Sponsoring the Legal Tech in Leeds’ Hackathon

Sponsoring the Legal Tech in Leeds’ Hackathon

Alan Raison
4th April 2024

Home Insights Sponsoring the Legal Tech in Leeds’ Hackathon

Sponsoring the Legal Tech in Leeds’ Hackathon

The whole notion of genuinely multifunctional product development teams is a bit of a unicorn in the wild, and much more uncommon than it ought to be.

In a lot of organisations, the journey from spotting a need, to engaging with potential customers, is often split up among multiple teams or even sprawled across many siloed departments. This way of doing things can make the seamless melding of ideas and the smooth flow of innovation a bit of a pipedream.

Yet, when folks from different corners of the workplace are brought together under one roof for a bit of collaborative fun, it can spark some truly brilliant ideas and solutions, all centred around the customer. This kind of get-together can be quite the game-changer, often leaving everyone involved buzzing with inspiration.

This is why NewRedo are so proud to have sponsored Legal Tech in Leeds’ second Hackathon, held at Platform, Leeds, on Thursday March 14th.

The Hackathon was a prime example of multifunctional product development teams in action. By squeezing the product development lifecycle into just one day and one room, it showcased the amazing things that can happen when you put a bunch of bright minds together in a pressure cooker of creativity.

The Hackathon

The “day of innovation and collaboration” brought together legal professionals and software professionals to focus on finding a technology-based solution that could help to improve access to legal services.

Attendees assigned themselves the role of either a Developer, Business Analyst, UX, Legal Specialist, Student, or Expert Advisor upon signing up and securing their ticket. This enabled organisers to design teams that possessed a diversity of skills and experience, prior to the event.

Teams containing each role-type, except for Expert Advisors, who supported all teams as a floating resource, competed to provide the best solution and pitch session to the event’s distinguished judging panel.

About the Day

Getting Acquainted

The day began with a networking breakfast, where attendees built connections, and were given an overview of the day’s agenda by Chloe Thompson, Consultant at fellow sponsor Whitecap Consulting.

After a welcome from LegalTech in Leeds’ Katherine Megson, attendees were introduced to a member of 2023’s winning hackathon team, Sabryna Scornaienchi, Legal Technologist, Addleshaw Goddard, who offered her advice to this year's teams.

To kick the teams off, Director at Whitecap Consulting, Julian Wells, briefed attendees on the Hackathon challenge, and the judging criteria for the 10-minute pitch teams would need to give to help bring to life their tech-based solution to improve access to legal services.

Cracking the Challenge

The 4 teams then broke off into rooms to begin working on the challenge, free to use their own technology, and both low-code and no-code solutions. With so few limitations, and such a broad brief, attendees had to rely on their creativity and skill.

As lunchtime approached - the teams’ deadline for developing their solution - the atmosphere across Platform buzzed with chatter and a focused commitment to the pitch stage ahead.

Meandering from team to team with my colleague Alan Raison, we were both inspired by the sheer enthusiasm, the fresh ideas bouncing around, and the spirit of teamwork that filled the air.

It was great to see the teams focussed on their clear objective to ensure they finished the day with something that they were proud to present, and we were impressed by the quality and productivity of their efforts. The 4 excellent solutions the teams developed to improve access to legal services were:

  • Trippy - AI tool that resolves holiday and travel disputes.
  • My Legal Solution - App which supports consumers to understand their legal rights.
  • StuLex - Solution which aims to democratise the tenancy and landlord landscape for students.
  • Human Rights Connect - Mobile app that links vulnerable people to legal advice and support.

Each team created interesting business propositions and should be proud of creating such impressive solutions in the short amount of time they had.

Pitch Stage

Later, the teams came back together to pitch their innovative solutions to a judging panel, consisting of distinguished guests:

  • Deb Hetherington, Head of Innovation at Bruntwood SciTech (Platform, Leeds)
  • Gary Gallen, CEO & Founder at rradar
  • Adam Roney, Founder and CEO at Calls9
  • Susan Ford, Head of Knowledge, DAC Beachcroft
  • Tom Matusiak, Director and Legal Director at Leeds Law Society & Stewarts Law

Hats off to the winning team, StuLex, who were able to successfully integrate an AI chatbot into their solution and demonstrate it working. This is very much state-of-the-art in terms of what we see in our clients' projects, and as a result, we were very impressed to see the team pull this together in a single day.

A big round of applause for everyone who threw their hat into the ring, and a special tip of the hat to LegalTech for pulling off such a splendid event, proving once again that a little togetherness goes a long way in chasing those innovative legal tech solutions. We’re so pleased to have been involved and sponsor this excellent event.

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