Slaughter and May launches legal tech programme

New legal tech programme to benefit clients as well as the entrepreneurial community

Slaughter and May, the international law firm, today announces the launch of Slaughter and May Collaborate, its first legal tech programme. Collaborate has been created to enhance the firm’s engagement with the best new legal tech developers, to help shape the development of legal tech and to identify future efficiencies in the delivery of legal services more generally.

The programme will also benefit Slaughter and May’s client base and includes a client advisory panel, consisting of representatives from the in-house legal teams at GlaxoSmithKline, John Lewis Partnership, Santander, Standard Chartered and Vodafone.  The advisory panel will enable the firm to hear about process issues and technologies that are of interest to its clients, enable clients to explore new tools and technologies through the firm and will also provide the programme’s cohort members with the opportunity to engage in discussions directly with major in-house legal teams. 

Slaughter and May has a strong track record of innovation in respect of legal tech, having first tested and helped develop Luminance, the successful Al due diligence tool which has since been widely adopted by many leading law firms around the world. Last month, the firm also selected a third cohort of six further businesses to join its technology entrepreneurs programme, Fast Forward.   

The success of Fast Forward and the experience gained from it have helped in the development and subsequent launch of Collaborate, but the two programmes are very different. Whereas Collaborate is focussed on bringing together private practice, in house teams and tech suppliers to support and shape the development of legal tech, Fast Forward focusses on (non legal) technology entrepreneurs and primarily offers them legal support and model legal documents in areas such as technology, financial services, intellectual property, data, employment, competition and company law. 

In its first cohort the Collaborate programme will select around six legal tech businesses who are looking to take the next step in their evolution. Collaborate’s benefits include access to the firm’s lawyers for product testing and feedback, its information security team, a sandbox environment, dummy data for the cohort to use in testing their products, collaboration spaces and other value add services. Each cohort member will also be given two dedicated Slaughter and May mentors - a member of the firm’s Knowledge or Innovation teams and a practising lawyer from a practice area that is relevant to that cohort member’s business.

An industry expert panel will join the client advisory panel to bring valuable insight into the programme. The expert panel includes Dr Anna Donovan, Vice Dean (Innovation) for the Faculty of Laws at UCL, Catherine Bamford, founder of legal engineers, BamLegal and Andrew Burgess, strategic adviser on AI, RPA and innovation.

Collaborate will be led by partners Anna Lyle-Smythe and Nilufer von Bismarck, supported by Head of Innovation, Jane Stewart, Head of Knowledge, Alexandra Woods and Senior Technology Lawyer, Natalie Donovan - all of whom have played a key role in the design and creation of the programme.

Anna Lyle-Smythe, partner at Slaughter and May, said: “The legal tech sector is a huge growth story, with one of its most positive impacts being the way it is helping the wider legal community to fully embrace innovation. We are delighted to be launching Collaborate to support this growth story and enable our clients to take advantage of it.”

Nilufer von Bismarck, partner at Slaughter and May, added: “Many of our clients are innovating and using technology to transform how they operate as businesses, including in their legal operations, and it is key that we are alongside them in that journey. Our programme will provide a forum for us and our clients to work with legal tech developers and entrepreneurs to foster dialogue, progress, and opportunities to collaborate.”

Jane Stewart, Head of Innovation at Slaughter and May, said: “What differentiates this programme and what we are most excited about is the level of involvement and partnership with our clients.  We are offering legal tech pioneers access to our clients and an opportunity for clients to engage with leading legal tech entrepreneurs to shape, develop and finesse these technologies together.” 

Interested applicants can find out more about the programme, and apply, at