IT jobs in lawtech rise across UK as funding grows and legal industry embraces innovative digital solutions post-pandemic — new report

Jun 7, 2022 | News, Technology

  • UK lawtech jobs up 177% year-on-year in 2021, on course for 20% rise in 2020 
  • Sector forecast to add up to £22.7 billion in value to the UK economy
  • Software engineers most sought after in sector, project managers fastest growing

Vacancies for IT professionals in technology firms that are creating digital solutions for the legal industry — or lawtech — have surged in 2021 in England and Wales, a new report shows.

Research by global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters and data analytics firm Vacancysoft, shows that over the last three years, vacancies for professionals engaged with lawtech have exploded. 

In 2020, recruitment grew by 87% compared to 2019, while a year later in 2021 it shot up by 177% year-on-year. Growth in 2022, however, has been more muted. On current volumes, the year is set to end 20% up in relation to a year previous. 

Sector forecast to add up to £22.7 billion in value to the UK economy

After a quiet 2020, last year represented a record for lawtechs getting funding. According to Crunchbase, global private equity and venture capital investment reached $1 billion in 2021 — a rise of 96% year-on-year, although only up 1.1% compared to 2019. 

Lawtech UK forecasts that growth in the sector could add up to £22.7 billion in value to the UK economy*. This is split into three parts: productivity gains for law firms (£1.7 billion); unmet demand from consumers and SMEs (£11.4 billion); and savings for SMEs on legal services (£8.6 billion). 

Software engineers most sought after in sector, London with majority of new jobs

The number one function being hired for within lawtech firms in England and Wales is software engineering. Currently, vacancies for this discipline are up 15% when comparing the monthly average to 2021. Recruitment for project managers is rising the fastest, up 25.6%. Hiring for support engineers, meanwhile, experienced a 21% fall in vacancies.

London has been the largest region in terms of recruiting for IT specialists within lawtech. Since accounting for 84% of all vacancies in 2019, the capital’s proportion fell but never dipped below 60% compared to the rest of England and Wales. 

* Shaping the Future of Law – The LawtechUK Report 2021, May 2021

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