Legal Geek – A Photo Montage (Part 1)

People sometimes ask me what I like about the annual Legal Geek conference, the obvious first answer is: it’s a lot of fun. But there is more to it than that.

The best way to answer the question is actually to borrow the words of one of the speakers yesterday from the session on change in the legal market that Artificial Lawyer MC-ed. Denise Nurse, CEO of Halebury, gave a great speech about diversity and change. One comment she made really resonated with me, she said: ‘Come to work as your whole self.’

Denise Nurse, CEO of Halebury – ‘Be your whole self.’

I.e. be real, be yourself – and that is not always easy in big social/commercial situations like conferences. At Legal Geek it felt very much like you can just be who you are, whoever you are, and that’s great.

You can stand on stage and say exactly what you think – and guess what, when you tell people what you really think, (although some people will disagree), you get way more positive engagement than just trotting out the standard lines. People can tell when someone else is being real with them. It’s a very human thing.

If you want to break the rules, like The Rt Hon Lord Richard Keen – you can too, he decided that he’d go against the suggestion that you don’t wear a tie to the Legal Geek event in Shoreditch. Ironically, it was perfectly in tune with the event: being real.

OK, all good. But what happened there?

There were literally dozens of speakers, with a main stage, a GC stage and a smaller side stage, with a constant buzz of speakers covering everything from mental health in the law, to regulation that will help legal tech, to how to focus on legal process problems first to find the best tech to solve the problem, to how to get investment if you are a start-up, to how GCs need to approach tech, to culture and diversity of all kinds in the law and legal tech world, to education and preparing students for the new world, and much, much more.

It’s about 6-ish AM as I start to write this and I think I left Legal Geek last night at about 10.30PM after a few beers during the amazing Law Rocks show, sponsored by HighQ – some of those bands really did rock. So, forgive me if I just show you a montage, for now, of some of the people and speakers. In some ways this is the best representation of the event in any case. They are in a sort of chronological order, mapping the day. Enjoy.

The sign of the times…!
Sticker exchange with Juro’s founder, Richard Mabey. (Note to tech co.s, people love stickers!)
Catching up with legal AI co. Eigen in the vendor area. That’s Tom Cahn, head of communications, on the right. (Bloke in the middle, no idea, but I like his T-shirt.)
That was a very large audience! Filled a factory floor.
Here’s Jimmy….! The man himself, who made all of this possible. Incredible work, growing this from a start-up conference three years ago into an entire ecosystem.
George Biggar, of Taylor Wessing, who rowed across the Atlantic and who spoke with great openness about the need to help people with mental health challenges at work, especially in the legal world – which can be a tough and sometimes harsh environment.
The Rt Hon Lord Richard Keen – perhaps the biggest rebel of the day – wore a tie! – and spoke about the need for regulation to support legal tech and also for students to be properly prepared for the way the legal world is being transformed by technology.
Christina Blacklaws, President, Law Society, who talked about her journey through the law and A2J. She also told the audience about the Law Tech commission on ethics she is chairing, and also the Government-supported LawTech Delivery Panel, which she also chairs (more on this tomorrow).
Ivy Wong of Lexoo and Joanna Goodman, journalist, talking about women in legal tech.
Meeting up with a group of Russian legal tech pioneers – make love, not robots….! I think they were from
A very happy Richard Goold of EY and Nilema Bhakta-Jones of legal tech startup Alacrity.
Legal tech guru – Marie Elisabeth Bernard.
Great to catch up with these two very busy founders of Kira Systems: Noah Waisberg and Alex Hudek. Both looking delighted – as they should be, given the company’s big success and funding recently.
Noah, as always, had some great props for his talk. He threw a load of fake, plastic diamonds into the crowd, plus one actual real diamond, to illustrate the point that a lot of legal tech marketing is hype….but, that there is some real stuff out there. (No prizes for guessing who Kira thinks is the real thing… 🙂
Your friendly, neighbourhood legal regulator, Richard Collins, explains that the SRA is there to provide the framework to help legal tech thrive and succeed.
Thomson Reuters analysis of the legal AI world’s growth.

More pics in part 2.