The Global Legal Tech Report into the African legal tech landscape reveals a sector in the early stages of development, driven by a young group of legal entrepreneurs.
The Global Legal Tech Report is a research initiative of the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA) and Alpha Creates, backed by research sponsors Macquarie, KPMG, the Law Society of England and Wales, Baker McKenzie and Toro Digital.
The survey reveals that more than half (53%) of Africa’s Legal Tech company founders are 30 or younger. This is in contrast with the results findings in Asia, Australia and New Zealand where the majority of founders are over 30.
“Not limited by legacy practices, this new generation of lawyers in Africa are re-imagining the legal profession through Legal Tech,” Alpha Creates Researcher, Eric Chin said.
“This makes for an exciting time for legal entrepreneurs in Africa.”
The oldest Legal Tech company that participate in the survey was founded in 2005, with few legal tech companies from outside of Africa operating in the region, confirming that the African Legal Tech sector is still in the early stages of development, he said.
The project is being undertaken in collaboration with global legal technology associations. The African report was produced in collaboration with the African Law & Tech Network and the Africa Law + Tech Association.
“Digitised legal services for individuals and SMEs will have a transformative impact on African societies and economies, especially in the post-COVID era,” Nankunda Katangaze, co-founder of the African Law & Tech Network said.
“Lawyers have been creative in addressing access to justice issues and meeting the information and practice needs of law firms. Lawyers are finding new ways of delivering services, resolving client disputes and advising them on the future and technology is proving to be a vital tool for survival and for re-shaping the legal services landscape,” she said.
Access to funding an issue
The report found that access to funding is a challenge for African Legal Tech companies, with only a third of respondents successfully raising capital. Proportionately more Legal Tech companies with artificial intelligence (AI) as their underlying technology (50%) have raised external funds compared to non-AI Legal Tech companies (25%) in Africa.
“This is a key challenge that African Legal Tech companies will need to overcome as they forge new paths in the legal and technology crossroads in the region,” Alpha Creates Researcher, Graeme Grovum said.
“However, as the Legal Tech segment develops in the region, the growth potential of African Legal Tech companies will attract investors,” he said.
Hotspots and regional expansion
Emerging Legal Tech hot spots were found in Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The research also revealed that most of African Legal Tech companies are looking to expand internationally. The majority are focused on expanding across the African continent, with 75% indicating an interest in Western Africa, 67% looking at Eastern Africa and 42% assessing Southern Africa.
Africa 2020: A Report on the Business of Legal Tech
The “Africa 2020: A Report on the Business of Legal Tech” will be launched at a webinar on July 23, hosted by the African Law & Tech Network and is now available for purchase. The report details:
The makeup of local Legal Tech company founders
- The team composition of local Legal Tech companies
- The underlying technologies that power solution developed by local Legal Tech companies
- The growth outlook for local Legal Tech companies
- The cost composition of local Legal Tech companies.
- The business models and pricing models local Legal Tech companies have deployed to commercialise the solutions they developed.
A Global Initiative
The Global Legal Tech Report is currently conducting fieldwork for North and South America, UK and Europe in collaboration with global legal technology associations. All legal tech firms in these regions are invited to participate in the research via online survey now.
Participating legal technology companies will receive their regional report free and a substantial discount on the global research report, which will see a cross-jurisdictional comparison of the trends from each jurisdiction.
The global report will be available from November. The reports for Australia, New Zealand and Asia are completed and available for purchase.
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