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Can Blockchain Shake Up The Legal Sector For The Better?

2018 will be remembered as the year where blockchain attained mainstream status. Even sectors like the legal sector are gradually joining the blockchain craze.

What Is Blockchain?

The blockchain is the bedrock of majority of the proposed innovations and applications across the world. It is a cryptographically secured distributed database that is hard to manipulate. Hence, blockchain technology’s functionalities are will optimize the legal sector.

The UK’s Police Foundation research team reported that logging case files in a blockchain could improve the criminal justice system. In a post released in August 2017, Bernard Marr wrote that blockchain’s imminent disruption of the legal industry was inevitable.

A researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris and faculty associate at Harvard University, Primavera De Filippi recently highlighted the ways blockchain could affect the legal industry.

In the same post, Thomson Reuters Legal’s product management director, legal risk, Richard Anderson corroborated De Fillippi’s claims by stating that the technology has the power to make the legal system more efficient.

What Is Blockchain

How Can Blockchain Change The Legal Sector?

Self-Executing Contracts

One of the factors contributing to the growth of the blockchain space is the emergence of smart contracts. Smart contracts which are self-executing contracts eliminate the need for third parties in the implementation of contractual agreements.

As such, the time required to draw up legally binding agreements is greatly reduced. In addition, the cost of implementing and enforcing such agreements is eliminated and these agreements can be stored on a blockchain.

Blockchain Can Optimize the Intellectual Property Systems

Protecting intellectual property is not easy, as such, implementing blockchain-based intellectual property management systems is the logical solution. This is why Thailand has launched a research that will focus on the implementation of blockchain in intellectual property systems. The advantage of this approach is that blockchain-based intellectual property systems that are hard to manipulate.

In addition, the system will automate the processes of registering, monitoring and selling intellectual properties while reducing legal costs.  There are already blockchain startups that are working on introducing platforms where companies can trade proprietary technologies. Therefore, companies will effortlessly merge or acquire proprietary technologies or intellectual properties in the near future.

Blockchain Can Optimize the Intellectual Property Systems

The Storage of Legal Documents

We still call the legal sector the paper chase because the industry still heavily relies on paper documents. Developing countries still record land records and deeds manually, which is the major cause of the rise in land disputes. Introducing blockchain based land registry systems will go a long way to resolve land disputes which could last for years.

In addition, introducing blockchain systems that will record case proceedings, evidence, and legal documents will speed up trials. The blockchain is perfect for this application because of its transparent and immutable functionalities. Therefore, the blockchain technology will eliminate the tampering and loss of evidence.

The Storage of Legal Documents

Current Scenario of the Legal Business

The implementation of blockchain in the legal sector is still in the nascent stage. However, the developments like the acceptance of blockchain data in the courtroom indicate that the future of blockchain in the legal sector is secure.

Recently, a law firm, Perkins Coie partnered with Accord Project to standardize smart contracts and blockchain for the legal sector. Already, OpenLaw is offering tools that will help lawyers create smart contracts. These are indications that the legal business is currently undergoing a massive transformation.

Current Scenario of the Legal Business

Final Words

As expected, some legal practitioners are skeptical about the role of blockchain technology in the legal industry. Many believe that the introduction of blockchain legal systems will eventually reduce the demand for legal services.

While blockchain will reduce the need for third parties in legally binding agreements, it is not planning on ending the legal profession. Smart contracts are definitely going to need the inputs of lawyers in the coding stage. In addition, blockchain platforms need to consult legal practitioners so as to comply with emerging regulations.

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Ifeanyi

Ifeanyi Egede is an experienced and versatile blockchain/crypto writer and researcher on with tons of published works both online and in the print media. He has close to a decade of writing experience. When he is not writing, he spends time with his lovely wife and kids. Learn more about how Ifeanyi Egede could be of help to your business.

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