Electronic signatures came to mind recently. While moving house I realised I had not made it through the first half of the first month of the new year before I had as a consumer e-signed my first DocuSign document.
Typically we find it hard to admit, but usability of the software we use within business lags behind that we use as an individual consumer. Compare an online banking app like Monzo to any expenses filing tool you have ever used and you get a taste for what I mean.
One of the most successful technical advances within contracting has been e-signatures, I wonder if this is because it was built for the individual consumer market initially. Also when I talk about success here I am measuring success in terms of uptake. While in Switzerland they still have difficulty with e signatures, much to the chagrin of the lawyers I speak to there, the rest of Europe and indeed most of the world have forgone the need for the wet ink signature.
This reflection on development of consumer lead software makes me wonder what will come to legal tech in the future. Casebook Messenger perhaps? (Sorry)
Similarly how can the existing technology be developed? Will we soon have a photo taken of the lawyer signing her NDA through the built in webcam on her laptop? Quite possibly. These sort of advances are sure to increase the use cases for e-signatures within business. If e-signatures can speed up, increase efficiency or remove entirely some of the pointless processes that provide no value to the business and the colleagues around us we should grab this with both hands.
In September this year, the Law Commission published a report outlining the results of its consultation on the law governing the electronic execution of documents. The project's aim was to ensure that the law is sufficiently certain and flexible to remain fit for purpose in a global, digital environment