Legal technology: BAME at the Bar

Black Lives Matter in 2020 highlighted the disparity in our society and the legal profession is not exempt. An old boys club underpinned by uneven playing fields; the legal sector undeniably has a diversity problem. Naturally, this also extends to the legal technology industry.


Black and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and women are continue to be unrepresented in the legal technology industry. A study of racial diversity among founders of lawtech companies discovered that of 478 founders of lawtech companies in the US, only 26 were black or Latin. Within the lawtech industry in the UK, the same groups are also underrepresented. The UK employs more BAME individuals in its tech industry than any other sector, they are less likely to achieve leadership roles.

The issues in diversity within legal technology appear to stem from the barriers to the legal profession itself. Recent data reveals that only 21% of solicitors were from BAME backgrounds. Black lawyers are significantly underrepresented, making up 3% of all lawyers in England & Wales, a figure that has only risen by only 1% in the last six years.

The reality is equally bleak at the Bar. The latest Bar Standards Board (BSB) report on gender, ethnicity and social background of barristers suggests that diversity and inclusion figures have only marginally improved. Although the percentage of female QCs has increased since 2018, men still outnumber women with 61.3% of practising members identifying as male. The percentage of BAME practising barristers has increased by 0.6%. However, there are still only 13.6% BAME barristers at the Bar.

BAME individuals are also reported to have less representation in senior positions. The Diversity of the judiciary 2020 report suggests that only 8% of court judges and 12% of tribunal judges identified as BAME at 1st April 2020. The proportion of judges who identify as BAME is gradually progressing but remains considerably lower for senior-level court appointments than tribunals. .

A diverse legal sector can improve employee engagement, encourage understanding of differing perspectives, and attract a variety of divergent skill sets that can lead to innovation and promote creativity. As such, enhancing D&I in the legal field will inevitably bolster the lawtech industry as more creative ideas surface. A diverse workforce can offer unique styles, thinking and methodology, leading to better problem-solving models. By expanding the recruitment pool, the legal sector and in turn, legal technology, can only improve further.

For a profession responsible for the administration of justice, it is also crucial that it reflects the population it serves. Legal professionals in the industry must represent communities more closely if they are to trust in an independent and effective legal system. A diverse consumer of legal services will require a diverse legal profession to serve them. Thus, D&I will provide a better choice for the population and undeniably encourage potential clients to access legal services, resulting in a better consumer experience.

There is so much more that needs to be done. The question remains, how do we improve?


UPDATED 2023.05.23

Has the Family Law System Avoided The Backlog?

The family legal system in England & Wales is digitalising at an expansive scale. QEB's Thomas Haggie and Milad Shojaei explore the digital transformation and resilience of the Family Law courts over the past 12 months.


From electronic bundles, to online diaries and enhanced electronic communications between legal professionals and court staff, the family legal system has experienced notable changes in recent years. In 2015, the UK government allocated £500 million to the digitisation of all court systems and further. technological reforms also underpin the 2019-20 Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service’s (HMCTS) business plan. It is fair to say that the move toward digitisation was continuing at a dissimilar pace prior to the pandemic. The necessity of remote working created by the virus has dramatically accelerated the changes. These are largely changes for the better.

The initial groundwork of the digitisation plan had a reasonable effect with over 41,000 applications processed in a digital divorce system. However, it was the pandemic that tipped the scales in favour of digitisation. Before the first lockdown, remote hearings were unheard of. The majority of documentation used in court was paper-based, and digital alternatives were not favoured. By July 2020, 90% of hearings were conducted remotely, and digital workflows became the norm. It is unlikely that the courts will want to return to previous ideals in future, as the need for innovation and remote working has provided the necessary stimulant to implement positive change.


How are the family courts avoiding the backlog?

There was a significant burden on the family justice system prior to Covid-19 and throughout 2020 the Family Court has demonstrated surprising levels of resilience to the challenges caused by the pandemic. Although the number of weekly cases received in public family law increased by 15% in the wake of the pandemic, the number of outstanding cases has only risen by 10%. Considering the substantial challenges that the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and Employment tribunals are enduring, the question beckons, how has the family jurisdiction avoided a similar backlog?

Firstly, digital technologies have been implemented to effectively address the backlog at the family courts as it saves time, money and facilitates wider accessibility. The introduction of online forms and a digital divorce service has already significantly reduced error rates, saving legal professionals time and allowing them to work through cases without delay.

When it became clear the pandemic would have a significant change to working practice, there was a concerted effort to prepare the system for full-scale remote working. Mr Justice Mostyn issued an E-Bundle protocol for the Financial Remedies Courts in early March 2020. The rapid integration and adaptation of remote working, and the family courts ability to leverage the advantages of digital technology has proven crucial to increasing court capacity during the pandemic. In particular, the London family courts have been commended for their crucial move towards digitisation. The West London Family court and the Central Family court became entirely digitised in February 2016, creating over 1000 digital cases and savings in the region of £850,000 compared to the paper-based process.

Moreover, various local authorities and family courts have effectively adopted bundle sharing solutions to deal with the pressures of outstanding cases. Digital E-bundling has stepped in to assist evidence and documentation preparation required to enable remote hearings. Digital E-bundles also eliminate the time consuming challenge of creating and maintaining paper-based court bundles and reduce the risk of lost or missing documents. The creation of digital courtrooms has improved accessibility and communication between legal professionals and court staff. Through integrating technology into their daily lives, legal professionals can reliably update, repaginate, and distribute documents securely and at greater speed. Overall, This approach has allowed for better case management, collaboration and improved efficiency which has alleviated strain on the system.


More permanent changes needed

Although the family law system embarked on a series of digital reforms many years ago, much of the progress observed in recent months would have taken significantly longer were it not for the pandemic accelerating the digital transition. The strengths and weaknesses of virtual courts have been highlighted in recent months. If we are to address the problems, we must continue to unlock efficiencies on a permanent level while involving all legal consumers in the transition into a new digital age.

Had the justice system considered the potential setbacks associated with remote hearings and paperless workstations earlier, we would undoubtedly have had more inclusive digital reforms taking place. Given the benefits of the changes made to the family law system, it is unlikely that we will regress . Experimentation is a process and not a one-time fix; with this in mind, we must drive forward further reform initiatives and look for innovative solutions to existing issues and those that emerge in the future.

Delivering Digital Courts is the only solution to the Backlog

Milad Shojaei investigates the digitisation of the Criminal and Civil Justice systems. Working in the Criminal Justice System, Milad has dealt with the backlog first-hand, leveraging the benefits of technology to break down the barriers that hold the legal system back.


The legal system of England and Wales has inspired the world for the past 1000 years, influencing various countries all across the globe. However, consumers of legal services cannot overlook the persisting problem of the court backlog, which has overwhelmed the justice system at the expense of public confidence and effective enforcement of the law.

The Criminal Justice System in England and Wales (CJS) manages over 2 million cases every year, and in September 2016, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) embarked on a digital reform programme that would assist dealing with the significant caseload across all jurisdictions. However, the COVID-19 outbreak exacerbated the existing backlog, intensifying an already concerning problem. Meanwhile, the picture is no better in Civil Justice. Statistics from the Ministry of Justice released every quarter show a Backlog that is steadily growing. To effectively reinvigorate our reputation as justice leaders, we must oversee radical systemic changes that enhance the court capacity through what we still quaintly refer to as "modern" IT and sustainable digitisation initiatives.


Has the Justice system reached a ‘tipping point’ due to the backlog?

Service data disclosed by HMCTS indicated that by the end of September 2020 there were 509,347 outstanding cases in the magistrate's courts and 48,713 in the Crown court. The CJS saw a 44% increase in the number of outstanding cases compared to 2019, according to the official Ministry of Justice (MOJ) statistics for courts in England and Wales.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) managed almost 171,000 cases in June, with the number of ongoing prosecutions rising by one-third. The global crisis, coupled with over a decade of austerity measures imposed by the government, has aggravated the waiting list of cases in the crown court as the backlog is anticipated to reach 50,000 before the end of the year. The number of outstanding criminal cases at the magistrate's court reached record levels during the peak of the pandemic, with a 94% drop of effective cases following the closure of the courts.

The latest figures also illustrate that the employment tribunals were receiving 1,250 new claims, with a total backlog of more than 45,000 overdue cases as of late September. These alarming figures are subject to inflation in light of the anticipated rise of unfair dismissal/discrimination claims made as more people lose their jobs.

Whilst in the civil courts the picture is as grim. In the period Q1-Q3 inclusive for 2020 there have been just over 600,000 fewer cases commenced than in the equivalent period in 2019. A proportion of the 600,000 cases will not be started because one or other, or both, parties will be insolvent. Nevertheless we foresee up to 400,000 cases being commenced in addition to business as usual volumes which is a very large Tsunami of Litigation coming.

In addition the first evidence of COVID related claims is coming to light with the recent publication from the Compensation Recovery Unit of increasing numbers of claims said to be due to COVID; in particular claims arising from Employer’s Liability insurance policies. This together with anecdotal evidence of significant claims farming activity in this growth area suggest that 400,000 additional claims in the next 2 quarters may only be the tip of the iceberg. An empirical consideration of the factors bringing about the civil justice Tsunami was set out in the DisputesEfiling Limited’s (DEF) White Paper published in July 2020.

The backlog of cases was increasing years before the emergence of COVID-19 due to the lack of funding in the justice system. For legal professionals across the sector, the problem has only intensified in light of recent events. Despite the introduction of remote court hearings and new digital workflows, the backlog has seen a rise in the previous months. The question arises, are we doing enough?

Regrettably, the result of the Spending Review of Autumn 2020 is that there was no new money for the Modernisation programme, with the original £1.4bn having run out in December 2019. HM Treasury indicated it would “consider” whether to grant more funds in February 2021. Leaving a less than half finished digitisation programme which only serves to further exacerbate the Backlog.


"The need for long term, significant investment is crucial across the entire justice system if it is to serve its purpose which is to enable people to exercise their rights in a timely and meaningful way.”


Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council


The impact of the court backlog

Analysts from crime and justice consultancy Crest Advisory have predicted that the backlog in the criminal courts can rise to 200,000 by 2024 unless radical reforms are administered vigorously. A fundamental risk of the backlog is the impact it can have on vulnerable parties to proceedings. Claire Waxman, the Independent Victims Commissioner for London, warns that the current circumstances will compel victims of sexual offences and violent crimes to endure years of delay before they can receive justice. This tragic reality threatens the integrity of the UK justice system and increases the chances of victims abandoning the process entirely.

Defendants in court proceedings are also amongst those paying a heavy price. Due to unavailable court hearings, and a limited capacity to deal with a growing list of matters, the government introduced legislation enabling defendants awaiting trial to be held for 238 days. This effectively replaced the previous 182-day limit and has arguably compelled many defendants to render guilty pleas to avoid having delayed court proceedings hanging over their heads for years to come. Delaying justice is inevitably the denial of justice, and the integrity of the UK judicial system hangs in the balance unless robust solutions are pressed at speed.

In civil justice, the interventions that have taken place have been rolled out commendably by HMCTS in the face of the Pandemic. However, they consist of more physical courts and a video conferencing solution called Kinly Cloud Video Platform or CVP. Neither will stem the Backlog, let alone overcome the Tsunami of Litigation. Increasing the number of physical courts can only deal with the cases in the system at present. CVP does not accelerate the pace of hearings; if anything, it slows the pace of trials. This is because remote hearings, as we have all learned now, are slower due to infrastructure issues such as interrupted connection or low bandwidth or latency issues or all three. Hence a trial is typically extended by a day to cope with this. Given the number of cases in the Backlog, let alone the Tsunami, it does not take a Mathematician to understand CVP is not the solution and is in fact, the problem in terms of Backlog elimination.

In civil jurisdictions what is needed is much more Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and much greater integration of ADR into civil court proceedings of England and Wales. Perhaps compulsory ADR before being allowed to start any claim, then between Defence and any time table being set for the case and finally, if not already settled, in the month before trial. This appears to be the direction of travel envisaged by Sir Geoffrey Vos who becomes the country’s third most notable Judge, the Master of the Rolls, on 11 January 2021.


Can we harness technology to bust the backlog?

The criminal courts have made considerable progress in digitising the justice system since moving away from paper-based systems in April 2016. The pivotal choice in offering court users an alternative to the traditional paper-based system has also effectively instigated a 4% rise in responsive prosecutions. Similarly, the family courts reported that paper-based forms resulted in higher chances of error. In comparison, digital applications ensured less than 1% errors.

Nevertheless, the CJS still relies on paper-based legal evidence and documentation. Digital evidence is more accessible than paper evidence, enabling legal professionals to review cases earlier and for court proceedings to operate more swiftly. What’s more, digital evidence ensures that documents are secured more safely, reducing the risk of losing or misplacing files. Professor Richard Susskind, IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, advances that the courts should integrate existing digital alternatives as it not only enables speedier resolutions but also because court users have a “growing expectation that services will be delivered digitally”. Lawyers that work paperlessly typically report exercising improved efficiency, better case management and the ability to streamline the case preparation process so that matters can be dealt with more quickly. A detailed report on the benefits of digital case management systems was published on the Casedo Insights Hub in May 2020.

Enforcing a more meaningful move away from paper-based systems would guarantee better accuracy and less room for mistakes during the court procedure. By minimising errors, adjournments would reduce significantly, and this could potentially tackle a vital aspect of the growing backlog while safeguarding the efficiency of the CJS.


More staff or more tech?

To address the backlog, the MoJ is planning to open more emergency Nightingale courts, and the idea of employing more staff has also been considered. But are these viable solutions to address the problem? Although hiring more staff can assist in easing the pressure of the backlog, it will not adequately redress the issue. Greater numbers of workers may reduce quality control, leading to re-work, which can effectively intensify the backlog. An overburdened workforce is incapable of moving with speed necessary to tackle the issue at hand. Equipping court staff and legal professionals with new technologies would potentially yield better results.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the solution as the Financial Settlement of 2015 entered into between the MoJ and HM Treasury requires a reduction of 6,000 staff at MoJ (including HMCTS) by the end of the 20-21 financial period. That process began 2 or 3 years ago. The justification for this was, of course, the completion of the digitisation of the Courts, which has regrettably not happened.

The way forward as Professor Susskind has begun to realise and more recently advocate is a series of public and private partnerships to fill the gaps left by the unfinished Modernisation Programme. Thus, we envisage much more ADR within the heart of the civil justice system being managed online. The volumes of ADR envisaged are simply too great to manage otherwise. Further, the citizen will simply not understand (and therefore not embrace) ADR conducted on paper. People’s entire lives are now managed online and ADR must be equally digitised for it to succeed. The Civil Justice Council recognises this with its recent consultation about making ADR de facto compulsory at not one but several points in the life of a court claim.

Moreover, HMCTS is already experimenting with remote hearings and paperless operations, proving that experimentation is a process and not a one-time fix. In the magistrate's court, digital case management and greater use of IT is underway and delivering good results. It has effectively reduced the need for paperwork while simplifying and modernising procedures to create a system that works for all legal consumers. Continuing development behind such digitisation initiatives will likely improve efficiency in the allocation of cases and break down the barriers that delay the judicial system and increase the backlog.

During the first national Lockdown, the Business and Property Courts reported business as usual was maintained for up to 80% of its caseload. This is because those Courts have been digitised. Meanwhile in the County Courts, where most of the 2.1m cases issued in England and Wales take place every year, there is still no effective IT. Nevertheless the private sector can come together with HMCTS to provide solutions, just as was done when Thomson Reuters provided the e filing solution for the Rolls Building jurisdictions and, later, the BPC courts.


Nothing can stop the E-Justice revolution

Analysts at Crest Advisory suggest that the 2019 level of court utilisation must be doubled to bring the backlog under control. Given the state of our downed economy in light of the current economic crisis, we simply can’t afford to fulfil capacity expectations. We can, however, drive forward the digitisation of the court process and support integrating existing technologies to boost court capacity. It is equally crucial that a culture change within the profession accompanies modernisation initiatives as resistance will fundamentally curtail progress.

The projected negative attitudes of legal professionals that are unable to move forward with the times will hold us back. As such, lawyers across all jurisdictions should take more significant steps to adapt to rapidly changing times to avoid being left behind to keep their livelihoods in the Next Normal and keep cases moving at a reasonable pace. As the legal sector emerges from the global crisis, it’s clear that what sets different courts apart in their capability to manage the backlog, is their level of digitisation. Today’s revolution in technology will undeniably represent the standard of tomorrow’s justice system.


While you’re here why not read our Legal Futures article on 'Has the shift to remote working increased cybersecurity threats'? Click HERE for the full text.

A look back to 2020: Casedo Highlights

2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone but especially the legaltech industry, with legal departments rapidly re-imagining their operations to embrace the digital era. Milad Shojaei looks back on a year we're all bound to remember.

Fortunately, Casedo is in the business of change. Our ability to observe market trends and recognise growing expectations from legal practitioners placed us in a favourable position when the pandemic struck. Before predicting what will change in 2021, let's look back at Casedo's highlights in 2020.


Webinars, seminars and workshops

In early 2020, Ross and Milad wrapped up their 'How to be a paperless lawyer' seminar series at London's top law schools. On the 10th February, they championed the legal profession's digital revolution to law students at SOAS. On the 27th February, they visited UCL, encouraging students to stay ahead of the curve by getting to grips with the latest technical developments.

In April we were delighted to feature Rhys Taylor from the 36 Group in our weekly webinar series. Ross & Rhys explored Casedo's practicalities for family practitioners at the Bar and offered exciting new features designed for family barristers.

We also hosted a student webinar where Gizem interviewed Ross on how a law student could make the most out of digital tools and especially Casedo.

More recently, Milad led a webinar on strategies for academic writing with the UCL Fintech Society, exploring how students can ace their dissertations & research-based projects with advanced technical skills.



Our founder and CEO, Ross, featured in two exciting podcasts in 2020. On the 18th November he spoke to Fintech: Byte-Sized about his journey as a legal tech pioneer and how his background as a video editor inspired Casedo.

On the 23rd November, he appeared on the Law Simplified podcast, discussing recent updates in lawtech and was put through his paces during a quick fire round on tax law.


Transforming the mooting landscape

We took our relationship with UCL to the next level in 2020, partnering with the UCL Law Society and sponsoring the Herbert Smith Freehills Junior Mooting Competition. Mooting was especially difficult in 2020, and we were thrilled to help transform the mooting landscape. Our Mooting Licenses assisted 239 aspiring lawyers work faster, smarter and more innovatively. The competition operated solely on Casedo and we were honoured to have Lord Carnwath adjudicate the finals.

Congratulations again to Aishwarya Shaji on her success as a finalist. Be sure to check out her interview with Milad as shares her experience mooting paperlessly during a challenging year.


Sponsoring UCL Fintech Society

In September 2020 we kicked off the academic year with an exciting new sponsorship. The UCL Fintech Society is the largest of its kind in Europe, and we have collaborated with them on events and panels to demonstrate Casedo's practicalities beyond the legal world. On 30th November, Ross showcased Casedo at their Adapt LegalTech Conference. We look forward to future events in 2021.


London Legal Walk

On the 5th October, the Casedo team participated in the annual London Legal Walk, raising money for London's free legal advice charities. Taking part in this year's 10km challenge was particularly important for us as the need for free legal advice services has increased, and the global crisis continues to disproportionately impact the disadvantaged and vulnerable. Due to social distancing complications, we all got involved in our own safe ways. It was great to share our passion for free legal advice with 4,500 other participants, raising a whopping £530,000!


Casedo Development

The disruption in 2020 allowed us to devote more time to engagement with the Casedo Community in order to enhance Casedo and its functionality. We are indebted to our users for their insight and ideas. Over the course of the year, we released six updates of casedo each boasting new features ranging from optical character recognition and go to page, to table of contents generation and increased speed. The most up to date version, Casedo v1.5, is 120% faster at importing documents, 50% faster at scrolling and switching between documents and 30% faster at searching. You can read more about the evolution of Casedo here. You will be glad to know that we are working on another update and look forward to launching this in 2021.


Our predictions for 2021

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that lawyers will not disappear any time soon. Still, the paper based methods of working will gradually dispel in favour of digital tools, investment in technology and better ways of working. Innovation will continue to play a pivotal role in our professional and personal lives, perhaps now more so than ever before.


A maturing market

The legal tech industry experienced an upheaval in 2020, accelerated by the abrupt transition to remote and digital practice. Now that most legal professionals have taken the first steps towards the new normal engagement with technology, we can expect a maturing market that continues to experiment, invest and accept the advantages of paperless workstations and digital tools. However, adoption is still slow. Tech-incubators and significant investment are crucial to reinvigorating the market. The momentum in legal technology from 2020 should achieve meaningful change in 2021.


Smaller tech start-ups

As the global crisis expands the demand for digital solutions, lawtech start-ups have been quick to deliver. 2020 marked a record-breaking year for lawtech start-up investment. Revised business models and capabilities have suited the cutting-edge technologies that tech start-ups have to offer. Given the accelerated growth of technology, coupled with a maturing market, we anticipate new investment records in lawtech start-ups.


Law firms driving progress

Lawtech will also level the playing field for the anticipated flood of new smaller law firms in 2021. As digital solutions simplify the delivery of legal services, we anticipate that lawyers will embark on new risks on their own, equipped with the latest technology.


Legal-tech education

As more universities offer interdisciplinary options that intertwine law and technology, we can expect disruptive impacts in 2021 and beyond. Law graduates are often considered to be ill-prepared for legal work today and beyond. Given the tremendous advances in the legal sector in 2020, more law schools, employers and graduates will realise the necessity of adapting to changing tides in the law and recognise how important it is to integrate technological competence at undergraduate level.


Developments in Artificial Intelligence

Like most people in the technology industry, we too find developments in Artificial Intelligence exciting. Although 2021 may not be the year when AI takes over the law, there will still be cutting edge applications into the market given the tremendous potential for improved efficiency. Nonetheless, AI will always need human intelligence to yield meaningful results and training from multidisciplinary teams of technology experts and lawyers . The legal industry will undoubtedly begin to embrace bolder technologies as it prepares for potential expansions, and we may see inspiring AI offerings in 2021. We hope to see new technological breakthroughs; raised awareness behind digital solutions; advantages of data-analytics and the development of powerful lawtech tools.

No one expected the changes we observed in 2020. If we all choose to work collaboratively, 2021 could be even more surprising and feature more opportunities.


Why not read more about this on Legal Futures? Click HERE for more.

Aishwarya Shaji | Herbert Smith Freehills Junior Mooting Competition Winner | CASEDO Interview

“A great advantage of technology is that it helps to level the playing field. The use of technology within the legal sector is a much-needed change that has been accelerated by COVID-19. Casedo is brilliant software not only because it contributes to sustainability by helping students and professionals switch to paperless advocacy but also because it is intuitive to use and cost-effective”

Aishwarya Shaji


Aishwarya is a penultimate year law student at University College London. She is the Second-Year Representative at the UCL Law Society Committee and a research intern at Legal Atlas. As an aspiring barrister and tech enthusiast, she was well equipped for success at the Herbert Smith Freehills Junior Mooting Competition, sponsored by Casedo.

On the 28th October 2020, Milad Shojaei interviewed Aishwarya on her experience mooting paperlessly with Casedo.


Tell us a bit about yourself, what area of law are you studying, what area of law you are trying to go into, are you planning to qualify as a barrister or a solicitor?

I’m a second-year law student at University College London (UCL), and in the committee at the law society. I was elected last year as the first-year representative, and this year I was also elected as a second-year representative. I was born and raised in Kuwait but I’m originally from India, but having lived my whole life in Kuwait, this is my first time studying abroad. As for the area of law, it is quite hard to answer that now, since we only studied compulsory modules, but my favourites so far have been criminal law, tort law, international law, public law, and human rights. So, they are more public focused. I am also more tilted towards the bar, I love advocacy, and it is just that having seen solicitors as well as barristers, I think that the work barristers do, speaks to me more, the way they go about their work, how diverse it is, and how passionate they are about what they do. So, I’m definitely more interested in the bar for now.


What was your mooting experience like before the Junior Mooting Competition at UCL?

I think it is the same for a lot of students coming to law school that we have very little to zero mooting experience, so personally I had no mooting experience at all, but I was very interested in the idea of mooting. I remember coming to law school thinking that this is that one activity that I definitely wanted to try out. But actually, the Junior mooting competition is traditionally a part of our freshers’ fortnight. Last year I remember sitting as a fresher watching the finals. It was Lord Hodge that was judging the last years’ competition. I understood absolutely nothing as it was just my second week of law school, but I just really enjoyed watching it, it was interesting to see how the participants were conducting themselves, how they structured their arguments, and I think I picked up a lot of things intuitively from just watching. It was amazing just going through that process a year later, I’m really humbled by it.


It was really exciting seeing Lord Carnwath getting involved and adjudicating. What was it like mooting before a supreme court judge?

I think the fact that we were all doing it from our homes, across the world, and there was the comfort of doing it at home, rather than seeing him actually in front of us. There is definitely a real difference when you are advocating in front of an actual judge or someone with an actual judging experience compared to advocating in front of a solicitor or students who have mooted before. The way judges think is different, and actually seeing it happen in front of me was very interesting.


The Casedo team were really excited in helping the moot go paperless and virtual. As someone who always had an eye for the law and mooting, what was your opinion in mooting in this revised way?

I had heard about Casedo, and have seen people who have participated in moots hosted by Casedo. It was very interesting to think that we are having paperless moots now and of course there is a division of opinions between people thinking that even though we have paperless moots, in the real world the majority of barristers are heavily reliant on paper, but actually going through the experience of a paperless moot I definitely think it is something people should be testing and trying out. Firstly, because it is great for the environment, also the idea of printing out extensive pages is exhausting, so the idea that for the mooting we had it paperless was great. Also, the idea that Casedo was thought of and developed by a barrister, plays a huge role in how seamless the software is. That is because it was designed by someone who knows the ins and outs of the system really well, so every time I use Casedo to figure out how to do something, the feature for it was always there, and so I was never faced with a situation where I felt that I could do something with paper that I could not have done in Casedo. Which is great, because I think that really speaks to the strengths of Casedo as a software, and something really is practically useful. As it is with any technology, the first few days you wouldn’t know where to go or how to use it, but with Casedo it was after very few days that I was able to use it, and that’s what I love about the software. It’s very easy, and very quick. I thought it was brilliant actually.


Do you think the legal sector needs more technology?

I think technology is probably the most brilliant thing in terms of levelling the playing field for everybody. It really helps a lot of people gain access many things within law, and the thing about law is that it can get very complicating very quickly if you’re someone who has never been accustomed to the system and all of a sudden you want to find out the law about something or you have to be involved in a criminal justice system for example it can be very complicating for you to understand things, and technology can help reducing those inequalities. I’m actually a research assistant with a legal intelligence company called Legal Atlas, and they work with artificial intelligence, visuals, maps and more, in order to help the people understand the law. I work for the jurisdictions of UK and India, because that’s what I’m familiar with, this is about me using my experience and the technology available in order to create summaries about the law that people can understand, it’s quite difficult because you have to think about how someone who has absolutely no idea about the law and the legal jargons, and explain things to them.

I actually did a first-year workshop with Herbert Smith Freehills who was also a sponsor for the Junior Mooting Competition at UCL, and they were talking about innovation, and many people think that technology is going to take away the role of lawyers, and they were very firm in their opinions and I agree with it, that technology only helps focus our skills on the more important areas of advocacy, and building really good relationships with the clients and customers, and leaving the huge and tiring aspects of being a lawyer such as the extensive documents to the technology, and that’s okay. I definitely think the legal sector has been very receptive of technology and it will continue in the future.


Do you think there is any particular area where technology could be used more widely?

I think there has been major usage of technology in those areas such as smart contracts and even many firms are very proud of the technologies they develop themselves. So definitely in the commercial, and corporate world where you have many documents, and things like mergers and acquisitions, the paper work can be very complicated, you wouldn’t want a team of brilliant people to be sitting pouring over papers, when technology can come in and point out different cause that might have issues within a contract or certain words that are ambiguous, that would be a great use of technology, and it leaves a lot of time to lawyers to do more with the time and skills that they have.

I think one area that might be a little more resistant to technology would be criminal law, I know that there was a move to remove jury trials because it was so complicated having different jurors in different locations, and I know an organisation called Justice, they had several trials with virtual juries, and I really wanted to see one as an audience, and it does work, but it takes a lot of time, so that might be an inefficient way of doing things. So definitely technology would be most useful in the commercial sector for now.


Were there any stand-out features of the software itself that really worked for you and gave you a particular edge when mooting?

I think there were many features such as putting links next to your submissions, and having the second viewer instead of putting tabs and dividers that you refer the judge to, was in my opinion a very well thought of. Especially after having been accustomed to a particular way of mooting, and having to switch to this new system was at first quite stressful. But after having used it, most of us thought that it was a brilliant tool, simply because everything in the software was well thought out. It really is a practical system that was designed, not just for mooting, but as Ross mentioned, it can also be as useful in court. It’s very intuitive to use, there is no difficulty at all.


Do you think the changes brought about are going to stick,post pandemic? Are we going to embrace them and discover we were working primitively before and that there are better ways to work? Or do you think we will go back and revert to the old ways?

I definitely do not think that we are going to revert back to all of the habits that we had. I think the pandemic really forced the entire world to see that the things we thought were so necessary, and we could not live without, we actually could. It’s absolutely possible to have trials virtually, it’s possible to work from home, and get things done. It is possible to move forward, but obviously that has brought about a lot of difficulties for people because it was so unexpected. Such as some people didn’t have a proper place to work at home, and that is true for people from every profession, so suddenly people no longer had the privilege to separate work from home life. But I do think it has been long enough now during covid-19 where we kind of learn how to grapple with these problems. But I do think that by holding trials or hearings remotely, the biggest advantage is that it solves a lot of problems with backlog and also helps with the courts who were closed due to cuts in legal aid or cuts in funding, and that there isn’t even space holding these trials which results in people waiting for so long to simply have their hearings. Having virtual trials really helps solve those problems.


As a student moving forward, do you think there will be any use for Casedo outside of the legal world, perhaps in the student capacity, or anything else?

Actually, a lot of other participants who have done mooting realised that Casedo is really helpful for other student needs too. It would be useful in collating articles, having all of your research materials in one place, having different PDFs together, and things like that.

So it’s really not a software that is just helpful for mooting, and for advocacy or anything like that. But I definitely see that I can use it, and I do use it and a lot of my friends have also been using it.


Brilliant, thank you so much for your time, and congratulations again on your success. Everyone in Casedo is very proud of you, and with your ability to use the software. Hopefully we will see a lot of the changes we discussed stick and a lot more technology in the legal sector.

Thank you so much Milad, it’s been great.


Many thanks to Aishwarya for taking the time to share her opinions on the legal tech landscape, and Casedo’s wider utility for students - we are very excited to see her in practice as a paperless lawyer in the years to come!

artificial intelligence bot

Will the legal sector embrace Artificial Intelligence?

The rise of artificial intelligence technologies has reimagined the delivery of legal services. Milad Shojaei evaluates how AI challenges current business models, where we encounter resistance and if new systems can effectively replace lawyers.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gained substantial traction in the legal sector, and many legal professionals share concerns on the impact it can have. AI has the potential to recognise errors, review contracts and locate and process relevant data faster than humans. To put it simply, it offers us the opportunity to exceed our own capabilities, with the ability to draw conclusions and decisions based on processed information and previous experience.

AI is already being utilised by law firms to conduct research and as a means of performing more efficiently and diligently. In 2018, a study by CBRE revealed that nearly half of London law firms are currently using AI, and 41% have plans to do so. AI offers lawyers tremendous opportunities in automating complex and heavy labour processes, alongside saving costs and valuable time. It is also suggested as a viable solution to the alarming backlogged court system.

Although most AI-driven systems are in the early stages of development, it is clear that AI has already made its mark in the legal sector. With this said, why are legal professionals hesitant to embrace AI, and is the concern justified?


Is the legal sector ready for AI?

Legal consumers have always been reluctant to adopt new technologies, and AI is a relatively new development in legal innovation. It is complex and can be particularly challenging to comprehend and apply. Legal professionals are not trained in computing, but still have a duty of competence to their clients through the SRA and BSB codes of conduct. How does this duty apply to the use and understanding of AI technology in the legal sector? If legal professionals are to use AI, they must first understand it. This includes the ability to identify specific algorithms, configurations and data sets, all of which relate to specialist knowledge that most typical law firms lack. The wider application of AI in the legal sector therefore raises ethical apprehensions concerning competence, diligence and oversight.

Although the case for AI is substantial, the legal sector's resistance to it is also telling. Law firms are reluctant to engage with AI-based technologies as it necessitates a complete transformation of established practices. Although the core purpose of Legal innovation is to transform the landscape, AI advances a drastic overhaul that should be considered more carefully. The legal sector currently lacks the infrastructure and culture to accommodate AI. This is compounded by an alarming skills gap and concerns with data security. Although larger firms have shown an aptitude for embracing new complex technologies, smaller firms that lack the resources to fund the acquisition and effective use of AI will struggle to keep pace with the process.

Applying AI-based tools in the legal sector accompanies significant risks if it is not done correctly. Law firms run this risk when focusing on the benefits of an innovative tool, without understanding the impact on operations, or how to best leverage the advantages associated with it. As it stands, most law firms lack the personnel that have practical AI experience for wider-spread adoption. Moreover, If AI-driven solutions are to be utilised widely, regulators within the sector will also require more specialism in the field.


Are lawyers right to be reserved about AI?

Despite the sophisticated nature of AI, it still depends on human input and data. AI technologies ultimately learn to make decisions based on training data, which is prone to include biased human choices or other sensitive variables. The potential for biases is undeniable as AI technologies that are managed by humans will naturally be subject to some impartiality. This has been reinforced by studies of AI-driven systems where inherent biases were unwittingly demonstrated by human creators. Further extensive research has also suggested that AI models can implant human and societal biases and expand them at scale.

A study by the New York University’s AI Now Institute demonstrated that AI systems were principally designed by affluent white males. This presents a considerable concern as biased data will inevitably lead to biased AI. Further, AI-driven machines can potentially isolate statistical correlations that are unlawful while reinforcing the stereotypes that can be found with humans creators. Together, this illustrates the potential issues that biased AI can have for equality in the legal sector. Although AI offers lawyers a step forward with innovation and improved efficiency, we must first ensure that there is greater investment in bias research, with a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the problem.


“The fact that we have backlogs resulting in a failure to give people the individualized attention they deserve tells us there’s something fundamentally wrong with our justice system. Expediting the mass processing of people using AI isn’t the answer. It’s the opposite of justice.”

Song Richardson, Dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law


Artificial Intelligence vs Human Intelligence

AI can assist lawyers in investigating and analysing, but it lacks the necessary empathy, creativity and augmentative reasoning that is required to carry out legal work competently. Despite AI systems offering specialism in processing data, it is still incapable of applying common sense or thinking abstractly as humans do.

AI cannot function optimally without relying on innately human attributes like human intuition. Real lawyers can learn from experience, comprehend complex concepts, apply logical reasoning, recognise patterns and weigh up competing interests before making balanced decisions. What distinguishes human intelligence from artificial intelligence is our unique ability to work with passion, motivation and self-awareness, as opposed to mimicking these actions through processed data and specific instructions fed into a digital system. Although AI-powered systems can perform mundane and repetitive tasks efficiently, they cannot replace the most complex thing in the universe, the human brain. AI falls outside the remit of Intelligent thought and behaviour; it cannot think and as such, falls short of human capabilities. Supplementary tools like Casedo enhance our existing capabilities, whereas AI aims to reduce the input of human reasoning.

With this said, the legal sector should aim to utilise AI to enhance the work of legal professionals, instead of replacing them. This would allow lawyers to perform tasks more efficiently while freeing up time to undertake more rewarding work.


Final Thoughts

AI-powered technology offers the legal sector an invaluable tool, and it is best utilised in automating and simplifying repetitive research-based tasks. Despite its tremendous potential, it still accompanies justifiable apprehensions and requires the application of human intelligence. The future of AI will likely continue to be governed by human abilities, and it is imperative that the sector prioritises legal innovation that supplements lawyers, not those that aim to replace them. The latter will only curtail the recognition of technology as a viable solution to existing problems and stunt growth as we advance.


While you’re here, why not read our article "Legal Tech on the rise: is the United Kingdom falling behind"?

UPDATE: London Legal Walk 2020

Thank you for helping us raise money for London’s Free Legal Advice Charities & Law Centres

On Monday 5th October 2020, the Casedo team took part in the annual 10km London Legal Walk to raise funds for London’s free legal advice services. Thank you to everyone who participated in the walk and to those who donated to us or shared news of our efforts! With your support, we hit our target in raising £250.

Ross, Jim, Peter, Milad and Gizem took part in the 10km challenge in different, COVID safe and socially distanced ways. Jim and Peter cycled in Bromley & Norfolk respectively, Milad got on the treadmill at his local gym and Gizem jogged by the sunny shores in Antakya, Turkey.

Taking part in the challenge was especially important this year. Since March, the need for free legal advice services has increased significantly and the pandemic continues to hit the most vulnerable and disadvantaged the hardest. Although the challenge could not go ahead in its traditional way, we are still delighted that we could all come together with innovative ideas to contribute.

If you couldn’t take part this year, but would still like to help support London’s valued legal advice charities, it’s not too late to make a donation on our Virgin Money Giving page.

Casedo Webinar: Strategies for academic writing with Milad Shojaei

Tune in to see how more comprehensive tech competence can help you tackle heavy research projects, as well as innovative techniques and approaches you can endorse to write an unparalleled your dissertation and thesis.


Aishwarya Shaji

UCL Junior Mooting Competition Winner 2019/2020

Congratulations to the UCL Junior Mooting Competition 2019/2020 winner Aishwarya Shaji!

This year we're sponsoring the UCL Law Society Mooting competitions. As part of this partnership finalists to the previous year's (2019/2020) competition also used Casedo.

The UCL JMC 2019/2020 final round took place on the 7th of October 2020, and we are more than delighted to announce that the winner of the JMC final round was Aishwarya Shaji. She carefully prepared her written submissions and presented a very strong oral argument while effectively using Casedo to deliver her arguments easier and faster.

We would also like to congratulate the other mooters for their great efforts and wish them the best of luck for all of the future competitions.


Dashboard on Laptop

Legal Tech on the rise: is the UK falling behind?

Milad Shojaei investigates the global trends in legal tech and the UK’s role within it. With regions across the world endorsing greater reliance on technology and automation, it is vital that the UK is ahead of the curve. Exploring what our counterparts are doing right, can tell us much about what we are doing wrong.


Technology has changed the face of everything, and the law is no exception. Law firms worldwide are employing digital strategists and embracing the benefits of legal tech. As the technological revolution takes hold, the question beckons, are the tides changing at the same pace globally? All justice systems are facing the same problems and tech start-ups have delivered many of the most innovative solutions. However, they face resistance from the conventional operations the sector has come to know and overcoming this is a common challenge endured by many legal departments globally. 


The global response

Developments in technology have transformed the legal practice in obvious ways. Law firms that have historically distanced themselves from the pace brought about by tech start-ups have now embraced technical solutions and improved efficiency. With this said, the developments behind legal tech have been different in application across regions. The US marks the home to most of the legal tech start-up industry for decades. Despite the profession still being conservative in itself, US law firms are embracing disruptive innovation and employing technology to meet growing demands. To keep up, Europe has made great strides in progressing its technological developments and offers one of the most advanced legal tech industries in the world. Israel makes a notable contribution to this. The country is quickly establishing its ability to dominate many high-tech fields in only the last few years. It intends to keep up with the rest of the world but faces severe challenges. Many legal professionals in Israel are reluctant to adopt new technologies. This is a common obstacle shared by the legal tech industry in the UK.


Is France driving legal tech forward at the UK’s expense? 

France is also a key player. Though far from achieving the levels of development in the US, the French legal tech market has experienced significant growth in recent years. France has managed to deliver an exceptional increase in interest from investors with a new record of €52.1m raised in 2019. Why has progress in the legal tech industry surged in the region? Unlike Israel and the UK, where start-ups struggle to change the conventional operations favoured by legal professionals, French lawyers have reacted by driving forward the global push towards the digitisation of their industry. Despite adopting a reluctant approach during the earlier stages of legal tech integration, their legal professionals have now widely acknowledged the importance of new technologies. The future of innovation looks positive for France as they continue to react to change effectively and take steps to reshape their sector, driving forward business efficiency and productivity as core values.


Is the UK doing enough to keep up?

Research by Intapp has submitted that not enough UK Law firms are deploying new technologies. The report found that fewer than 50% of law firms in the UK were using automation tools. Moreover, according to the data from the 2018 Sharplegal Report released by Acritas, American legal departments are more likely to use new legal technologies. The report further outlines that 25% of UK legal departments are not using any technology, as compared to 11% in the US. Further, new research from Dell Technologies has also discovered that businesses in the UK are generally trailing behind 12 other global countries. The UK legal department has always resisted innovation, and this is especially visible when we make comparisons on a worldwide scale. Has the UK fallen behind?


Despite the alarming reports, there is cause for hope. In 2018, British law firms doubled their investment in digital solutions. Investment into UK law tech startups also increased, from £2.5 million in 2016 to £62 million for the first three-quarters of 2019. Various magic circle firms have all launched their own in-house innovation development hubs, and others have established incubators to invest in the next generation of law tech businesses. So what more needs to be done? It is vital to encourage the complete overhaul of the sector’s traditional operations. Also, legal tech is currently focussed on delivering services that solve specific legal issues, and it is challenging to deploy these within corporations on a larger scale. The legal sector must commence a change in approach by taking greater steps in investigating the capability of technology to solve more significant challenges such as legal automation. Law firms should also facilitate this as they continue to invest in legal software and innovation departments.


Legal tech education

There has generally been a theme in the UK that there isn’t enough legal tech education to facilitate the widespread use of new technologies, and that law schools need to do more to stay ahead of the curve. The Law Society has found in a study that young lawyers are amongst the most technophobic of legal professionals. Statistics suggest that some 50% of junior lawyers are not aware of legal tech at all. Although most junior lawyers embrace the potential benefits of technology, not enough is being done to fill the skills gap. 


The US has undoubtedly benefited from nurturing legal tech education. In 2012, the American Bar Association made significant changes to the Mode Rules of Professional Conduct, placing a duty on lawyers to be competent not only when practising law but also in understanding the application of technology. Further, North Carolina is the second state to mandate continuing education and training in technology. This, alongside the 21 educational establishments that are teaching legal tech courses, indicates where the priorities lie within the US judicial system. 


Similar developments have taken place in Australia. The Law Faculty at the University of Technology in Sydney have launched a Bachelor of Laws degree in Legal Futures and Technology to prepare graduates for careers that will require familiarity with innovation and emerging disruptive technologies. Does the UK meet legal tech education needs? The University of Law has provided a host of new courses in legal technology, and some universities have got to terms with the new approach that the legal training needs to be a step ahead to meet new technologies disrupting the delivery of legal services. This suggests that although the legal education market in the UK has been slow to adjust to the demand, it is picking up with institutions paving the way for systematic change across the board. But is it enough? Technical solutions are fast approaching in light of recent changes brought about by the pandemic and recent developments. Unless the UK takes more meaningful steps in prioritising legal tech education, we will surely see a skills gap in the coming years. 


Many law graduates in the UK are not just ill-prepared for legal work as it is today, but are very ill-prepared for how it will be tomorrow.


Professor Richard Susskind, IT adviser to the Lord Chancellor


Where do we go from here?

Technology has the potential to transform the legal order. The tides are turning at different speeds worldwide as each country seems to support varying degrees of acceptance toward innovation and its practice within the legal sector. As the legal tech community expands, regions are likely to learn from each other. We are likely to see momentous progress in the coming years, in light of the recent developments in technology and the wake-up call instigated by Covid-19. Technical solutions that can reshape the law are already here, and lawyers around the world have started to embrace the disruption to the industry by introducing heavier tech competence into legal practice. To avoid falling behind, it is vital to react to technological disruptions appropriately and to implement more considerable resources to the overall application and education of legal tech.

LAST UPDATED 2023.10.10

London Legal Walk 2020

Casedo has entered a team to participate in its first walk for justice. We aim to raise £200.00 for London's free legal advice charities and law centres. Join us on October 5th 2020 as we walk 10,000 steps for justice.


UPDATE 1st October - Due to the ongoing Pandemic the London Legal Walk 2020 has morphed in the London Legal Walk 10xChallenge in which participants are being encouraged to take part in the Challenge "by walking, running, cycling, hopping, skipping or roller skating 10km local to where you are on the 5th October." I've updated the images on this page accordingly.

We'll post some pictures when we are done to prove that we weren't just at home behind our desks! I'm going to be hopping on my bike for a nice country ride... you'll have to wait and see what the others are up to!



Ross Birkbeck, Jim Hitch, Milad Shojaei and Gizem Akilli.

We would welcome any donations via our Justgiving page. Help Casedo change the world and support our valuable legal charities which help the most vulnerable in society in getting access to justice as they deserve.

Starting out in Law during the onset of COVID-19

Milad Shojaei graduated in 2019, looking to build a career as a barrister, and then Coronavirus came along and everything changed. He takes a brief look at how the virus has affected him and the first steps in his legal career.

Like many people, the sweeping changes brought about by COVID-19 impacted me at the beginning of my legal career. Having just started to take instructions as a County Court Advocate for LPC Law in early March, I only had the chance to represent clients at a handful of hearings, before every matter I was instructed on was adjourned. Worse yet, all but one of my pupillage applications had fallen apart with the interviews being scrapped in light of the circumstances. This alongside significant concerns that various law firms could go bankrupt and with alarming statistics that 83% of junior barristers would not survive the pandemic, I was worried that my short-lived career as a legal professional was coming to an end before it even started!


Luckily the legal sector was not completely unprepared. After the emergency release of the Coronavirus Act 2020, it was clear that the Courts in England & Wales had, through no choice of their own, taken on an accelerated transition into the paperless world, by expanding the availability of video and audio-link in court proceedings. Before working remotely myself, I could already observe the cultural shifts in the legal landscape with my LinkedIn feed being loaded with various promotions of legal tech and a cluster of invitations to participate in mock remote jury trials to test the robustness of the new system.


The reality set in when I was first instructed on an Infant Settlement, and the entire procedure was conducted over a telephone conference, in my living room. For most, this was a sign that something was going wrong, for me not so much. As someone who had been advocating the digitisation of the legal sector at CASEDO for nearly a year, I not only had the technological awareness necessary for the change but was also equipped with the right legal case management software to assist my practice.


In essence, I have welcomed this change. What’s more is that my dream chambers decided to continue with the pupillage process via Zoom, technology coming in for the save again! That’s not to say that the impacts of the global crisis aren’t disastrous, but to witness the legal sector at large experience a wake-up call as to the things myself and the team at CASEDO have been driving forward, certainly suggests that more innovation and improved efficiency are on the horizon.


Why not read our 'Law under lockdown: enduring the challenges of Covid-19' article on Legal Futures? Click HERE to read the full text.


Feature Image License: CC0 Public Domain, mohamed mahmoud hassan


Work life balance

Life after lockdown: how will the legal sector change post-pandemic?

March 2020 will undoubtedly be a time many remember as marking the beginning of an (as yet undetermined) period of lockdown. While some rushed to supermarkets to stockpile toilet paper and pasta, more of us scrambled to adapt to working from home and the new pressures this would put on our work lives. 


As the dust settles and we begin to get used to the new normal, we look at some of the key takeaways from the coronavirus crisis, and what this could mean for the future of work in the legal sector. 


Most of the sector was not set up for the majority of its workforce to be remote. While some shifts, such as switching to telephone hearings, have been relatively easy to make, the fact remains that the court system is not equipped to deal with remote working practices and the pressures of lockdown. 


“The pandemic has forced the legal sector to recognise the value and practicality of working remotely” says Milad Shojaei, a County Court Advocate at LPC Law. How various parts of the sector implement this, however, will be the truest test of adaptability and future-proofing. There are already murmurings of a greater reliance on automation, with legal tech stepping in to streamline processes such as document assembly and practice management. 


An issue that has come up time and time again in various reports and tweets is the problematic reliance we have on paper and printing. This appears to have been more of a problem for trainees or juniors, with many of them reportedly returning to family homes equipped with more suitable home offices than their flatshares. The reliance on hard copies of documents we have in the legal sector seems at odds with an increasingly digital world — begging the question: will this cause an overhaul of current systems and workflows? 


If 2019 was the year that legal tech boomed on the investment side, we predict that 2020 will be the year this tech is adopted en masse by lawyers themselves. It is notable that the technologies being picked up most are not the heavyweight, hi-tech solutions to industry-specific problems, but simple tools for everyday tasks: video conferencing for remote meetings, and pdf software for analysing documents on a laptop. We are going to see those tools become deeply integrated into the practice of law. 


There is also, of course, the concern of a potential economic downturn to consider. Inevitably, some firms will have to tighten their belts, looking to cut overhead costs where they can. At this point, many partners may begin to wonder whether paying for large, expensive office space is the best use of a firm’s money when activity during the coronavirus pandemic has proven that remote working is possible. We anticipate the office space as we know it will radically change, taking on a primary function as a meeting place. One Forbes reporter also highlights the possibility of offices becoming more accommodating to different ways of working — incorporating places for focus, collaboration, learning and socialisation into the fabric of the office design. 


The need to adapt extends beyond the office, though. Just this week, New York administrative judges announced that they would be debuting virtual court operations for three of its Judicial Districts. This is something we are already seeing in the UK, with the introduction of the Online Court, which allows certain smaller value claims to be decided completely online, and will soon be expanding. How will this influence the way court proceedings are carried out in the future?


A remote workforce isn’t the only problem that has surfaced amid the coronavirus crisis. Fears have arisen about employee wellbeing. It’s no secret that stress is a prevalent issue across the industry, and many have voiced concerns on the added implications of isolation on mental wellbeing for lawyers.


Could this crisis mark a turning point in employee care? With this added focus on ensuring that everybody who is working from home is coping, and a concerted effort made to keep in touch via videoconferencing and messaging tools, it’s fair to assume that the culture of law will undergo changes. 


We may begin to see less of a focus on the cut-throat atmosphere we have all come to see as normal and pay closer attention to the people we work with on a daily basis. Taylor Wessing is a prime example of this. While the firm already provided a premium subscription to a popular meditation app to their employees, they have recently decided to extend this to their future trainees. Furthermore, during this crisis, Taylor Wessing is implementing several other initiatives to maintain staff wellbeing — including virtual yoga, guided meditation and choir. The coronavirus has highlighted to companies how important it is for its workforce to be engaged and motivated, and the lessons learned during this time are likely to influence company culture for years to come. 


One thing is for sure, COVID-19 is set to change many aspects of working in the legal sector and there will need to be a willingness to adapt to change, or risk being left in the dust. The sector as a whole must use this situation to ensure it is ready not just for a future crisis, but a more flexible way of working generally.


This article was published was subsequently published on the Legal Futures website on 20th April 2020.

MS legal geek conference

Legal Geek 2019 - Conference Update

Staged annually in London and New York, with over 2,000 attendees from 40+ countries and 100+ speakers from around the world, Legal Geek is where pioneering legal tech companies come to show off their brilliant game changing ideas.


We did just that on the 16th October 2019 at the London conference, where the Casedo team of Ross, Jim, Hammad and Milad went to the annual conference for the third year running. This was a great opportunity to showcase the newly launched Casedo V.1.0.0 and we were delighted to have dozens of legal professionals see the demo of the world’s first multi-document reader. If you missed us at Legal Geek, don’t worry as we’ll definitely return next year!


The place where the smartest lawyers look for the smartest tech - of course Casedo was there! - Ross, Founder CEO of Casedo



The go-to legal tech event, sponsored by the pillars of the establishment - The Law Gazette