Deloitte teams up with PhD tech students to solve ‘future problems’ in the legal sector

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By Legal Cheek on

Tackle areas ripe for development including AI and blockchain

Deloitte has teamed up with a group of PhD students to launch a series of new “deep tech” start-ups that the Big Four player hopes will help go on to solve “future problems” within the legal sector.

The accountancy giant announced this week it has entered into a partnership with Conception X, a Barclays-backed nine-month entrepreneurship programme which helps PhD students create tech start-ups in tandem with their degree.

The new tie-up sees students paired with mentors from across Deloitte Legal, Deloitte Ventures and other streams of the wider Deloitte accountancy firm, who will help PhD-ers identify application areas for nascent technology use.

In return, Deloitte says its experts will improve their understanding of new technology and gain foresight into how legal services and other businesses are likely to be disrupted in the future.

According to Deloitte, the areas of “deep tech” research that can be applicable to the legal profession include “ensuring algorithms adopt strategies that are not lawbreaking”; “the creation and implementation of blockchain-based identity management systems”; or “using AI to analyse company structures to suggest optimum productivity”.

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Chris Hardman, partner sponsor and lead for corporate and commercial law at Deloitte Legal, said:

“Combining students’ deep technology expertise and problem solving skills with the vast industry knowledge of our legal and other professionals makes for a compelling collaboration.”

He added: “Together with Conception X, Deloitte Legal is looking to shape the future of law through research and development, working closely with the brightest minds in the country to create, grow and commercialise transformational solutions for the profession and beyond.”

The first two cohorts have seen the start-ups incorporated by PhD teams, collectively raising a total of £5 million and generating revenue of £2 million.

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