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Speech by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court – The tech revolution: A threat to the core values of civil society and the legal profession

  1. The tech revolution is reality. We in the legal community can shun it or embrace it, but we will not stop it. The reach of FinTech, LawTech, RegTech, artificial intelligence and digital ledger technology extends daily. My view is that, if we work with rather than against the tech revolution, we can improve the quality and reduce the cost of legal advice and dispute resolution for the new generation of businesses globally. There are risks, of course, but so long as we are aware of them, we can minimise their adverse effects.
  2. My starting point is that young people will rightly no longer accept that everyday legal advice and justice are the only things they cannot obtain instantly or the next day by a few taps on their smart phone. The older generation of lawyers, judges and court providers must therefore be instrumental in providing legal systems that are up to date, cost effective and make the best use of all appropriate modern technologies.
  3. I am a judge, so you may think my contribution is light on the philosophy implied by the title of this session, and heavy on pragmatism, but ‘c’est la vie’.