50 representatives from institutions, leading legal publishers, law firms, company lawyers, LegalTech entrepreneurs, academics and students made presentations or participated in panel discussions.
The Congress was held on the 20, 21 and 22 of November in Madrid at the headquarters of EVERSHEDS SUTHERLAND and of the University CEU San Pablo.
Last month Madrid became the center of LegalTech with the celebration of the European LegalTech Congress. From the 20 to 22 of November, nearly 300 legal professionals from 33 countries and 5 continents attended the annual congress of the European Association of Legal Tech (ELTA) at the headquarters of EVERSHEDS SUTHERLAND and the University CEU San Pablo.
The sold-out event started with the association's annual members’ assembly, as well as two roundtables on LegalTech ethics and digital citizenship rights. In addition, María Eugenia Gay, Dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, and Tobias Heining, President of ELTA, officially signed the Barcelona Digital Rights Charter. With this agreement, ELTA adheres to ICAB's ambitious and necessary initiative to establish a legal framework that provides citizens with guarantees in human rights and technology.
The second day took place at the CEU San Pablo University with roundtables and presentations related to the three pillars of LegalTech: people, processes and platforms. The opening was done by Carlos del Valle, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Universidad San Pablo CEU, and by José María Alonso, Dean of the Madrid Bar Association. To be also highlighted are the lectures of Chantal Vermeire, by Wolters Kluwer, who detailed the results of a survey which concluded that "Technology is a key enabler for legal professionals to be future ready" Jim Leason from Thomson Reuters, who stated that "to find inefficiencies, law firms need to map processes and reimagine legal design in both processes and user experience, as well as in the result ", and José Angel Sandín from the Lefebvre Sarrut Group, who highlighted an outdated myth: "that lawyers are open to innovation" and a truth: "that Artificial Intelligence is the great disruptor".
Discussions on Friday focused on the application of LegalTech to the public sphere, with the interventions of Anabela Pedroso, Secretary of State of Justice of Portugal, and Mario Hernández Ramos, adviser to the cabinet of the Minister of Justice of Spain, as well as in the private sector with the presence of small and large organizations and representatives of the Latin LegalTech.
Tobias Heining, President of ELTA, was pleased with the result of the congress and stressed that "this was a very inspiring congress with 300 exceptional LegalTech professionals from all across Europe and beyond. Besides all technical progress, it is still the human factor that matters, if you want to accomplish change in a certain market. The implementation of LegalTech still is facing a lot of resistance and fears. Also, there is not a lack of suitable LegalTech solutions in the market but rather a lot of confusion and a lack of guidance. This is what ELTA will focus on to drive communications and transparency.” María Jesús González-Espejo, Vice President of ELTA and Associate Director of the Institute of Legal Innovation, commented that “although most of the operators in the legal sector have already become aware of the changes that are taking place in the environment and their impact on their professions, there are still not so many who are taking actions to deal with them successfully. We must continue working on it and the training and information that has been given in the course of this congress has certainly contributed a lot to all attendees.”
The organization of this Congress has been possible thanks to the support of Thomson Reuters and its HighQ platform, the Lefebvre Sarrut Group, and Wolters Kluwer, as well as the the law firms Eversheds Sutherland and CMS, as well as to the generosity of the companies AB InBev, LoopUp or Willis Towers Watson, of the appellation of origin Montilla Moriles or of the Madrid Bar Association (ICAM).
About ELTA: The European Association of LegalTech (ELTA) is an international organization focused on innovation and digital transformation of the legal sector. It is made up of law partners, academics, entrepreneurs and students from all over Europe. Among its activities organize formations and events. It also generates information and dialogue and collaborates with all kinds of public and private institutions to support the transformation of the European legal sector, as well as the development of a powerful European legal technology industry and, therefore, promotes the improvement of legal systems and greater efficiency in access to justice.
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