25 January 2022LawtechUK

Legal Data Resources

These resources have been compiled as part of The Legal Data Vision, a joint project by LawtechUK and the Open Data Institute.

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Legal Data Resources

These resources have been compiled as part of The Legal Data Vision, a joint project by LawtechUK and the Open Data Institute, to supplement our Legal Data Vision and Project Overview, insights slide deck.


  1. Practical tools for helping organisations use the Legal Data Vision Framework on
  2. Signposting to current and past initiatives and resources relevant to the Legal Data Vision


  1. Data skills and data literacy tools

Data literacy is not only for data scientists or developers. Employees across all disciplines, specialisms and seniority need the ability to understand the potential value of data, think critically about data in different contexts and examine the impact of different approaches when collecting, using and sharing data.

  • Data Skills Evaluation
    • ODI data skills framework - a free tool to help you understand the skills you, and others in your team and organisation, need to work with data. It shows you how to balance technical data skills with other skills, such as change leadership, to help ensure data projects are impactful

    • Data Glossary - a list of definitions of the key data terms found in the Legal Data Vision

If there are other open access courses that you think should be included in this list, please contact us.

2. Data strategy, management and value assessment tools

A data strategy will help organisations to recognise data as a valuable asset, and identify opportunities to improve access to and use of legal data, while managing the risks associated with data processing.

  • A Data Maturity Model for the legal sector - this prototype is available for anyone to adapt and use. It enables organisations to assess their data maturity across a number of key themes including knowledge & skills, strategic oversight, and investment & financial performance
  • Gartner’s IT Score for Data & Analytics - this tool helps data and analytics leaders to assess their organisation’s approach to data governance, data integration and management, and analytic content creation
  • Open Standards for Data Toolkit - this toolkit helps organisations to find out whether developing an open data standard is the right approach, how to find and choose existing standards, and once these steps are taken, how to create and maintain standards.
  • The Data Ethics Canvas - this tool helps organisations to assess the ethical and legislative context of data sources, the limitations of the data used, and the positive and negative factors to be addressed in data use and sharing

3. Legal data collaboration tools


4. Existing legal data initiatives

Harnessing data and the technologies it enables will be an ongoing process, and the capabilities, understanding and responsibilities of the legal community will advance and evolve over time. Below is a selection of legal data initiatives that the legal community have provided to us so far, that you can be involved in at an individual, team or organisation level:

  • Common standards for legal data capture, structure and standardisation - Legal data is currently held in a range of formats; much of it is unstructured and resides in systems that aren’t interoperable. Industry standards and communities of practice are emerging to address this, and new technologies and methodologies can convert unstructured data. Common standards can make it easier for people and organisations to publish, access and share legal data.
    • Noslegal - a voluntary, not-for-profit that collaborates with a wide range of law firms and technology companies to develop and improve ways to classify legal work and related topics
    • The UK Legal Schema (UKLS) - an open source initiative that provides a common language for creating and managing legal documents as data. The UKLS supports the development of individual digital contracts and enables them to interact with each other, and with existing technologies
    • Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance - a not-for-profit developing open standards for legal services. Its Legal Matter Specification Standard (LMSS) provides a common language for describing legal matters, increasing efficiencies for users and working towards legal data interoperability
    • Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard (LEDES) - provides open-standard formats for the electronic exchange of billing and other information between corporations and law firms to save time and manage expectations
    • Legal Entity Identifier - an ISO-standard format for identifying legal entities and their role in financial transactions (giving an indication of ownership for the purposes of legal definitions). An agreed ISO definition provides clear understanding of the codes and the format of the data
    • Data First - a three-year data linking programme, led by the Ministry of Justice and funded by ADR UK, an investment by the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC). The project aimed to link administrative datasets from across the justice system to better inform policy related to crime and justice.
  • Legal data matchmaking - increasing the availability and suitability of data between parties (on a bilateral or multilateral basis) is crucial for legal innovation and lawtech development. For example:
    • LawtechUK Sandbox - training datasets are critical for the development of lawtech, particularly products and services that harness AI. The LawtechUK Sandbox provides an environment for data owners to gain hands-on experience collaborating with lawtechs
    • Multi-party data access proof of concept - this proof of concept covers how technology platforms can enable insights from data to be shared, without relinquishing control over data or revealing confidential or personal information to a third party. Law firms, clients, regulators and a tech company established what is market standard in liability clauses for SaaS contracts, by utilising federated learning and privacy enhancing technology, without pooling or actually sharing their data or exposing sensitive information
  • Contracts - contracts are vital to business relationships, to build trust, evidence and legal protection. Digitising contracts and the valuable data they contain offers a wide range of benefits and provides an opportunity to reimagine contracts as live sources of intelligence that add value to business all the time. Combining contract data and technology offers an opportunity to strengthen the contracting process, and make contracts better.
    • Smarter Contracts - a project led by LawtechUK to explore and demonstrate the benefits that technology can bring to the contracting process for the legal sector, for business and for wider society. Building on the legal and technical work of LawtechUK’s UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) and the Law Commission of England and Wales, the Smarter Contracts project aims to encourage all who work with contracts to understand what new technologies offer and to increase the use of smarter contracts in practice. LawtechUK and its UKJT worked with collaborators across sectors and professions to identify the most compelling examples of smarter contracts and provide an accessible introduction to the mainstream use of these technologies. The case studies demonstrate why smarter, technology-enabled ways of contracting add value to business practices and show how widely the technology is already being used
    • Open-sourced commercial contracts - In the USA, the Atticus Project is a collective of lawyers that has labelled and open-sourced 510 commercial contracts with 13,000+ labels for AI-training purposes. It aims to build and curate the high quality datasets that are needed to support trustworthy AI and data-driven innovation for the legal sector
    • Open Contracting Data Standard - The Open Contracting partnership works with governments, businesses, civil society, and technologists to open up and transform government contracting worldwide. The Open Contracting Data Standard helps organisations publish and use open, accessible and timely information on public contracting, helping to reduce corruption, encourage fair competition, ensure high quality services for citizens, and provide smarter analysis
  • Legislation
    • Rules as Code - an emerging concept in public sector innovation, including research by the Observatory of Public Innovation Sector.

    • Regulatory Genome project - a project launched by the University of Cambridge to use machine learning to sequence the world’s regulatory text and create an open-source repository of machine-readable regulatory information.

If there are other initiatives that you think should be included in this list, please contact us.

5. Case studies from other regulated sectors

The legal sector is not alone in our journey to seize the data opportunity. We can learn from - and be inspired by a wide range of initiatives across different sectors that bring together different stakeholders with the aim of increasing the use of and access to data. For example:

  • Insurance
    • The Standard for Environment, Risk and Insurance (SERI) - a collaboration between the finance industry and climate change researchers that aims to provide a data governance framework to enable the creation of insurance products that support the drive towards net zero, underpinned by an open standard for access to environmental and financial data
  • Healthcare
    • Data4Covid19 - a collaboration between private and public organisations across sectors to deliver projects to identify, collect, and analyse the value data can provide during the pandemic. The project’s Call for Action, which has over 500 individual signatories, provides a roadmap for how organisations can work together around data for the public good

    • INSIGHT Health Data Research Hub - this research project on eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, involves the public, patients and other stakeholders working together as part of an Advisory Board to make anonymised data from eye scans and images available to the NHS, academic and industry researchers

    • Privacy Enhancing Technologies Case Studies - a repository of real-world use cases that leverage emerging PETs, including healthcare examples

  • Finance
    • Common data models for Audit - Engine B is partnered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to create a new standard for the data that auditors use to simplify the process of integrating data from multiple systems and applications

    • Future of Financial Intelligence Sharing - an innovation and discussion paper, demonstrate how financial institutions are exploring advances in this field of cryptographic technology to enable analysis of data from across multiple participating organisations to inform financial crime risk awareness, without the need for those organisations to share underlying sensitive data

  • Health and Safety
    • Maritime sector - competitors in the maritime industry share data to improve safety in shipping, resulting in reduction of lifeboat accidents by 72%, engine room fires by 65% and spills by 25% as part of the HiLo Maritime Risk Management initiative

    • Sharing engineering data for the public good - funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, this project sparked a movement within the engineering sector to encourage the sharing and use of data for the public good, with a particular focus on improving safety

  • Supply Chain and Modern Slavery
    • Open Apparel Registry is an open source tool that stewards open data about garment facilities worldwide to help bring transparency to supply chains. It helps brands identify opportunities for collaboration and demonstrate their commitment to transparency; it helps facilities increase their visibility, and citizens and civil society groups to identify potential partnerships, perform analysis and more

6. Government Resources

  • National Data Strategy - this DCMS policy paper sets out a framework for how the UK should approach and invest in data to strengthen its economy and create future opportunities

  • Increasing Access to Data Across The Economy - DCMS commissioned this report by Frontier Economics to create an evidence-based framework focusing on increasing access to data


Below is a non-exhaustive list of data terms found in the Legal Data Vision and associated resources.

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