The Law Society has joined forces with Tech London Advocates (TLA) to produce guidance on distributed ledger technology (DLT) for lawyers.

The report provides clarity on the role smart contracts, crypto-assets and blockchain will play in their future practice.

DLTs are a broad umbrella of technologies that seek to store, synchronise and maintain digital records across a network of computing centres and are being used more frequently across a range of businesses.

Over the past year, representatives from TLA, the wider legal profession and experts have addressed key issues for lawyers when they are advising on DLTs including smart contracts, blockchain and crypto-assets.

The Law Society has suggested that covid-19 will incentivise firms of all types and sizes to embrace new technologies and said it expects to see a further increase in LawTech adoption rates across the profession.

The DLT report includes a list of key recommendations, including commercial application, data governance, intellectual property, data protection measures and dispute resolution, among others.

Law Society president Simon Davis said: “The publication of this report, which happens during London Tech Week, will provide a clear framework and much needed guidance on the use of blockchain in the legal services sector.

"Technology underpins innovation in legal services and plays a critical role in driving the post coronavirus recovery across all sectors of the economy. “It is considered that 2020 to 2021 are ‘breakout’ years for DLT, and the pandemic has forced businesses and governments to re-evaluate their service and business models more fundamentally than ever before.

“Our research suggests that the adoption of new technologies could reduce the cost of legal services to UK business users by £350m by 2030, and double productivity growth in the legal sector.

“Every £1 of productivity saving in the legal services sector in 2020 could generate between £3.30 and £3.50 of additional GDP for the UK by 2050.”