The Lawyer of the Future as “Transaction Engineer”: Digital Technologies and the Disruption of the Legal Profession

  • Mark FenwickEmail author
  • Erik P. M. Vermeulen
Part of the Perspectives in Law, Business and Innovation book series (PLBI)


This chapter introduces two connected arguments about the future of the legal profession. First, the ongoing “digital revolution” will continue to disrupt legal work as it has traditionally operated. Various aspects of this disruption are outlined. Second, in contrast to previous technological revolutions, the “deployment” of disruptive innovation in the context of the digital revolution seems unlikely to be primarily “state-led.” Instead, new technologies will be deployed by a coalition of diverse private actors (entrepreneurs, technologists, consultants, and other professionals) working in collaboration. Crucial amongst these actors will be the lawyer of the future operating as “transaction engineer.” The chapter outlines this transaction engineer function and its importance in the deployment of emerging digital technologies.


Blockchain Digital revolution Disruptive innovation Lawyers Legal profession Smart contracts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Law, Faculty of LawKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Business LawTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Legal DepartmentPhilips LightingAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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