The LawtechUK Panel is a unique group of leaders and experts from the public and private sectors, collaborating to accelerate the digital transformation of the legal sector for the benefit of society and the economy, and to ensure the UK’s continuing leadership in legal and court services.
The Panel was established in 2018 by the Secretary of State for Justice and acts as the advisory board to LawtechUK. Its members take an active role in LawtechUK’s work programme.
As part of this role, the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of the LawtechUK Panel has published a legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English and Welsh law.
Meet the members
LawtechUK Panel Chair
Christina is Chair of the LawtechUK Panel and past President of the Law Society, among many other posts and responsibilities. Christina previously established and managed law firms, including one of the first virtual firms, and set up the first ABS with Cooperative Legal Services.
Christina is passionate about the role of technology to enable better legal services and systems, and is a committed advocate for equality in the sector. She is an award winning published author, speaker and lecturer and frequent media commentator. Christina chairs the Ethics Unit to be established as part of the Lawtech Sandbox, to provide practical guidance to those innovating in lawtech.
Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering,
Electronics and Computer Science,
University of Liverpool
Katie brings to the Panel the perspective of a computer scientist, together with vast experience at the intersection of new technology and law, with a focus on the development of artificial intelligence for the legal sector.
Her recent projects include the development of intelligent tools for law firms, tools to support e-democracy and legal knowledge-based systems. Her passion is in bridging together academic, industrial and public sector bodies to deliver technologies that can benefit multiple sectors of society. Katie is past president of the International Association for Artificial Intelligence and Law and regularly features in the media in the UK and internationally.
Dr Anna Donnovan
Faculty of Laws, University College London
Anna is an award winning educator, and successful corporate lawyer. An expert in organisational behaviour, Anna is passionate about inspiring innovation within the sector and supporting the legal services community as it meets the needs of a changing market.
She has a keen interest in the benefits of innovative technologies, including distributed ledger technologies, writing and presenting widely on this subject. Anna chairs the Education Taskforce and is deeply involved in the transformation through education work of LawtechUK, helping to establish the LawtechUK Hub and Training Centre.
Barclays Eagle Labs
Chris is Lawtech Director at Barclays Ventures, focussed on expanding the lawtech ecosystem across the UK and internationally, including through the successful Eagle Labs project.
Chris works with law firms, startups and a range of leaders across the public and private sector on lawtech and wider sector innovation and has extensive insight into the sector and its development and opportunities. He has a background in law and tech companies, including legal COO roles, and is passionate about reengineering legal services – change he is advancing through his work, for the benefit of the UK market and beyond. Chris is closely involved in developing the Lawtech Sandbox and serves on its Steering Board.
Law Commissioner for Commercial &
Common Law, Law Commission
Sarah is Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law at the Law Commission of England and Wales. Sarah’s early career was as an IT consultant with Accenture, and she has a keen interest in the intersection of law and technology, having focused much of her academic work on this.
Previously Professor of Private Law at the University of Bristol and Professor of the Law of Obligations at the University of Oxford, Sarah has a close involvement with the active lawtech community in Bristol and Bath. Sarah is committed to ensuring the law meets the needs of business and wider society and brings both a real-time and forward looking lens to this. Digital trade is a current focus, as well as the treatment of intangibles, smart contracts, digitised material and distributed ledger technology. Sarah sits on the LawtechUK Jurisdiction Taskforce and is contributing to the Lawtech Sandbox.
Co-founder & former CEO Legal Zoom,
CEO of BizCounsel, Inc.
Brian co-founded LegalZoom, one of the world’s most successful lawtech companies and the first legal ‘unicorn’, and is now scaling BizCounsel to address legal needs for growing businesses in the US. Brian brings entrepreneurial, business and scaling experience from a leading jurisdiction.
He has deep knowledge of the legal sector, and investor insights from his time as CEO and Chairman of Legal Zoom, which raised over $750M from venture capital and private equity during his 18-year tenure. Prior to starting Legal Zoom in 2000, Brian practiced corporate law at Sullivan & Cromwell and served as Assistant Vice President at Oaktree Capital Management. Brian earned his juris doctor degree from UCLA School of Law.
General Counsel, Vodafone Group Plc
Rosemary is Group General Counsel and Company Secretary of Vodafone Group Plc and a member of the Vodafone executive committee. Rosemary is a consistent advocate for innovation and technology through her GC roles to date and through a range of wider sector initiatives.
Rosemary brings business and client perspective to the Panel, including through her NED experience at HSBC and EY. Rosemary initiated and chaired the Investment Taskforce whose work has evolved into the development of the Lawtech Sandbox, with which Rosemary is closely involved; establishing and chairing the Business Unit to provide expert support and mentoring to participants, and facilitate live testing.
CEO, Legl and CrowdJustice
Julia is the founder of Legl and CrowdJustice, two values-led lawtechs established in order to simplify and improve access to legal services. Multi-award winning, she is widely recognised for her work, especially as the FT’s Legal Innovator of the Year.
Her accolades also include CityAM’s Digital Innovators Powerlist, Legal 500s Outstanding Innovator Award, Marie Claire’s Future Shaper and by Debrett as one of the most influential people in law. Julia previously worked as a lawyer at Linklaters, and subsequently led the United Nations’ work on online dispute resolution; she advocates for change in the sector through technology and also in respect of gender equality. Julia brings her entrepreneurial experience to the Panel as a trailblazer in lawtech and a challenger of the status quo. Julia was one of the early contributors to the work of the Panel through the Investment Taskforce, and is involved in developing the Lawtech Sandbox.
Technology Advisor to the
Lord Chief Justice
Richard is the world’s most cited author on the future of legal services. He is President of the Society for Computers and Law, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute, and, since 1998, has been Technology Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.
Richard has written ten books, his work has been translated into 18 languages and he has been invited to speak on lawtech in over 60 countries. In the 1980s, he wrote his doctorate on AI and the law at Oxford. Richard is a founding member of the Panel, having identified the opportunity for cross sector leadership in 2017. He chairs the LawtechUK Commercial Dispute Resolution Taskforce, focusing on online dispute resolution, and leads the development of Remote Courts Worldwide.
Sir Geoffrey Vos
Chancellor of the High Court
Sir Geoffrey is Chancellor of the High Court, and from 11 January 2021 he will take up his new role as Master of the Rolls. He will be the second most senior judge in England and Wales, as well as head of civil justice.
Sir Geoffrey is committed to enhancing the role of technology, both in the UK and globally, in dispute resolution, the delivery of legal services, and the advancement of access to justice and the rule of law. Sir Geoffrey helped establish the Panel as the Lawtech Delivery Panel in 2017 and chairs LawtechUK’s Jurisdiction Taskforce, responsible for delivering the Legal Statement on Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts.
The Ministry of Justice representative on the LawtechUK Panel, once appointed will actively participate and advocate for transformation of the legal sector for the benefit of society and the economy.
This landmark statement seeks to address legal uncertainty by recognising cryptoassets as tradable property and smart contracts as enforceable agreements under English law. It takes significant steps to address uncertainty, answering critical questions as to their classification and characterisation. By providing investors with increased confidence of their rights, the statement helps to provide a dependable foundation for mainstream utilisation of cryptoassets and smart contracts.