Wavelength Law wins Online Court hackathon

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By Legal Cheek Reporter on

Civil claims tool wows judges

A firm of data experts, technologists and lawyers has won a 24-hour law hackathon held to generate ideas for the proposed new Online Court that is being developed by the Judiciary of England and Wales to handle small claims.

Wavelength Law impressed judges, who included IT law guru Professor Richard Susskind, with an invention that took users automatically through the various stages of a civil claim.

The Society for Computers and Law (SCL), which co-organised the event with legal technology community Legal Geek and the Judiciary of England and Wales, described the concept as going “from a diagnosis of a chest complaint in a doctor’s surgery through each stage of a possible claim against a landlord, using slick ‘pathfinder’ technology and voice interaction with COLIN (the Courts OnLINe help agent).”

SCL went on:

It was imaginative and innovative and a deserved winner. The amount of progress made on the concept in the 24 hours was astonishing, even though it is clearly such an ambitious concept that 24 months might be needed to develop even a prototype.

The winning entry narrowly pipped famously tech-savvy megafirm Pinsent Masons to the first-place gong. Pinsents came in a close second with its ‘argument builder’ that translates difficult legal concepts into ordinary language that a litigant-in-person might understand.

Further awards were given for ‘Best Teamwork’, which went to Australian law firm Gilbert + Tobin, and ‘Coolest Tech’, which was won by a team from Cambridge University for its case prediction decision tree. Meanwhile, a team from UCL won the award for ‘Most Original Concept’.

The competition was hosted by the University of Law, running through the night on Saturday. Attendees included two past presidents of the SCL, Sir Brian Neill, 93, and Sir Henry Brooke, 80.

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Previously: Richard Susskind tells law schools to future-proof students with tech modules