Fastest-growing law firm brand in Asia Pacific named

AU$27 million invested in UK lawtech start-ups... New brain-scan tech could detect courtroom liars...

Fastest-growing law firm brand in Asia Pacific named
Fastest-growing law firm brand in Asia Pacific named
Herbert Smith Freehills is the fastest-growing law firm in Asia Pacific, showing the biggest rise in the Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index for 2017.

While Baker McKenzie was named the biggest law firm brand in the region, Herbert Smith Freehills maintained its third place position but increased its score in the index to 79 from 66 last year.

"Asia and Australia are central to our firm's strategy and heritage and to our clients' businesses, and our goal is to deliver consistent, high-quality advice in every part of this region," said Sue Gilchrist, the firm's joint Managing Partner, Asia and Australia.

She paid tribute to the firm’s people for their hard work in the region.

"We are also proud of our innovations in legal service delivery, such as new centres for our Alternative Legal Services (ALT) business in Shanghai and Melbourne," added Ms. Gilchrist.

AU$27 million invested in UK lawtech start-ups
The lawtech sector is receiving large funding in the UK with many of the statups having been founded by lawyers.

The Law Society Gazette reports that £16 million (equivalent to AU$27 million today) of funding has been received by the UK lawtech sector in the past 18 months.

However, Reuters and Legal Geek research suggests that lawtech should be a larger industry given the size of the legal market.

“The UK has become a global leader in fintech, but people do not often talk about lawtech in the same way,” said Legal Geek’s Jimmy Vestbirk.

Most (87 per cent) of UK lawtech firms are aimed at the business sector and 45 per cent were started by lawyers.   

New brain-scan tech could detect courtroom liars
New technology could make it harder for lies to be told in court according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.

"The technology measures the electrical brain activity of defendants and witnesses, and should improve the legal system's ability to determine who is telling the truth and who is not," said Law Professor Francis Shen, the study's lead author and director of the Neurolaw Lab, a unique collaborative at the University exploring the legal implications of neuroscience.

The idea of using neuroscience in courts has been in discussion for around two decades but the new study suggests that the application is a step closer.

The study includes results from multiple experiments examining the effect of neuroscientific evidence on subjects' evaluation of a fictional criminal fact pattern, while manipulating the strength of the non-neuroscientific evidence.

Manipulating expert evidence and the strength of the non-neuroscientific facts against the defendant, it was discovered that the neuroscientific evidence was not as powerful a predictor as the overall strength of the case in determining outcomes.

"Our new interdisciplinary research is exciting because it's some of the first to empirically test how this would work in practice."

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