• At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
  • Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
  • Our Commercial Technology team has established itself as one of the strongest in the UK. We are ranked in Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and PLC Which Lawyer, with four of our partners recommended.
  • Our team provides practical and commercial advice founded on years of experience and technical know-how to technology and digital media companies that need to be alert to the rules and regulations of competition law.
  • Our Corporate Practice has a reputation for delivering sound legal advice, backed up with extensive industry experience and credentials, to get the best results from technology and digital media transactions.
  • In the fast-changing world of employment law our clients need practical, commercial and cost-effective advice. They get this from our team of employment law professionals.
  • Our team of leading IP advisors deliver cost-effective, strategic and commercial advice to ensure that your IP assets are protected and leveraged to add real value to your business.
  • Our litigation practice advises on all aspects of dispute resolution, with a particular focus on ownership, exploitation and infringement of intellectual property rights and commercial disputes in the technology sector.
  • We have an industry-leading reputation for our outsourcing expertise. Our professionals deliver credible legal advice to providers and acquirers of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
  • We work alongside companies, many with disruptive technologies, that seek funding, as well as with the venture capital firms, institutional investors and corporate ventures that want to invest in exciting business opportunities.
  • Our regulatory specialists work alongside Kemp Little’s corporate and commercial professionals to help meet their compliance obligations.
  • With a service that is commercial and responsive to our clients’ needs, you will find our tax advice easy to understand, cost-effective and geared towards maximising your tax benefits.
  • At Kemp Little, we advise clients in diverse sectors where technology is fundamental to the ongoing success of their businesses.They include companies that provide technology as a service and businesses where the use of technology is key to their business model, enabling them to bring their product or service to market.
  • We bring our commercial understanding of digital business models, our legal expertise and our reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective services to this dynamic sector.
  • Acting for market leaders and market changers within the media industry, we combine in-depth knowledge of the structural technology that underpins content delivery and the impact of digitisation on the rights of producers and consumers.
  • We understand the risks facing this sector and work with our clients to conquer those challenges. Testimony to our success is the continued growth in our team of professionals and the clients we serve.
  • We advise at the forefront of the technological intersection between life sciences and healthcare. We advise leading technology and data analytics providers, healthcare institutions as well as manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.
  • For clients operating in the online sector, our teams are structured to meet their commercial, financing, M&A, competition and regulatory, employment and intellectual property legal needs.
  • Our focus on technology makes us especially well positioned to give advice on the legal aspects of digital marketing. We advise on high-profile, multi-channel, cross-border cases and on highly complex campaigns.
  • The mobile and telecoms sector is fast changing and hugely dependent on technology advances. We help mobile and wireless and fixed telecoms clients to tackle the legal challenges that this evolving sector presents.
  • Whether ERP, Linux or Windows; software or infrastructure as a service in the cloud, in a virtualised environment, or as a mobile or service-oriented architecture, we have the experience to resolve legal issues across the spectrum of commercial computer platforms.
  • Our clients trust us to apply our solutions and know-how to help them make the best use of technology in structuring deals, mitigating key risks to their businesses and in achieving their commercial objectives.
  • We have extensive experience of advising customers and suppliers in the retail sector on technology development, licensing and supply projects, and in advising on all aspects of procurement and online operations.
  • Our legal professionals work alongside social media providers and users in relation to the commercial, privacy, data, advertising, intellectual property, employment and corporate issues that arise in this dynamic sector.
  • Our years of working alongside diverse software clients have given us an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the software marketplace, market practice and alternative negotiating strategies.
  • Working with direct providers of travel services, including aggregators, facilitators and suppliers of transport and technology, our team has developed a unique specialist knowledge of the sector
  • Your life as an entrepreneur is full of daily challenges as you seek to grow your business. One of the key strengths of our firm is that we understand these challenges.
  • Kemp Little is trusted by some of the world’s leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
  • HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
  • FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they don’t give away to get you started.

Single-minded thinking needed to face singularity

The EU steps in to kick-start a meaningful discussion on legislative direction of AI

On the 12th January 2017, the Legal Affairs Committee of the EU Commission passed a report that announced the need for EU wide rules on AI and robots.  For decades the development of artificial intelligence (AI) had been stymied by the delay in the actual technology to catch-up with the theory and the science-fiction.   But this decade has seen us reach the tipping point - the technology can start to deliver on the theory – the worry has become that the law would be the delay to the development of AI.  Whilst ambiguity and lack of clarity can often generate opportunity – typically larger enterprises view uncertainty and see fear and risk – and such fear and risk causes hesitancy in uptake.  

Keen to remove the uncertainty both UK and EU legislators have both been active in the last 6 months in setting out plans to bring legal certainty to the areas challenged by AI – with different rates of progress:

  • UK: In October 2016, the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology reported on “Robotics and artificial intelligence”.  The Committee called for a Commission on Artificial Intelligence to be established at the Alan Turing Institute to examine the social, ethical and legal implications of recent and potential developments in AI and also looked to the Government to ensure that education and training systems were optimised to better skill the future workforce
  • EU:  On the 12th January 2017, the Legal Affairs Committee of the EU Commission (with a vote of 17-2 in favour) passed a report that announced the need for EU wide rules on AI and robots.  The report marked an interesting step forward for AI within Europe as it gave some recommendations as to what the legislation of AI might look like.  These include:
  • ‘personhood’: consistent with the conclusion that Kemp Little has been making for over 2 years – for example see our seminar on AI in February 2016 -  the report noted that a legal status, perhaps akin to that granted to corporates, should be created at some point to help deal with issues of liability and ownership;
  • Agency: The creation of a European agency for robotics and AI;
  • Registration: A system of registration of the most advanced ‘smart autonomous robots’;
  • Code: An advisory code of conduct for robotics engineers aimed at guiding the ethical design, production and use of robots;
  • Insurance: A new mandatory insurance scheme for companies to cover damage caused by their robots; and
  • Driverless Vehicles’: The report notes that self-driving cars are “in most urgent need of European and global rules…Fragmented regulatory approaches would hinder implementation and jeopardise European competitiveness”.

KL Comment:  Whilst it is good to see that there was general recognition that the UK was falling behind in creating a legislative framework for AI – at the moment the UK based activity revolves around the push to greater thinking, rather than any guidance or conclusive thoughts.  The EU report starts to ‘flesh out’ how the legislators might approach the status of AI and the laws for development.  This feels like the first time a major legislative body has done so for AI at this level of granularity.  Keen ‘techies’ will note that the fundamental principles of  Isaac Asimov’s ‘Laws of Robotics’ – first articulated in 1943 – are referred to and form a basis of the proposed rules.  This reliance on 74 year old rules is either indicative of the prescient and visionary work of Asimov or shows how far we still have to go in our thinking in this area.  It is perhaps too soon to tell which…

Contact our experts for further advice

Andrew Joint