A Virtual Trade Mission
On 28-31 March 2022, Legal Geek hosted a Virtual Trade Mission to Singapore led by the Department of International Trade (DIT) in collaboration with Barclay’s Eagle Labs. The mission’s purpose was to bring together organisations from the UK and Singapore, creating a space for a free exchange of ideas and innovations following the signing of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKSDEA).
A historic agreement, the UKSDEA comprehensively “cuts red tape, making digital trade cheaper, faster and more secure for British and Singaporean countries”, according to Mike Freer, Minister for Exports, whose commencement address kicked off the first day of the virtual trade mission.
What is the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement?
As the first digitally focused trade agreement ever signed by a European country, the UKSDEA has broken new ground. The deal is designed to better connect two of the world’s most advanced digital trading nations, streamlining border processes, increasing efficiency with the introduction of e-signatures and e-contracts and dismantling barriers to digital trade that have been erected in recent decades. Here’s a rundown of the benefits the deal will bring:
- Introduction of binding commitments between trading partners, ensuring the safety of business and personal data, money and intellectual property
- Creation of trusted cross-border data flows
- Facilitation of increased information sharing
- Promotion of the development and use of trusted, safe and responsible lawtech, encouraging the exploration of new business opportunities by UK and Singaporean lawtech suppliers in each other’s countries
As International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan put it, the UKSDEA will “pave the way for a new era of modern trade”.
The Trade Mission – Day 1
The event’s first day saw an introduction from multiple speakers representing the DIT and Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information
After describing the unique relationship between the UK and Singapore, the speakers presented the facts of the agreement. These included talks by experts on the deal’s potential impact on UK companies, the reasons for its creation and the mechanics of how it works.
After these informative talks, attending UK-based lawtech companies were given the valuable opportunity to ask the experts how the UKSDEA could specifically benefit their operations.
The Trade Mission – Day 2
The second day of the Virtual Trade Mission was split into two parts: Firstly, attending Lawtech companies had the chance to listen to a ’reverse pitch’ from the Singaporean Ministry of Law, which is actively seeking partners to help with its goal of digitally transforming the Singaporean legal system.
In the session’s second half, the Lawtech companies were each given the opportunity to spend three minutes pitching their business to the Ministry of Law and attending Singaporean customers.
This session provided a platform for collaboration between companies and organisations on opposite sides of the world, bringing together people who share the common goal of improving the Singaporean and British legal systems by increasing digital trade.
Amongst the attending UK companies were many of our wonderful Legal Geek sponsors. Here’s a summary of who they are and the great work they do:
Founded in 2015, Clarilis is a matter-based drafting platform that allows lawyers to automate contracts with greater speed and efficiency, reducing the time needed to produce suites of documents by 90%. Their speed and accuracy make Clarilis the number one automation choice for complex legal drafting.
Believing there should be an easier and faster way to create, review and manage contracts, CEO and Founder Tom Dunlop created Summize in 2018. The company produces intelligent contract summaries, improving workflows and accelerating the contract process without replacing lawyers or existing technology stacks.
Definely was co-founded by one of the few registered blind lawyers practicing as a solicitor in London, with the original aim of increasing the accessibility of legal documents to those with visual impairments. However, this innovation quickly solved issues faced by all lawyers, thus Definely became a leading legal tech solutions company used by some of the world’s largest law firms.
Luminance was founded in 2015 when mathematics students at the University of Cambridge created one of the world’s most advanced pieces of technology for legal process automation. Using AI, Luminance builds an understanding of legal documents in any language and uses this understanding to help with a number of tasks, from flagging anomalies to reviewing incoming contracts.
The Virtual Trade Mission facilitated a free-flowing dialogue between UK and Singaporean parties, perfectly illustrating the goal of the Digital Trade Agreement: to bring two historically great service-based economies together again, after years of protectionism put up unnecessary barriers to international collaboration and idea-sharing.
Join us at Legal Geek North America
Legal Geek is going on tour! From 16th – 23rd June, we’re bringing together the best European businesses on a three-stop journey to New York, Toronto and Chicago. Each event will bring together innovative change-makers for a fascinating evening of short talks, networking and, of course, pizza and beers! Get your tickets now and come and join us in North America.