The U.K.’s largest commercial property development and investment company has said that the blockchain will ‘absolutely’ play a role in its business.
Land Securities Group, or Landsec, owns and manages over 26,000,000 square feet of commercial property, from London’s offices and high street shops to those of major shopping centres and retail parks. It also owns the advertising Piccadilly Lights in Piccadilly Circus, London.
In a CNBC interview, Robert Noel, CEO of Landsec, was asked whether the blockchain would be used in the company.
Absolutely … If you look at the way what we provide, which is services to business, and those services are around contract, anything that speeds up archaic land law, and contract law, and leasing law, etcetera, will be welcomed.
With the use of the technology in Landsec’s services it could help to speed up processes, particularly those that require the signing of contracts and extensive paper work. This is turn would help to cut down on the amount of time needed to go back and forth between varying parties. Through the blockchain each party involved would have access to an immutable copy of the contract, which is automatically executed when each party completes their part of the process. Noel claims, though, that the technology won’t mean a reduction in actual lawyers for the company.
Nowadays, as the distributed ledger gains in prominence within a range of industries and varying use cases, industries are realising the benefits that it can provide. So much so, that law firms are experimenting with the technology to determine its impact on manual processes that they currently perform.
In February, it was reported that a law firm in New York was looking into the blockchain to see if it could eliminate many of the steps required when it comes to executing smart contracts. The law firm, Hogan Lovells, was considering how smart contracts and the technology can execute agreements automatically without human intervention, thus freeing up lawyers time.
However, while the distributed ledger is providing the answer for many industries, could it spell the end of corporate law firms as we know them? Last June, Allens, one of Australia’s biggest law firms, sent a report to its clients informing them that the future of the business model that lawyers profit from because of a lack of trust between organisations working with each other was under threat from computers via the blockchain.