Clifford Chance Launches Legal Tech Incubator in Singapore

Global law firm Clifford Chance has launched Create+65, a new legal tech incubator, joining the likes of Allen & Overy and Mishcon de Reya.

The initiative is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and is in collaboration with the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP), which was created by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL). The incubator will be based in the South-East Asian business capital.

On one level this is a chance for the global law firm to get involved in legal tech incubation in a way it has not been able to do before, while for Singapore it’s another step that forms part of the city nation’s wider plan to rapidly improve its legal market via technology.

It’s also further proof that the incubator concept has support from major law firms.

One other aspect to the move is that it will likely help to strengthen Singapore’s position as a legal tech centre, something that is great for the global development of legal technology, but also a move that may worry some in other centres, including the UK, who see Singapore as a competitor legal centre, especially for commercial litigation work.

For example, several UK Government-backed initiatives supporting legal technology expressly mention the need to compete against other centres, with Singapore often mentioned as a case in point of places the UK needs to compete against. Clifford Chance is, as is well known, a UK-based law firm.

This suggests that global law firms, at least, very understandably want to take a global approach to legal technology and are not wedded to helping just one jurisdiction to grow via transformational technology.

Clifford Chance said: ‘Create+65 will bring together venture capitalists, startups, product owners and developers, universities and private institutions to share knowledge and develop and test new legal services tools and solutions for real-life business challenges.’

Create+65 will be part of the firm’s Innovation and Best Delivery Hub for Asia Pacific based in Singapore, and will play an important role in the firm’s global innovation programme focused on fostering ideas through collaboration, Clifford Chance Create, the firm added.

Singapore Managing Partner, Kai Schneider said: ‘We are very excited to be working with FLIP and start-ups to promote the latest thinking, methodologies and technology across the industry and challenge enshrined industry norms. In line with Singapore’s aspiration to be at the forefront of technology and innovation in the legal sector, Create+65 builds on our ongoing commitment to contribute to an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation as we anticipate the increasing pace of change.’

Paul Neo, Singapore Academy of Law’s Chief Operating Officer and creator of FLIP, added: ‘There is no escaping the growing demands required from the legal industry in this fast-changing digital world, and we want to ensure that innovators have the support and the environment they need in order to develop their solutions.’

‘We are happy to partner with Clifford Chance to build a community of like-minded, forward thinking industry players to facilitate the collaboration needed to effect lasting change,’ he concluded.

Participants who are invited to join Create+65 will have access to:

  • Insights from Clifford Chance and their clients on problem areas and opportunities where new technology solutions could be used to transform the way legal services are delivered
  • Feedback and mentoring from Clifford Chance and our clients on ideas and services that are in either conceptual or early stage development
  • ‘Cleaned’ data sets to help develop test solutions
  • Connect with potential investment and/or funding vehicles
  • Link up with other innovators to co-create
  • A collaborative workspace
  • Partner with Clifford Chance on developing a new legal technology solution to be rolled out to selected offices in the global network

If you would like to take part, (and this includes legal AI and legal automation startups), then register your interest here:

Naturally, this will mean having at least some of your team based in Singapore.