The Accord Project – the legal industry body for smart legal contracts – today announced new Magic Circle law firms joining the project.

The Accord Project – the legal industry body for smart legal contracts – today announced Magic Circle law firms Allen & Overy, Freshfields, and Slaughter and May are joining the Project.

The Project incubates an open source middleware layer that is interoperable with any blockchain or distributed ledger implementation, backed by techno-legal standards to facilitate the widespread adoption of smart legal contracts. Peter Hunn of the Accord Project commented: “It is a testament to the importance of this initiative that we are able to partner with some of the very best law firms in the world.”

Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy, added: “We are committed to exploring technological solutions to the biggest challenges that we and our clients face. We recognise that smart contracts and blockchain infrastructure have the potential to revolutionise the markets in which we work, so it’s vital that we establish robust standards for their use and ensure consistency. We’re really happy to be on board.”

Richard Lister, global head of Freshfields fintech practice said: “As a firm we are committed to promoting collaboration in the development and regulation of legal tech so as to increase the speed of impact for our clients. The Accord Project has done a great job in bringing industry, academia and the legal profession together and we are very pleased to be part of it.  With our close engagement with regulators on emerging technologies and our internal commitment to technology and digital transformation, Freshfields’ participation was an easy decision.”

Rob Sumroy, chair of Slaughter and May’s Innovation Committee and co-head of the firm’s emerging tech practice comments, “This is a really exciting and important collaboration and we are delighted to be involved. The work of the Accord Project closely aligns with the aims of our innovation programme to leverage emerging tech for benefit of the legal industry and our clients. Our lawyers are hungry to embrace all the changes and new tools in the market and this is a great opportunity for our firm to work with other leading industry players to explore and promote new and more efficient ways of working.”