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Law firm Ashurst joins Accord Project on smart legal contract standards

International law firm Ashurst today announces it has joined the Accord Project, the industry standard organisation developing open source smart legal contract standards.

The Accord Project (‘Project’) was formed by US-based legal tech pioneer Clause last year and works in collaboration with world-leading standards bodies and technology organisations including the IEEE, International Association for Commercial and Contract Management, R3 and Hyperledger.

The aim of the Project is to establish open source techno-legal standards to facilitate the widespread adoption of smart legal contracts, by bringing together leading professionals in areas such as supply chain, financial services, and intellectual property law to develop canonical standards for a new generation of contracting and transaction management.

The Project incubates a blockchain agnostic middleware layer that is interoperable with any distributed ledger, allowing smart legal contracts to operate both ‘on-chain’ and ‘off-chain’.

Tae Royle, head of digital legal services at Ashurst, commented: “Smart contracts are already being used to manage hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency and digital assets globally. But we lack common standards and frameworks for ensuring legal enforceability of smart contracts. The Accord Project seeks to bridge the divide between code and law. Ashurst is proud to be part of this important project shaping the new digital economy.”

Peter Hunn, co-director, Accord Project, said: “We are delighted Ashurst has joined the Accord Project in supporting the standards and open source protocol for smart legal contracts. It is representative of the need for the Project and its work that we can work with some of the biggest names in the legal industry.”