Last week, Ardi Melikian and Brian Brannigan of Verify 365 joined a delegate of UK legal tech businesses on a trade mission in Australia, attending the Legal Innovation & Tech Fest in Sydney and speaking with industry leaders and firms in Melbourne.  

Our Remarkable Lawtech Mission Began…

The trade mission began on Thursday, the 9th of May, when Brian attended a briefing at the British Consulate. Here, British Deputy Consul-General NSW Jonathan Cook shared his experiences working in Australia, highlighting the similarities and nuances between the two nations’ business cultures. Invest Regional NSW followed with an overview of the region, leading to an insightful fireside chat with Scott Richardson from Investment NSW, Sophie Gerber from Traction Rec and Simon Robinson from Think & Grow on market entry strategies. 

In the afternoon, the delegates visited Law Squared, gathering valuable insights on what Australian law firms seek in tech products, common challenges they face when onboarding new legal technology, and regulatory compliance issues that legal tech companies must navigate.

On Friday, the 10th of May, Brian headed to the Two International Towers to meet with Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers. Discussions were centred around hot topics such as AI, the prevalent use of legal tech by Australian businesses, and the challenges law firms encounter while servicing clients. Later, Ignite Partners, a Tech-Consulting company, presented their business offerings to the delegation, sharing their perspectives on successfully entering and sustaining a business in the ANZ and APAC markets. The day ended with a relaxing wind-down before the busy week ahead.

Networking and Connection Building at Legal Innovation & Tech Fest 2024 

Monday arrived swiftly, and Ardi joined Brian to exhibit at the Sydney Hilton, where Hannover Fairs Australia hosted the most highly regarded LEGAL INNOVATION & TECH FEST 2024. The eight British companies on the trade mission were well placed amongst exhibitors to greet delegates in an impressively visual UK legal tech zone display.

As the largest event of its kind in Australia, this year’s programme featured outstanding speakers and attendees from various sectors. Outside the exhibition hall, attendees could delve into discussions on adapting to generative AI, the future of legal operations, and security and information governance. The evening concluded with networking, drinks, and conversations among all delegates. Brian and Ardi networked with Richard Jones and Craig Kenna from the comprehensive legal business management platform Actionstep, a prominent partner of Verify 365 with a strong presence in Australia.

During day 2 of the Tech Fest, UK Justice Minister Mike Freer joined a panel on global legal tech insights, which also featured Giles Thompson from Avvoka, Rico Burnett from Morae Global, and John Wallace from Relativity and was expertly hosted by Terri Mottershead. The engaging discussion covered how the UK supports law tech development, the similarities and differences between the UK and Australian markets, and how law tech can enhance access to justice. After the discussion ended, Minister Freer walked through the Exhibition Hall and greeted all members of the UK Trade Mission at their stands, where warm discussions and insights were exchanged.

The day concluded with a reception at the British Consulate Sydney where Mike Freer and host Louise Cantillon reaffirmed their commitment to continued collaboration between the UK and Australian legal sectors. Justice Minister Mike Freer expressed pride in the UK’s legal services and world-leading reputation, emphasising the importance of sharing expertise globally. British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia Pacific Louise Cantillon welcomed the eight UK legal tech companies, praising their eagerness to engage with the Australian market. Many guests, partners and associated law industry supporters attended. The conversations followed were very energetic and inspirational for the Trade Mission Delegates, as they shared their experience and knowledge of the legal world in Australia.

Wednesday morning saw Brian and Ardi’s final event in the city. The UK law tech delegation met with legal innovation heads from law firms, Australian law techs and other experts for a roundtable at The College of Law Australia, hosted by Terri Mottershead. The discussions delved into the opportunities and challenges for technology in supporting people and processes effectively.  

Concluding the Trade Mission in Melbourne  

The Trade Mission delegates continued to Melbourne to participate with the Melbourne Legal tech firms. Thursday marked the final day of the Australia programme, packed with events in Melbourne that provided deep insights into Victoria’s legal tech environment. The day began with a discussion with Tanya Williams on how the UK government supports businesses in the region.  

This was followed by a visit to Invest Victoria, where delegates received an enlightening presentation on economic trends at both state and federal levels, along with a panel discussion on market entry and the local legal tech ecosystem. Brian then visited Lander & Rogers for a discussion on the Australian legal sector, their approach to legal tech innovation, and their incubator hub programme. He also met Courtney Blackman and Simon Davidson, who shared their expertise. The programme concluded with a networking session with local legal leaders, fostering more positive connections. 

Although it was a busy week for Verify 365, consultants Brian and Ardi found attending this fantastic event an absolute pleasure. The team at Verify 365 eagerly looks forward to following up on all the connections made throughout the week!