Smart contracting and the prospects of its use in the construction industry were the topics of discussion in our London offices on Thursday 21 November. Members of our Construction team gathered together with guests and guest contributor, Dr James Mason, as well as various Dentons colleagues who dialled in from our offices in Canada, Brussels and Amsterdam. We were also delighted that Houman Shadab could join us from New York to give some insight into the work of Clause and the Accord Project.

Information on and the LinkedIn details of the contributors are set out below. Please do get in touch with them if you want to continue the discussion.

Further reading

The Mason/Escott survey

Link to the Mason/Escott survey "Smart contracts in construction: views and perceptions of stakeholders"

Our recent articles

Legal Statement on Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts

The LawTech Delivery Panel's UK Jurisdiction Taskforce has published its Legal Statement on Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts. When established a year ago, the Panel's primary aim was to support digital transformation and deliver solutions to meet both society's and the economy's needs in this rapidly changing field.

One of the main impediments to the implementation of smart contracts is uncertainty on the legal position. The Legal Statement, drafted by Lawrence Akka QC, David Quest QC, Matthew Lavy and Sam Goodman, sets out opinions on how the law applies to smart contracts and cryptoassets and provides reassurance that English law can adapt to changing circumstances. Launching the statement earlier this week, Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court and chair of the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce, heralded it as a "watershed for English law and the UK's jurisdictions".

Speaker bios

Mark Macaulay is a partner in Dentons' Construction team. In addition to his law degree, Mark holds B.Sc. (Hons) and LL.M. degrees in the application of IT to law, and is co-author of a book entitled Construction and Procurement Law. He advises on all aspects of transactional construction work, including construction procurement issues, letters of intent, construction contracts, professional appointments, collateral warranties, partnering agreements, framework agreements, development agreements and alliancing agreements. LinkedIn with Mark here.

Dr. Jim Mason is Associate Head of Built Environment Programmes, Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of the West of England (UWE). The Built Environment setting with a Faculty of Environment and Technology has provided many opportunities to forge links outside a purely legal context, ranging from the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) to the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), the Federation Internationale Geospatial and the RICS Building and Real Estate (COBRA). Jim's research interests include the application of technology to built environment applications and the challenges the sector faces. LinkedIn with Jim here.

Houman Shadab is a co-founder of Clause, a leading platform for connecting legal agreements to enterprise software systems post-signature that is built upon open source technology developed by the Linux Foundation's Accord Project. Houman is an influential expert in law, business and technology with more than a decade of experience researching and teaching in academia and public policy at New York Law School, Cornell Tech and other institutions. He has testified before the US federal government several times and is widely published and cited. For more information on the work of Clause and the Accord project, click here. LinkedIn with Houman here.

Other members of the team

Tracey Summerell

LinkedIn with Tracey here.

Adam Brown

LinkedIn with Adam here.

Lampros Stougiannos

LinkedIn with Lampros here.

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

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