Matheson dubs ‘first legal hackathon’ a success

Pictured (l-r): David Fisher, founder and CEO of Integra Ledger; Rebecca Ryan, Matheson partner; Lory Kehoe, director of Blockchain Lab Lead; and Barry O'Connor, Matheson partner.
Pictured (l-r): David Fisher, founder and CEO of Integra Ledger; Rebecca Ryan, Matheson partner; Lory Kehoe, director of Blockchain Lab Lead; and Barry O’Connor, Matheson partner.

Ireland’s first ever legal hackathon, held in Matheson’s Dublin offices over the weekend, has been named a success.

The two-day event was hosted by Matheson in partnership with Deloitte, IBM and the Dublin City University Ryan Academy, and focused on blockchain and new business opportunities that it brings.

It was part of Matheson’s Smart programme, which seeks out innovative ideas to improve client service, efficiencies and collaboration incorporating the latest themes such as fintech, AI and blockchain.

Michael Jackson, managing partner at Matheson, said: “We were delighted to host Ireland’s first ever legal hackathon, another piece in the innovation jigsaw here at Matheson – innovation is at the core of what we do and ensures we stay ahead of the curve.

“We recognise the need to change and embrace new technologies in order to provide the best possible level of service to our clients.”

Blockchain technology - which powers the Bitcoin currency - facilitates transactions and stores information using a secure, distributed ledger system. According to Matheson, it has the potential to revolutionise every industry that transacts goods and services, including law.

Rebecca Ryan, Matheson partner and leader of its Smart programme, said: “Following two very busy but rewarding days of ideas building and innovative discussions, our participants are walking away with valuable insights into the world of blockchain and the opportunities it brings for both the financial services and legal services sectors.

“Shaping the future of business and revolutionising the way we communicate, collaborate and create, blockchain is all about how we organise trust in our systems and in our society.”

At the hackathon, Matheson employees pitched blockchain ideas for further development, including a distributed energy grid, a qualification registry, and a smart contract system for housing rental.

Teams voted on the best ideas and spent the hackathon fleshing them out and working on their implementation. Ideas were judged on their creativity, innovation and feasibility.

Speakers included Lory Kehoe, leader of Deloitte’s Europe EMEA blockchain lab, who explained the workings of blockchain, its features and the advantages it offers over existing technologies and systems; and David Fisher, founder and CEO of Integra Ledger, who provided insights and gave participants a hands-on, live experience of a blockchain specifically developed for the event.

Niall Dennehy, COO and co-founder of Aid:Tech, gave a demonstration of Aid:Tech’s blockchain, which was recently used to successfully deliver aid to Syrian refugees in a transparent, secure way.

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