups and enterprises in this digital economy, it is not difficult to see how intellectual property laws and regulations related to information technology and data need to be constantly reviewed to keep up with the developments in technology.  Accordingly, it was fascinating to witness various panel discussions and seminars on innovation in the legal industry and understand how emerging technologies disrupt the legal profession, and what lawyers can do to better equip themselves for these emerging technologies.

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