The Regulatory Response Unit (RRU) was convened by LawtechUK alongside the Lawtech Sandbox, in response to feedback and research regarding barriers to innovation in law surrounding regulation. Many in the legal and technical community lack confidence with the sense of a highly regulated sector, intricate regulatory regime, and plethora of regulators and professional bodies. Add to this other regulatory regimes with which lawtech intersects and you have contributing factors for hampered innovation.
We saw this as understandable but unnecessary. There is a blue ocean of opportunity for innovation in law, with an array of exciting challenges ripe to be addressed, broad markets waiting to be served, and regulators keen to support responsible technology and innovation.
The RRU was established to tackle these barriers to legal innovation head on, providing a fast response forum for lawtech pioneers in the Lawtech Sandbox to receive targeted input and advice, to address boundary issues between regulatory regimes and to provide an environment for regulators collectively to consider market issues and opportunities as well as their own learning.
This has been a historic gathering towards a shared aim.
We identified early on the opportunity to demystify the regulatory landscape through a simple tool showing lawtech pioneers at a glance which activities fall within legal services regulations and which regulators are relevant where. There are many activities that do not implicate UK legal services regulation at all, for example contract drafting and giving legal advice. The tool seeks to demonstrate this and provide a jumping off point for lawtechs in their research and product conversations. We also identified through the process how few differences there are between the regimes within the three jurisdictions of the UK and the opportunity this presents for cross-UK provision of lawtech.
We launch this tool as a first iteration built collaboratively with the RRU, in short order during the Lawtech Sandbox Pilot.
Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition at the Financial Conduct Authority and Chair of the Regulatory Response Unit, comments: “The purpose of the regulatory navigation tool is to bring greater confidence and support to those innovating in the law, in direct response to market feedback on barriers to progress. To have so many regulators come together to this end is a demonstration of the significance of this initiative, the wider market opportunity and the help available.”
We are delighted to launch the tool and are grateful for the pro bono advice, feedback, design support and other input received from experts and lawtechs in its production. We look forward to feedback and suggestions from those who use it and how it could be improved. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.