Winners of Legal Access Challenge announced
Marc Bloomfield
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Nesta Challenges have named RCJ Advice and Rights of Women, and Mencap and Access Social Care, as the two winners of the Legal Access Challenge. The winners were awarded a total of £100,000 each to develop and bring their tech solutions to market.
CourtNav and FLOWS (Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors) were developed by RCJ Advice and Rights of Women. CourtNav collects evidence for a non-molestation order application and links female and male survivors in England and Wales with an accredited domestic abuse legal aid solicitor, while a referral app for front-line workers (eg, police officers and refuge staff) refers people at risk to the legal help they need. FLOWS, meanwhile, enables women survivors to find clear information and local legal support. It also offers a secure webchat app that can be used quickly and discreetly, and its discussion forum lets practitioners share advice with peers via a secure platform.
The other winner, the Chatbot, developed by Mencap and Access Social Care (with pro bono support from IBM), provides free, accessible legal information, particularly for those who are experiencing challenges accessing care. It helps people understand their rights and access justice, as well as allowing lawyers and advisers to allocate more time to the most complex cases. The chatbot can also be hosted on the websites of other advice organisations to reach even more people.
The Legal Access Challenge launched on 30 May 2019. Eight finalists were announced in September 2019, each of which received initial development grants of £50,000 and were provided with expert support from the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Nesta and a range of partner organisations. The two winners received a further £50,000 to bring their projects to market.
The SRA and Nesta Challenges plan to publish a report later this spring on what they have learned during the course of the Legal Access Challenge. It will include their findings on, among other things, the legal market, regulatory barriers and emerging issues around law tech.

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Description: LAG
A national, independent charity, promoting equal access to justice for all members of society who are socially, economically or otherwise...