The Manchester Law & Technology Initiative, a unique consortium bringing together Law Firms and Academics, was among the winners of the British Legal Technology Awards 2019 (BTLA), organised by Netlaw Media. The winners of these prestigious awards were announced Thursday 14 November 2019 at a ceremony attended by the legal sector elite, held at the Leonardo Royal London St Paul's hotel in central London.
The ‘Alliance of the Year Award’ recognises legal service providers and legal suppliers who have delivered excellence in collaboration between all parties. This category highlights sharing and complimenting best practice, looking outward and not inwards in terms of process, for the delivery of excellence in internal and external client services.
The announcement of the BLTA winners followed a rigorous vetting process, undertaken over several months, overseen by a 21-strong independent expert judging panel comprised of IT heads from several international law firms, professors and consultants who specialise in the legal sector. Judges were very impressed with the effectiveness of the teamwork between law firms and academics, giving insights to both sides about the opportunities for collaboration.
Judges commented that, although this is a long-term project, students, academics and law firms have already - in its first year - seen the benefits of bringing legal and technology together on university courses, projects at law firms and accessing public funds for research.
Professor Claire McGourlay, Director of External Relations in the School of Social Sciences, who attended the awards ceremony with Rachel Kenyon, the University Business Engagement Lead for LegalTech, who manages the Initiative, said: “This award recognises the achievement of bringing together a number of law firms to work in partnership with each other and with academia to establish a unique platform of expertise in this emerging sector. We were proud to attend the ceremony with our partner firms; especially as this was the first time an academic institution has participated in the awards.”
Find out more about the initiative here.