NewsAllen & Overy launches tech innovation space to develop legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions

Allen & Overy is opening Fuse, a new tech innovation space where tech companies, Allen & Overy lawyers, technologists and their clients will collaborate to explore, develop and test legal, regulatory and deal-related solutions.

The legal market is embracing technological disruption and three particular areas of innovation where in recent months the pace of change has accelerated, are:

  • legaltech: technology supporting legal advice, law firms and in-house legal functions;
  • regtech: technology supporting regulatory compliance; and
  • dealtech: technology that transforms how companies and financial institutions transact and negotiate deals with each other.

Early-stage and more mature tech companies can apply to work in a specially-designed area for 60 individuals housed within Allen & Overy’s London offices on the boundary of Shoreditch and the City of London. Once in residence, companies will have access to the expertise of Allen & Overy lawyers, technologists and clients to co-create practical solutions to some of the challenges faced by companies, financial institutions and law firms today.

The launch of this space builds on other Allen & Overy advanced delivery projects aimed at developing both the wider legal market and its own business model to meet the changing needs of its clients. They include aosphere, its online subscription business, and MarginMatrix™, a digital derivatives compliance system. It also complements Allen & Overy’s well-established engagement with the fintech sector.

Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy’s senior partner, commented: “Developments in tech are rapidly transforming our industry and we are determined to play a lead role in harnessing the power of new solutions for the benefit of our clients.

“Fuse offers us a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with both our clients and some of the brightest minds in the tech sector, particularly those who have synergies with our business. I’m convinced this will not only put us at the forefront of developments in this field but will also be a key differentiator for Allen & Overy in the years to come.”

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Another proof and recognition of the ever-expanding role of technology in law is the recent launch of new Legal Innovation Centre at the Ulster University that Allen & Overy supported. The Centre, a collaboration between the School of Law and the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, is the first of its kind in the UK. The Centre will give students and lawyers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with different types of legal technology software, and it will undertake much-needed research on technological innovations to facilitate legal process improvement, and so promote greater economic efficiency and improved access to justice.

Commenting on the Legal Innovation Centre, Jane Townsend, Partner and Head of A&O’s Legal Services Centre in Belfast, said: “Legal service is a knowledge-led business and technology is pivotal to everything we do. Across our firm, we seek to continually improve and enhance our systems and the way we do things. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to work towards these and other goals while deepening our strong relationship with Ulster University. We’ve been greatly impressed by the high calibre of the Legal Innovation Centre and its strategy for accelerating innovation and technology in the legal sector.”