UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws LLM student Joe May part of Allen & Overy Fuse Cohort

20 September 2017

The outside of the main UCL Portico building, with people walking in front and sitting outside

UCL Laws LLM student Joe May has been selected as part of a team to join Allen & Overy’s inaugural cohort of Fuse; a new legal tech innovation space within the firms London office.

The programme offers early stage and mature companies the opportunity to work with Allen & Overy and their clients on new technology set to change the face of legal.

The concept for their company, Ithaca, originally emerged from the LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) competition that UCL participates within. LawWithoutWalls is a global, collaborative initiative, which brings together students and professionals across various different disciplines to solve contemporary challenges faced by the legal industry.

Joe’s team were challenged with finding a solution to aspects of the ongoing refugee crisis. The team are designing an online platform that connects refugees in need of legal assistance with pro bono lawyers around the world.

The concept was recognised as the overall winners of the LWOW competition in April in Miami and the team have been working ever since on the development of their concept. They have since been shortlisted for a number of awards including the European Youth Award, and are competing in HiiL’s Innovating Justice final in September.

Ithaca was accepted onto the Fuse programme at Allen & Overy following a competitive selection round against over 80 companies. Ithaca are currently the only non-profit entity within the programme, amongst a range of other legal-tech and fin-tech companies.

Joe May said:

‘I want to thank both UCL and LWOW for all the support and help they have given us throughout this process. We wouldn’t be where we are without their guidance and believing in our vision. In particular, the support and advice of Dr Anna Donovan has been invaluable in helping us out along our journey.’

Find out more about Ithaca and Fuse

Read about UCL Laws LLM students attending 2017 LWOW Original ConPosium in Miami