Lawtech and legal aid: Law Society’s spring budget wishlist
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Lawtech and legal aid: Law Society’s spring budget wishlist

Grants for small firms to invest in lawtech and funds to fix courts closed because of concerns about reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete are on the Law Society’s wish list for the spring budget. The Society’s 10-page submission, for the budget on 6 March, also stresses legal services’ £60bn annual contribution to the economy.

The submission repeats previous calls on the government to remove an ‘investment penalty’ by extending corporation tax relief on investments to legal partnerships.

On training and recruitment, it proposes broadening the National Skills Fund to provide retraining for employees and more support for legal businesses, especially SMEs, to take on apprentices.

A lawtech grant scheme could be modeled on Singapore’s Tech-celebration for Law programme, the Society suggests. This provides small and medium sized firms with up to 80% of the first-year costs of adopting LawTech.

On legal aid, the Society urges an immediate injection of £30m in criminal legal aid to make up for the shortfall in meetings the recommendations of the independent Bellamy review. Meanwhile £11.3m more for civil legal aid could prevent the system’s collapse while the ongoing review takes place.

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