The Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) is looking to position Singapore as the legal tech hub of Asia, building on a programme launched earlier this year to attract, support and in many cases fund start-ups, and capitalising on a new UK government international legal services drive that puts Singapore at the heart of its plans.
SAL is the promotion and development agency for the legal industry in Singapore, representing lawyers across the private practice, in-house legal and government sectors, with around 13,000 members.
In July the body launched its Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP) to encourage legal tech companies to set up in Singapore and use the sovereign city-state as a gateway to Asia. FLIP gives startups the opportunity to access a co-working incubator and the programme also includes an accelerator phases for more promising startups with scaleable and sustainable business models.
Startups in the accelerator are appointed mentors and given access to pre-seed funding of S$50,000.
That initiative has been given a turbo boost by the announcement on 5 October that Singapore has been chosen as the centre of the UK Government’s ‘Legal Services are GREAT’ campaign, which will target stronger links with emerging and established markets across the world and “cement the UK’s reputation as the world’s pre-eminent legal centre.”
Speaking to Legal IT Insider at the Legal Geek conference on 17 October, SAL’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer Paul Neo (second from right in the photo above) said: “We hope to make Singapore a hub for legal tech in Asia – it’s an unclaimed space. A lot is happening in China but because it happens in Mandarin, there is a massive language barrier.”
He added: “Singapore is a common law jurisdiction so a lot of the technology developed for our use can be used in other common law countries.”