SINGAPORE - Lawyers will soon be able to manage their cases, start Zoom calls and share documents with their clients or colleagues via an upcoming technology platform supported by the Government.
The Legal Technology Platform, jointly developed by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and tech firm Lupl, is expected to be rolled out in the second quarter of this year.
The platform, which is aimed at helping Singapore law practices - especially small and medium-sized law firms - with their digital transformation, was unveiled at a soft launch at Maxwell Chambers on Friday (Jan 28).
While the costs of adopting the platform was not revealed during the launch, MinLaw said in a statement that it is working on a grant support scheme for law practices looking to use the tool.
The ministry also said feedback gathered from a year-long engagement exercise with nearly 150 lawyers here was incorporated into the platform's development.
Lawyer Anil Changaroth, who was involved in the exercise, told the media on Friday that the platform is a "one-stop shop" for legal professionals.
"For example, if at some point in time you decide that you need to go to mediation for a particular matter... you can check (on) how to apply for mediation and so on through the platform," he added.
The platform is accessible through an Internet browser, such as Google Chrome.
Matter templates for different types of cases, which set out details such as timelines and steps to take, are available on the platform.
Lawyers can link the platform to other digital solutions that they are using, such as Google Docs, and access any documents or information stored there.
They can also use the platform's own cloud storage service to store documents.
Details of a legal matter, such as its status and deadlines of tasks, will be displayed on the platform.
Other features include a chat function allowing lawyers to communicate with one another and their clients, as well as an option to start Zoom calls.
The platform was first mentioned during the launch of the Legal Industry Technology and Innovation Roadmap in October 2019.
The road map sets out plans by the ministry to promote innovation, technology adoption and development in Singapore's legal industry for the next decade.
MinLaw said it is working with other public institutions, such as the courts, to progressively integrate the platform with systems commonly used by lawyers.
Friday's soft launch included a hands-on demonstration of the platform and marks the beginning of its beta testing stage.
"We will continue, in the meantime, to canvass views, feedback and user experience from the wider industry as well," said Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong, who was the guest of honour at the event.
He also said the Government will provide training to help lawyers familiarise themselves with the platform and technical support, as well as "try as far as we can to take care of the subsequent upgrades and maintenance".
"We in Singapore have the advantage of being able to get all the key players, drivers of this platform under one roof," said Mr Tong, who is also Culture, Community and Youth Minister.
"This has helped tremendously in making this platform a lot more convenient, user-friendly and navigable, which is the key criteria behind designing it."
Lawyer Mark Teng, who was also involved in the engagement exercise with MinLaw and Lupl, said the platform is game-changing.
"It will require us as lawyers to change the way we think of communicating with our clients, and perhaps (this is) for the better," he added.