Driving the future of law: Dentons’ Toronto and Singapore offices join forces to support the Global Legal Hackathon

As a constant innovator, Dentons was proud to have its lawyers in Toronto and Singapore join forces to participate in the largest legal hackathon in history. The Global Legal Hackathon, which took place in 40 cities across six continents, was an intense 51-hour sprint to create new legal technology.

Our lawyers were instrumental in local planning, and participated as mentors and judges, which helped to promote a deeper understanding of legal technology.

From 23 – 25 February 2017, teams of technology developers, lawyers and businesspeople from around the world competed in the event at dozens of local venues in cities and countries around the world. This included New York, Dubai, London, Dublin, Berlin, Hong Kong and Brazil for instance, which were connected by live-streaming, social media and dedicated event platforms.

Dentons Canada was the venue host for the Toronto event, which kicked off Friday at 4:00pm with welcoming remarks, a look at the legal technology landscape, and the rules for the hackathon. Registrants then networked and formed teams, whose task was to develop a viable prototype, business plan, competitive analysis, and target first-100 customer base for a new legal technology over the course of the weekend.

On Sunday night, the teams pitched and demonstrated their products to a panel of four judges, who awarded first, second and third place certificates. The winning Toronto team, Trademark Pro, developed a digital platform that can search and score logos for trademark infringement, and was entered into a second round of judging.

In Singapore, the event welcomed six teams comprised of a diverse group of people with different skill sets. The teams explored various solutions to different “pain points” in the legal industry to figure out how to make workflows and businesses more efficient.

Our pioneering group of lawyers and FLIP participants from Dentons Rodyk Singapore, Valmiki Nair, Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim and Sean Gallagher provided mentorship and assistance to various teams throughout the course of the weekend. Senior Partner S. Sivanesan represented “senior practitioners” on the five-member judging panel for the Singapore event.

Sean also received the “Top Mentor” award for his work with various teams and dedication to see them succeed. Regall, the winning team from Singapore, developed a smart document organization with features such as visual representation of relationships between documents, and dynamic checklists. The team also moved into the second round of judging.

Hosting this event was a great opportunity for Dentons Canada, and fostered a real team effort with everyone pulling together to, once again, demonstrate the Firm’s commitment to innovation. Members of the Dentons Canada team spoke at the opening event and served as judges and mentors; they also worked closely with the global sponsors on planning the Toronto event.

Meanwhile, Dentons Rodyk Singapore’s participation in the event is an addition to the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP), where 18 Dentons Rodyk lawyers representing all practice groups have been exploring ways to drive innovation throughout the Firm since January 2018.

The global winner will be announced at a gala event in New York City on April 21.