Coding for good: Freshfields wins 24-hour hackathon
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been announced as the winner of a 24-hour hackathon that saw 150+ coders work through the night on Friday (18 March) to build solutions for Hackney Community Law Centre.
Organised by Legal Geek, which, led by founder Jimmy Vestbirk is building a ‘disruptor’ law tech community through a series of events, the LawTech Hackathon saw teams battle it out to conceive, build and pitch technical solutions for current issues that affect the delivery and access to legal services in the London borough and beyond.
With entries from firms and organisations including Mishcon de Reya, Neota Logic and Softools, the winner was Milos Kresojevic, enterprise architect at Freshfields, with a tool that quickly identifies legal need and enables users to access advice and open a case online. Runners up included an AI automated SMS virtual receptionist and an SMS alert system.
Solutions were judged by a five-strong panel that included Matthew Ryder QC from Matrix Chambers, who was lead counsel on a number of Edward Snowden hearings. Ryder QC said: “It was fascinating to be part of Legal Geek’s hackathon and watch creative, clever minds in both law and tech spend a whole night, coding and coming up with great apps and ideas for a community law centre in Hackney. It’s yet another sign that London – already a global legal hub – is really embracing the potential of new law tech projects.”
Hackney Community Law Centre will now test the products, which may be used as a pilot by other law centres in the UK.
Vestbirk said: “There is a huge community of startups, coders and designers in Hackney, however there are also many issues delivering and accessing legal services in the Borough. The LawTech community is seeking to help the most vulnerable people in the community by solving these issues with technology.
“The main problem faced is that 50% of clients drop out after one meeting for a variety of cultural, social and language reasons. We thought that more developers and coders need to be involved in LawTech disruption to combat this problem and the hackathon is a creative and effective way to do this.”
Photographs of the event are on a dedicated Facebook page “Law for Good” Hackathon