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Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation launches to confront the future of law

24 November 2017

Allens has joined forces with UNSW to tackle the increasingly complex challenges presented by digital transformation to the legal system with the launch of the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation.

The Allens Hub will see 22 UNSW academics work closely with staff from Allens to explore disruptions to the law, lawyers and the legal system such as reliance on data-driven decision-making and new kinds of biological, artificial and legal ‘persons’.

Anna Collyer, Partner and Head of Innovation at Allens, said the firm was delighted to be working with UNSW on this market-leading initiative, one of the first of its kind in the world.

'Technological advancements are causing significant disruption at all levels of our economy, with the law in many cases unable to keep up with the pace of change.

'We are seeing major impacts on the regulatory landscape, the challenges faced by our clients and the way lawyers do their work,' Ms Collyer said.

'The response of the law and lawyers to innovation will play a huge role in defining the benefits Australian businesses derive from new technologies and ways of working. It is essential that the law strikes the right balance between helping and hindering in this period of disruption.

'We look forward to connecting academic thought leadership with the insights and experience of our clients.'

The holistic picture that the Allens Hub will provide of how the law deals with disruption and the rapid pace of technological change will give Allens' clients access to an unrivalled combination of academic thought leadership and business acumen, according to Managing Partner Richard Spurio.

'In addition to playing an instrumental role in research and education in this area, the Allens Hub will help us navigate disruption in our own business and in our clients' businesses,' Mr Spurio said.

'Crucially, we will be able to fast track academic research into real-world advice and practical outcomes for our clients through this game changing partnership.'

Associate Professor Lyria Bennett Moses, whose world-leading research explores the relationship between technology and law, will lead the Allens Hub as its newly appointed Director.

According to Associate Professor Bennett Moses, the Hub will help the university to undertake crucial research in this increasingly important area of law and legal practice, and leverage the findings to better equip legal institutions and law students with the knowledge and skills they will need in the future.

'Legal systems all over the world are already working hard to keep pace with the rapid evolution of technological changes happening in our societies. Coming together to consider the kinds of technologies that will shape the environments in which we live and how they will impact the laws and governance of our communities is an important first step in addressing these challenges,' Assoc. Professor Bennett Moses said.

Anna Collyer will represent the firm on the Allens Hub's Steering Committee, while Partner Ian McGill will sit on its Advisory Board.

The Hub will also support the FLIP Stream, a collaboration between the Law Society of NSW and UNSW Law to generate a separate stream of research to consider and respond to the recent questions raised by the Law Society’s The Future of Law and Innovation in the Profession (FLIP) report.

Read more about the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation

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Notes for editors.

Allens is a commercial law firm working throughout Australia and Asia. Through its integrated alliance with Linklaters it provides clients access to 39 offices in 28 countries around the world.