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.
- 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 technology
- After the conclusion of the RFP, Jur was chosen as the delivery partner for the feasibility study on the SME Dispute resolution Platform
- Amongst the partners of the initiative are researchers from Oxford University, Oxford Computer Consultants and Resolve Disputes Online
- The 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 £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.
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!