Bristol and Bath area is the place to be for LegalTech, new report shows

By Nick Batten on 16 March, 2021

The impact of technology driving innovation in the West of England’s legal sector is the focus of the ‘Bristol & Bath LegalTech Report’ which was launched earlier this month (11th March).

Commissioned by the Bristol Law Society, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Bristol+BathLegalTech – the report provides analyses of the region’s strengths in LegalTech and innovation and sets out recommendations for growing the sector.

LegalTech is the use of technology and software to provide and aid legal services. It offers huge opportunities for legal firms to adapt and become more efficient in how they work and provide services.

Regional strategy firm Whitecap Consulting worked with local experts to conduct the analysis; engaging with key stakeholders across the legal and tech sectors. The report was sponsored by Invest Bristol & Bath, WECA’s inward investment and international trade arm.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • Legal sector employment is 1.6 times the national average outside London
  • 478 legal businesses operate in the West of England – with an estimated Gross Value Added (GVA) of £581m
  • 26 of the UK’s top 100 law firms have a presence in the region
  • More than 750 roles in ‘legal technology’ have been identified in the region within law firms and LegalTech firms
  • 1,192 law students graduate each year, equating to 4.4% of the region’s total graduates: higher than the UK average (3.9%)

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said, “This report shows that the West of England is the place for LegalTech in the UK. It’s easy to see why, with our globally recognised tech and creative sectors fusing with legal and professional services to revolutionise how clients are advised and firms operate to create the jobs of the future.

“The data and insights in this report are not only valuable for our region but for the entire country, being the first comprehensive survey of LegalTech in the post-Covid world. With such a strong cluster in Bristol and Bath, I look forward to us welcoming more talent and new businesses to the region soon.”

Steve West, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, added, “This report recognises the unique opportunity for LegalTech businesses based in our region. Combined with the existing strength of our tech and professional service sectors and our long history of innovation, this report demonstrates that we are well-positioned to lead digital transformation and create the future of LegalTech.”

The Bristol & Bath LegalTech report is available to download here.