UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL partners with Barclays Eagle Labs new law-tech initiative to help transform the legal industry

23 April 2018

Eagle Lab

UCL Faculty of Laws and UCL Engineering are proud to announce that they are partners in Barclays’ new law-tech incubator.

A dedicated law-tech Eagle Lab will open in Notting Hill, London, and create a centre of excellence that will include co-working space and support for up to 100 individuals, along with events and meet-up space.

Together, we want to boost the UK’s law-tech sector by helping companies start-up and scale up, and become international leaders in their field – matching the UK’s reputation as a leader in the legal services sector.

As a partner in the Eagle Lab, we will have access to the law-tech businesses and their innovations and will actively provide feedback and guidance to help them to develop, test and refine their products.

Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays UK, said: “Law-tech is an area where the UK has every reason to be a world leader. It is home to some of the greatest law firms in the world and we want to help build on the success of its legal sector, and play a leading role in transforming law-tech in the future. The impressive range of partners supporting this initiative shows just how important this is.

“Our Eagle Labs are supporting thriving new businesses up and down the country, and our Notting Hill lab will lead the way as an industry centre of excellence for law-tech.”

Dr Anna Donovan, Vice-Dean (Innovation) of UCL Faculty of Laws said: “UCL is a pioneer in law-tech and, as an institution, is well positioned to draw on its expertise in both law and engineering to support the companies in the Eagle Lab whilst developing thought leadership in this space.  This reflects the value that the UK more widely brings to this field, combining the flexibility of our common law system with world-leading technical capabilities.  We are delighted to be working with Barclays and the other Eagle Lab partners to help create a centre of excellence that draws on these characteristics to realise the potential that law-teach has to offer.”    

The law-tech Eagle Lab is the latest in a growing network of 15 Labs set up by Barclays to help start-up and scale up businesses to create, innovate and grow. Eagle Labs originally converted under-utilised bank spaces to create thriving ecosystems at the heart of their community. They have developed into a UK-wide network, partnering with organisations that share Barclays’ vision to empower businesses and communities to drive the UK economy. Many of the Labs have a specific industry focus on technology areas such as artificial intelligence and home automation.

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About the Law-Tech Eagle Lab

Barclays will meet potential law-tech Eagle Lab residents to discuss their aim and scale of ambition, relevance to law/regulation technology, their funding status and ongoing sustainability, how they will benefit from the initiative and their commitment to the law-tech ecosystem and wider community. Selecting businesses for residency will be mutually discussed by the partners, before Barclays makes the final decision on successful applicants.

Partners currently signed up to the initiative include Allen & Overy, Brethertons, Capital Law, Clifford Chance, Clyde & Co, DWF LLP, Gowling WLG, Latham & Watkins, Legal Geek, Norton Rose Fulbright, PWC, Simmons & Simmons, SO Legal, the Law Society, The University of Liverpool, TLT Solicitors and University College London.

About Barclays Eagle Labs

Barclays Eagle Labs are spaces set up by Barclays to help businesses create, innovate and grow. They also operate as community resources supporting digital empowerment for all. Their focus is to drive digital skills development, productivity and economic growth, and support job creation.

There are now 15 locations across the UK, where entrepreneurs can reside, access mentoring, funding and events.

Eagle Labs facilitate and deliver learning and activities such as coding, 3D printing and “maker” facilities and rapid product prototyping, hackathons, as well as offering business incubation, mentoring and co-working and office space for ambitious businesses.

Since the opening of the first lab, over 100,000 individuals have used the service, ranging from ‘makers’, entrepreneurs and fast-growing businesses, children learning to code, and large corporates.

About UCL

UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university. UCL operates in a global context and is committed to excellence, innovation and the promotion of global understanding in all of its activities: research, teaching, learning, enterprise and community engagement. This distinctive approach inspires UCL's community of staff, students and partners to transform how the world is understood, how knowledge is created and shared and the way that global problems are solved.   

Within this environment, UCL Faculty of Laws is an agenda-setting community of legal scholars. Consistently ranked as one of the top ten law faculties in the world, UCL Laws produces research that has real-world impact, shaping legal and judicial policy in the UK and across the globe. As such, the Faculty is delighted to support the Eagle Lab, and its community, as both staff and students engage with the SMEs to consider the important questions and opportunities that Legal Tech presents to the legal profession. 

The UCL Faculty of Engineering will help to run the Tech Hub alongside Barclays and also provide technical support of the SMEs through staff and student engagement as and when appropriate. It will run a programme of review with the SMEs enabling UCL to provide access to expertise across Engineering.