Osler’s Sam Ip, Heidi Wong participate as judges in the Global Legal Hackathon (Toronto)

Sam Ip, Heidi Wong

Mar 11, 2020

Osler is proud to announce that lawyers Sam Ip and Heidi Wong participated as judges in the third annual Global Legal Hackathon (Toronto) that took place from March 6-8, 2020. The hackathon comprised teams of coders, designers and lawyers from various locations across six continents, with the goal of developing innovative software solutions to address challenges in the legal sector worldwide. The Toronto node of the hackathon was hosted by the University of Toronto’s “Legal Hackers” organization and was held at the University of Toronto Law School. 

As part of Osler’s ongoing commitment to legal innovation across its offices, Sam (from Toronto) and Heidi (from Calgary) provided general advice and support to approximately 40 participants that formed seven teams, in addition to their participation on the six-member judging panel which included the President of the Ontario Bar Association, entrepreneurs and other members of the legal profession. Sam and Heidi shared their experience from their past participation in hackathons with the participants.  (Sam and Heidi were part of a team that placed third in the 2018 Global Legal Hackathon (Toronto), for their work developing iConsent, which scans and records biometric data related to informed consent and stores the results on a blockchain.) This year, Sam and Heidi highlighted for participants the importance of a clearly articulated pain-point and use-case before they committed down the path of developing a prototype.

The winning team, “Am I Compliant?” tackled the problem that small to mid-size technology companies frequently face when they contract with larger enterprises that expect their contractors to have security, privacy and other compliance policies and procedures in place.  Often the costs for implementing these types of policies and procedures can be significant, and the team sought to provide a more cost-effective solution. The team’s minimum-viable-product was a simple proof-of-concept that asked a series of questions and provided users with a compliance assessment, with the long-term vision of providing a one-stop shop for equipping smaller enterprise SaaS companies with a compliance toolkit (e.g., security policies, etc.) at a fixed price.  This solution resonated with us as Osler has developed a suite of cost-effective and practical service offerings to assist clients with similar challenges.  

Participating in the Global Legal Hackathon aligns well with Osler’s focus on encouraging innovative ideas and practices throughout our firm. Osler Works – Innovation is our platform for developing new and better ways to serve our clients. Through Osler Works – Innovation, we foster the development of new products, service offerings and delivery models that will better support your business and your bottom line. This includes embracing disruption driven by technology and leveraging low-cost delivery and streamlined processes that can lower your legal spend. Osler held its third annual Innovation Month in February, and some examples of Osler’s innovation at work include our Osler Works services, our AccessPrivacy offering, our Emerging and High Growth Companies Group and more.

The Global Legal Hackathon brings “the legal industry together with tech and innovation,” with the goal of “rapid development of solutions for improving the legal industry worldwide,” according to the website.

Read more about the Global Legal Hackathon.

Osler Technology Group associate Sam Ip, left, and Corporate Group Counsel Heidi Wing, second from right, were part of a six-person judging panel for the Global Legal Hackathon (Toronto).