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LawtechUK chooses Jur as the Delivery Partner for the Dispute Resolution Platform
4 min read
Litigation fees cost SMEs £11.6bn each year in the UK and late payments are leading to the closure of 50,000 small businesses a year. The UK Government has placed a strong emphasis on defeating this issue, with an initiative that will lead to the development of a SME Dispute Resolution Platform. Jur has been selected as a partner to deal with the foundation of the platform.   Key facts: On June 2020, LawtechUK has run a Request For Proposal (RFP) to select delivery partners for the SME Dispute Resolution Platform as part of the work program to innovate the legal industry in the UK through technologyAfter the conclusion of the RFP, Jur was chosen as the delivery partner for the feasibility study on the SME Dispute resolution PlatformAmongst the partners of the initiative are researchers from Oxford University, Oxford Computer Consultants and Resolve Disputes OnlineThe platform should address the issue of late payments in the UK SME business environment A working programme to innovate justice in the UK LawtechUK is a UK government-backed initiative, delivered through a collaboration between Tech Nation, the Lawtech Delivery Panel and funded by the UK Ministry of Justice, providing cross-sector awareness and leadership, fostering transformative innovation and a targeted work programme that will help transform the UK legal sector through tech.  Since the UK Government has recognized the imperative need for ‘digital transformation’ of the legal sector, LawtechUK has been working to create a climate that supports the development and use of lawtech, including potential changes in the legislative and regulatory framework. LawtechUK’s vision is expressed through a 4-steps work programme:  The creation of a Lawtech Sandbox, which is an R&D environment to innovate, test and learn, with government backing;the development of a Small-Medium Enterprise Dispute Resolution Platform, which will be a tech-enabled resolution tool for business; Setting up an Online Hub and Training Centre; Guidance and Toolkits to help professionals, people and the community to connect, learn and receive guidance.  Jur to pose the foundation for the SME Dispute Resolution Platform We are proud to announce that Jur, in consortium with Professors of Oxford University, Oxford Computer Consultants and RDO has been selected to pose the foundation of the feasibility study for a Small-Medium Enterprise Dispute Resolution Platform. We are thrilled to be part of such an initiative, as it proves that our work is observed and valued by the international community. We believe that this is a significant step for the blockchain industry as it is a key step to increasing cooperation with existing institutions. As part of the first phase of the project, Jur will join LawtechUK as a technical delivery partner to establish the user needs and the legal mechanisms for resolution and enforcement of dispute resolution. This includes technical design, timeline and business case for the development of a full dispute resolution system. Afterwards, we will proceed by developing a proof of concept to demonstrate the findings and outcomes of the feasibility study while supporting the business case. We are aware of the responsibility we carry in this delicate role and we are honoured to be in the first line shaping the new online justice sector thanks to this initiative by the UK Government. This initiative should set a benchmark for any country as the need to develop better solutions for justice systems is real across the globe. The legaltech ecosystem in UK is rising: find more information here The £2bn late-payment problem in UK's SME and how to solve it As stated in the Request For Proposal, SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy. Representing 99.9% of the UK’s 5.9 million businesses, they employ 16.3 million people and have a combined annual turnover of £2 trillion, which accounts for 52% of all private sector turnover. Whether driving growth, opening new markets or challenging the status quo through a new product or service, SMEs are essential to the UK’s growth story. However, total annual losses to small businesses due to legal problems are estimated at £40 bn. According to the data, over 1 million individuals in small businesses suffer ill health as a result of these legal problems. Looking specifically at debts, SMEs are chasing £50bn in late payments: Each SME is, on average, chasing £31,055 across five outstanding invoices at any one time, with invoice chasing taking SMEs on average an hour and a half of every working day. The issue is pervasive, with 93% of SMEs saying that chasing late payers was an issue. Source: LawtechUK The direct cost of late payments to small businesses is reported to be £2 billion and 71% of small business owners have been kept up at night by concerns about cash flow. The Open Justice Platform and Initiative This initiative belongs to Jur’s wider plan of Open Justice for providing a better online justice supporting individuals and small and medium enterprises over 166 jurisdictions worldwide. We are looking forward to starting this exciting journey together with our community!

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Launching the World’s First Multi-jurisdiction ODR Platform
Zug, 28th July 2020 Dear Community, After months of work and preparation, despite the COVID phase, we are really excited to publicly announce the Open Justice Platform. Originally named as the “Court Layer” in our whitepaper, the solution will be addressing a global problem in a radically new way, a use case made even more urgent by the COVID pandemic.  Let’s build the future of justice. The platform's initial release is scheduled for the end of Q3 of this year. This announcement has a different structure than the usual ones. Our goal is to give you a first overview of the context, reasons, and strategy of this release. More detailed information will be published over the next 3 months. Justice, as a multi-sided global problem In every country on the planet, the average time needed for getting one first instance judgment and its enforcement takes 600 days and costs around 25% of the value of the dispute. This is a sub-optimal situation today that most of us accept despite the huge losses it creates in terms of GDP, not to mention the human suffering that is associated with these injustices. This negative situation is getting even further enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dimension of the justice problem The Justice problem is global, multi-sided, and fragmented. It is not easy to estimate the size of this problem. Taking the UK jurisdiction as a reference, a recent analysis addressed some of these numbers and they are appalling. A similar approach could be taken for every other jurisdiction as well. Alongside our academic partners, we will be analyzing the data in a deeper way but it’s reasonable to say that the dimension of the problem is in order of several trillions per year (yes, you read that right). World’s first multi-jurisdiction Online Dispute Resolution.  What we propose:  A globally accessible and reliable judge for civil and commercial disputes. In  36 months from now, we want to have at least one Hub (i.e. Online Arbitration Chamber) in each one of 166 Countries where the legal framework we use is applicable (UNCITRAL Model Law). 30/60 days justice. Each Hub ensures dispute resolution of any kind (preferably targeting disputes under 1M USD value) in 30-60 days. In more complex cases (when technical consultancies are needed) it can take more. The digitalization of the process cuts the time and simplifies the bureaucracy. Affordable. The cost of this procedure is around 5% of the value of the dispute. This means that for a dispute of 100K USD of value, one or both of the parties pay 5K USD and in 30 days have a legally binding decision (an arbitration award). A unique global standard. Our model is made for being the same wherever you are. As an example, the Uber experience is roughly the same in Bangalore or in Rome or in Dubai. The car might change but the efficiency and reliability of the service is the same. A better equilibrium. In the last twelve months, we spoke with dozens of stakeholders at all levels (mostly policymakers, lawyers, arbitrators, legal counsels, CLOs, CEOs). We found an incredible response and we think that with our solution everyone gets advantaged. Governments reduce the problem of backlog in public courts. Lawyers are empowered to be more efficient. Current arbitration chambers might expand their reach to target more services that are currently uncovered. Decentralized in the features. The full trial is 100% online and enhanced in critical points by blockchain. For example, given a specific pool of arbitrators selected according to expertise, the selection is randomly generated through a DLT-based algorithm that ensures truly random selection. A peer-review system for providing, in case of need, an internal second step (or revision) of judgment and objective ongoing quality assessment of each. Advanced rating system to assess the quality/reputation of every single arbitrator, guaranteed thanks to a decentralized assessment mechanism that leverages game theory. Micro-Justice. We will keep expanding the work done on the Jur Beta Platform as R&D for addressing micro-sized claims that are not currently addressed in any way worldwide (e.g. disputes of 100 USD). Road to decentralization. We believe that in a 10-20 year timeframe new decentralized models and crypto-business models will be the leading ones. We think that justice is one sector that will benefit from decentralization. We are thrilled about the new milestone ahead and delighted to finally announce this. Stay tuned for more upcoming news! Don’t forget to check out the new landing page of the Open Justice Platform:
The Smart Guide to Legaltech Terms for Blockchain
Blockchain and legaltech have been on a collision-course for years.. This is bringing together two segments of society that weren’t all that well-acquainted in the past. Having trouble with some of the terms? Here’s a quick overview of some commonly used words from both the legal and blockchain space. Happy reading! The potential applications of blockchain technology to legal services are numerous. Below are some of the most common ones. Enter in the legaltech world with us! Let’s start with the basics: A glossary of Legaltech cannot start without mentioning: Smart Contract: a program that automatically executes a contract when triggered by a specified events. This is like a digital vending machine — if the pre-determined condition (in this case, a coin is put into the machine) is met, the vending machine releases control of an asset (in this case, a can of Pepsi). Smart contracts can be executed on a blockchain platform, like VeChain. The traditional vending machine is a smart contract early-adopter. Smart Legal Contracts: Self-executing agreements with terms and conditions traceable on an immutable blockchain. Smart legal contract platforms (eg. Jur, Openlaw, Clause) take more traditional legal contracts and automate them using code. https://youtu.be/tGsuRj_rkGk Decentralized: Lacking any centralized server or agency, significantly reducing the risk of breaches caused by bad actors, hacks or natural disasters.Blockchain: A decentralized, immutable ledger is used to record data or transactions across many computers, making data written to the chain transparent and permanent.dApps: A decentralized application, usually using a blockchain as part of their core product.Consensus: The agreement of all participants of the network on the validity of something. This is an important part of blockchains, as the method of consensus affects how secure, efficient, costly, and decentralized a platform is. If 51% consensus is reached, a Bitcoin transaction is considered valid. Now that we have that under control, let’s move on to some more advanced terminology: ADR (and ODR): Alternate Dispute Resolution platforms (and Online Dispute Resolution) replace the role of courts in mediation processes. They can act as a third-party to make a decision on a dispute and distribute contested funds via smart contracts (eg. Jur, Kleros).Litigation funding (or legal financing): In the current legal system, people hoping to fund high-profile lawsuits can receive funding from firms or groups of people hoping to earn interest on any damages received from a successful ruling. Tokenisation (making a product, asset, security, or liability into a token on the blockchain)enables plaintiffs to crowdsource litigation funding and automate the repayment of financing (eg. Jur).Trust accounting: A smart escrow ‘locks up’ digital assets so no party can access it until it released by a defined trigger event. The “power of attorney” can now become digital and transparent. This is how the Jur Beta Platform works. Evidence: Users can trace digital documents or media for evidence of contract versioning or proof of prior ownership (eg. Blocknotary).Certification: Institutions can issue certificates for bar qualifications and university degrees which can be verified by anyone. (eg. Blockcert).Paper documents: Important documents like property deeds can be stored on the blockchain, preventing loss or destruction (eg. Lantmateriet).Pro bono: Tokenised reward systems incentivize pro bono (free) legal work for low income or disadvantaged clients (eg. Legaler Aid).Fractional asset ownership: Token ownership makes it possible to “crowdsource” ownership of real-world assets like real estate or fine art (eg. Blocksquare).Predictive justice: Applications that use big data and AI to compare acurrent scenario to a database of previous court decisions and output a chance of success. Minority Report was a movie based on the idea of ‘predictive justice’ Computational Law: The capability of computers to automate some aspects of the law, particularly judicial decision making.Document analysis: A data collection technique that evaluates documents, grouping together key words and important pieces of information.Digital Signature: a mathematical or cryptographic method of presenting the authenticity of digital assets.Digital identity: online identity adopted by either a person or an electronic device.Application Programming Interface (API): A gateway to a program, protocol, or operating system. This makes it easy for other applications or users to “use” or integrate the application (e.g. logging into a third-party website using Facebook or Google account details). Jur’s API will allow other platforms to integrate parts of our decentralized legal ecosystem for easier adoption. That’s all for now! Use the knowledge just learned to get a better understanding of the nascent legaltech industry and help us building the legal decentralized ecosystem. Do you want to follow all the updates about Jur?