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Fish & Richardson Legal Tech Director on Why His Group Split With IT | Legaltech News
Legaltech News: Why was the legal technology solutions group spun off from Fish & Richardson’s IT department?

Beau Mersereau: We wanted to focus primarily on new technologies and innovative services, and bifurcating it allowed us to focus on the areas that were important to our clients. That also allowed the IT department to focus on technology and providing better services to our firm with less distractions.

What are some of the new solutions the group is developing? 

We are piloting machine learning to auto-classify documents or incoming mail from the Patent and Trademark Office that will allow us to route mail automatically to the appropriate teams. Eventually, we hope to start doing other things from auto-classifying time cards to having better data within our pricing group.

We hired a data scientist this year and he’s been helping us a lot. He used to be an astrophysicist, and it’s pretty interesting to have someone from a different field looking at our data and trying to understand it. Law firms have a lot of data and it’s not always easy to find the nuggets of good information in there.
it  firms  strategy 
9 days ago by JordanFurlong
Big Law 'App Store' Reynen Court Offically Launches, Announces Elevate Partnership | Legaltech News
Alternative legal services provider Elevate has partnered with legal tech platform Reynen Court, as the company officially launches today (August 15). 
Reynen Court’s aim is to provide law firms with a single platform to install, use and manage the abundance of legal tech products available to firms from various vendors—similar, in theory, to creating an “App Store” for legal tech.

Reynen Court was established last year, supported by 19 law firms with backers including Latham & Watkins, Clifford Chance and Paul Weiss.
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The company has now launched the platform, with Elevate agreeing to make three of its technologies available on Reynen Court’s legal tech app. These three products include a legal AI and document analytics platform called ContraxSuite; legal project management app, Cael Project; and a billing app called Cael BillPrep.

Elevate VP of software products Sharath Beedu said in a statement: “In essence, it’s a private, curated ‘app store’ where products are pre-packaged for easy installation within each firm’s respective IT environment. This enables firms to try new systems without using third-party cloud environments, which is prohibited by many of their clients.”

U.S.-based Reynen Court told The American Lawyer last October that it was looking to use its law firm backing to officially launch and increase its headcount in 2019 to around 40. That hiring kicked off in January, when the company hired former Davis Polk & Wardwell attorney and NY Legal Tech Meetup founder Christian Lang as head of strategy and Washington state-based lawyer Nancy Norton as general counsel.

Lang told Legaltech News at the time that Reynen Court will find what the consortium firms’ needs are and pair them with legal tech vendors, acting as a “matchmaker” of sorts. Access to cloud-based technology in particular, he said, should lead to cheaper, better and quicker access to legal services.

“I think the top firms that are in our consortium that have the resources to do this right … once they do these things, there will be a lot of implications for other firms in the market to have better access to legal,” Lang said.

“I think we are on the cusp of what could be a golden age of legal technology that can really improve lawyering and legal advice,” he added.
it  strategy  firms 
9 days ago by JordanFurlong
Curriculum Comes Alive: How Two Law Schools Use Virtual Reality in the Classroom | Legaltech News
In recent years, law schools have injected a host of technologically-savvy initiatives into their curriculum, ranging from start-up incubators to online-centric coursework and beyond. But some law schools are looking to move their curriculum into a new dimension: the third dimension, to be specific.
The educational tracks at the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) conference opened with “Virtual Reality in the Law Classroom,” a presentation of what two law schools have done with 360 video and 3-D modeling technologies to increase their students’ learning. Kenton Brice, director of technology innovation at University of Oklahoma College of Law, and Jenny Wondracek, director of legal educational technology at UNT Dallas College of Law, demonstrated that while the technology may seem futuristic, adopting it is feasible now.
schools  it 
5 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
Shouldering More Work, In-House Becomes Selective with Tech Adoption | Legaltech News
When pressed for where technology was expected to deliver the biggest advances in efficiency, 64 percent of respondents said contract management— specifically contract creation, management of the renewal process and risk mitigation. Those considerations may also be driving the ways that companies use AI as well.

According to the survey, 44 respondents indicated that AI is having the biggest impact in contract management and review. E-discovery took the second biggest piece of the pie at 27 percent, followed by managing repeatable legal workflow at 22 percent.

“If you’ve got 200,000 contracts, you can’t take make sense of that on your own. You’ve got to use technology to do that,” Cemenska said.

He pointed to contract analysis tools, where an AI identifies key terms in a document or PDFs to extract and index data, as an example. Once those solutions are in place, it’s easier for an organization to proactively mitigate future risk by, say, identifying problematic clauses hidden within existing contracts.
it  robo  contracts  clients 
7 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
Legal tech firms “will go bust as app stores take over” - Legal Futures
Professor Katz said the total number of legal tech start-ups providing what were “purported to be” AI products was “pushing 2,000”.

He said that “what began as a US-UK phenomenon is now an ‘everywhere phenomenon’”, including European countries like Finland, Russia, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland, along with Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Africa and Asia.

Professor Katz said many of these companies claimed to be offering a “platform”, but were really offering a “point solution” – a specific solution that would not work once it was taken out of the “sweet spot” for which it was designed.

“We’ve had these two thousand point solutions bloom, which is one of the hallmarks of this period.”

However, he said the real challenge was to develop a “product services bundle”, to provide a more complete solution.

Meanwhile law firms, led by Dentons more than four years ago, had created “engagement frameworks” through tech accelerators.

“Some of these are just a glossy brochure – I’m not going to say which ones – but some have substance.”

Last year, an international consortium of law firms launched Reynen Court, which looks like the type of platform the academic has in mind.
robo  it  consolidation 
10 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
The UK's Top Legal Tech Incubators: A Firm-By-Firm Guide | Legaltech News
It’s no secret that law firms are pushing to build their tech-friendly credentials, most notably through ‘incubator’ programs, which offer a variety of perks to start-ups to help them grow their company.

This year alone has seen Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance and Ashurst all launch new initiatives. Even Barclays and PwC have taken interest with their own legal-tech focused programs.
The benefit for law firms is that they get in at the ground level with high-growth (and potentially high fee-generating) clients, or they can boost their own practices by bringing their technology in-house.

But you would be forgiven for losing track of which firm has done what. Here, Legal Week rounds up the main incubator-style programs run by U.K. Top 50 firms.

Allen & Overy

Fuse, Allen & Overy, London
A&O’s Fuse is an in-residence innovation program run from the firm’s London headquarters.

Participating companies receive day-to-day access to the firm’s lawyers and clients in order to develop their products. A&O looks to work with companies at various stages of development, who focus on legal or regulatory technology.
incubator  startup  innovation  it 
11 weeks ago by JordanFurlong
New Littler 'On Demand' App Has a Human Side: Shift Lawyers | The American Lawyer
Clients will use the service by submitting questions on a newly built app, either via mobile or desktop. If the question has already been asked in an organization, it will elicit previous attorney responses. And for new inquiries, on-call Littler “on-demand” attorneys—who have an average of 15 years of experience and will work a set shift—will work to generate real-time answers. They can either respond directly or collaborate with Littler attorneys with more specialized knowledge on particularly complex questions.

Fees will range from traditional hourly rates, blended rates or any other arrangements sought by clients. Regardless, Forman said that the expense for clients would be less than the cost of salary and benefits for new in-house counsel.

Clients will also have access to a dashboard that shows what other questions are being asked, in order to gain a picture of other issues or concerns that they should have on their radar. Forman gave the example of a wage and hour question that might alert a client to a compliance issue or stimulate an opportunity for further training.

The new platform also relies on a recognition that the traditional law firm career progression does not work for everyone.

“For years, you would come in as a lawyer and then be on the partnership track or no longer at a firm,” Forman said. “We’re very cognizant that today’s lawyers are looking for different things.”

He added that many lawyers who moved in-house seeking greater certainty about their hours were encountering some of the same expectations they faced at firms.

“This delivers what most people mistakenly believe the in-house position offers: a set schedule, working on interesting legal issues for important clients,” Forman said of the “on demand” lawyers, who essentially work as an extension of the client’s legal team.
clients  talent  flex  it  ops 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
Engagement and Encouragement: How In-House Directors Drive Tech Adoption | Legaltech News
Although the road to new tech may be laborious, the tech directors agreed there are some universal objectives that, if met, could deliver high usage. According to the panel, strategies to successfully implement new technology include: obtaining the GC-level blessing that’ll sway the c-suite and employees, and training that takes the suggestions and concerns of users seriously. In addition, it’s also important to encourage a perspective of adopting new technology as part of a new culture in the legal department and not a project with an eventual end date, and ensuring the new process focuses on storing and collecting data in a central location, the panel said.
change  client  it 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
Business of Law Podcast-Tagulous Demo for CLOC Las Vegas Institute 2019 – Business of Law Podcast
Microsoft Legal Business, Operations, and Strategy demonstrated a proof of concept project called Tagulous at CLOC’s 2019 Las Vegas Institute. This project is designed to instrument communications like email with text tags to create a flexible and extensible approach that enables data collection and workflow automations. It allows organization to develop domain specific training sets that link unstructured data (standard communication text) and structured data (tags) to enable machine learning scenarios.
ops  robo  it  data 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
The Houston Legal Tech Association is Turning Law Students Into Tech Writers | Legaltech News
“The idea was to create one platform where these ecosystems of lawyers and IT professionals are together and encouraging that knowledge sharing,” noted Houston Legal Tech Association president Nakul Goenka. “We want to bring lawyers, which includes lawyers working in law firms or in-house counsel or law school students, and IT professionals on the same platform and break down the barriers of communication.”
Goenka added that understanding technical terms and technology’s effects on their business is an essential part of being a lawyer today.

While the association seeks to improve tech knowledge among lawyers, Goenka said students can also gain early career experience from learning firsthand about tech advancements and managing social media. Those benefits include exposure and immersion in the legal tech field and networking opportunities.

Interested students can email their resumes to Goenka or Legal Tech Talent Network, a recruiting firm for legal technology-focused workers the association partnered with to publicize the opportunity. Applicants will be picked based on their interest in technology and law and their availability to post online, Goenka said. There’s no set number of volunteers required, although the association expects to start posting online content this month.

What’s more, while the association is based in Houston, applications will be accepted from law students nationwide. “The business model for law firms is pretty similar throughout the world, and the technology impact in the U.S., if you are able to get a common consensus, it’ll help Houston and throughout the world,” he said.
schools  training  it 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
Machine Learning-Enabled Judgment: Baker McKenzie on the Law Firm of the Future
For a global firm with 78 offices across 46 markets, these challenges are particularly acute — and we are doing a lot of work internally to come up with solutions. For example, looking at different encryption models to help with getting client data in the cloud, and longer term projects to get the enormous amount of know-how we have structured and in one place. But the issues around use of the cloud and fragmentation of legal data are tough and systemic. They are collective problems requiring collective problem-solving that draws in the full range of legal, technical, business, regulatory, and academic stakeholders and expertise.

For this reason, one of the most important pillars of our R&D program is ecosystem engagement, including through collaborative hubs we’ve launched and partnered with in key regions — such as the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco, our WhiteSpace Legal Collab in Toronto, and Europe’s first legal innovation hub ReInvent Law. We recognize that transformational change — truly disruptive innovation — requires us to ask big questions and solve challenges that are far beyond the ability of one organization to tackle alone.

So, our plan is to keep working at it and collaborating as the tech and our own capabilities evolve. But this is not just the key to getting where we and our clients want to go. The firms and lawyers who do this well, we think, are the ones who’ll succeed in the machine learning-enabled future. To us, “innovation” is not just some new product, initiative, or topic du jour. It is (and really, has to be) who we are and how we work — and from what we can tell, that never goes out of fashion.
it  firms  robo 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
Six new BigLaw firms sign up to Reynen Court | Legal IT Insider
In a model that will ultimately succeed or fail on the number of law firms backing it, six more leading law firms have joined Reynen Court to support the development and launch of its services automation platform.  The six new members are Cleary Gottlieb; Davis Polk & Wardwell; Debevoise & Plimpton; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Slaughter and May and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

They bring the number of firms backing the platform that we christened the app store for legal to 18. Co-chairs Latham & Watkins and Clifford Chance have been involved from the outset alongside Paul Weiss (vice chair); Covington; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Gibson Dunn; Linklaters; Orrick; Ropes & Gray; Skadden Arps; and White & Case. As we first revealed in January, Latham and Clifford Chance have each injected £2m in Series A funding.

Founded by former Cravath, Swaine & Moore associate Andrew Klein and formally launched at the end of September, Reynen Court will audit vendors and offer containerised cloud applications, enabling firms to buy and run the application in their preferred environment.

Instead of individual IT directors having to audit and worry about the security of new providers, that will become Reynen Court’s job, with the idea that it becomes an official legal app store that, once established, clients can give their blanket approval to. This sort of store will also help law firms to optimise their costs by enabling them to use applications as they need them.

The ultimate objective is that firms will be able to say they will not work with startups unless it is through Reynen Court.
consortium  firms  IT 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
EY to expand legal services offerings globally with acquisition of the Pangea3 business from Thomson Reuters
EY and Thomson Reuters today announce an agreement for the acquisition of the Thomson Reuters Pangea3 Legal Managed Services (LMS) business by various firms in the EY network. Following the recent acquisition of Riverview Law, EY Law practices are broadening further their depth and capacity to serve corporate legal departments around the world. The acquisition will bolster the ability for EY Law practices to help clients transform their practices and deliver meaningful value to their businesses. 
Pangea3 is an award-winning leader in legal managed services, with more than 1,000 legal professionals across eight service delivery locations on three continents. By leveraging legal, technical and business-process talent in quality, cost-effective centers, Pangea3 helps clients mitigate legal risks, reduce burdensome costs and provide continuity and scale to budget-strapped legal teams.

The acquisition will greatly enhance EY technology-enabled legal managed services in the three core areas of contract lifecycle management, regulatory risk and compliance, and investigations and litigation. In addition, EY Law practices, comprising more than 2,400 lawyers in 84 countries, will continue to rapidly grow their Legal Advisory services.  
accountants  competition  process  it  mergers 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
EY in talks to acquire Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services: What we know | Legal IT Insider
Insiders are officially staying tight-lipped over whether EY is in talks to acquire Thomson Reuters legal managed services division, but we understand from a credible source that is indeed the case, as Thomson Reuters’ regroups and focuses its efforts on its content and technology offerings.

Thomson Reuters has been engaged in over a year of wholesale restructuring, starting with the sale in 2018 of its financial and risk business to funds managed by Blackstone, for which it received around $17bn in gross proceeds.

The sale meant it had cash in the bank for the restructuring drive, which started at senior executive level in around June 2018: Brian Peccarelli was appointed as co-chief operating officer alongside Neil Masterson. Four senior executives left the business including highly respected president of legal, Susan Taylor Martin.

The business was restructured around three customer segments:

– Legal professionals, including law firms; government; academics and the Bar, led directly by Peccarelli;

– Corporates, including all the work that Thomson Reuters does with corporations, whether the GC or CFO, led by Piotr Marczewski; and

– Tax Professionals, including all the work Thomson Reuters does with accountants, led by Charlotte Rushton.

Within the legal professionals segment, there are now five distinct businesses: the circa $600m small law segment (headed by Mark Haddad); mid-size law firms (headed by Barb McGivern); global large law and Canada (led by Neil Sternthal); US government (headed by Steve Rubley); and Europe, which includes the UK and Ireland, plus Thomson Reuters’ Spanish business (led by Lucinda Case).

Each of those groups has its own head of product, technology and marketing and, aside from in the small law segment, will now sell the entire stable of client products including Practical Law, Westlaw, Contract Express and the Elite technology stack including 3E and eBillingHub in a significant departure from the previous business model and strategy, which was focussed on product lines.

The big focus now, as evidenced by Thomson Reuters release of major new workflow and pricing solution Panoramic, is on becoming more of a technology business and knitting these offerings together – something that is welcomed by customers, who can now focus holistically on their end goals.

Thomson Reuters, which is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, is understood to have a substantial sum of money put aside for further investment in technology, where the margins are significantly higher than in services.
accountants  process  it  mergers  competition 
april 2019 by JordanFurlong
Allen & Overy Picks Four Newest Companies to Join Fuse Incubator | Legaltech News
Four legal tech companies have fought off competition to join Allen & Overy’s vaunted Fuse incubator program.
Apiax, Define, HighQ and Scissero will move into A&O’s flagship tech space in early May this year, after beating 100 applicants for this year’s round.

The companies will join Fuse veterans Avvoka, Legatics, and Nivaura, which have been in the program since it launched in September 2017. They also join fintech company Regnosys, which was selected for the second round of the program last April.
Companies to leave the program this year include Kira, which raised $50 million in its first external funding round while on the program, and Bloomsbury AI, which was purchased by Facebook in July.
incubator  it  firms  innovation 
march 2019 by JordanFurlong
WSGR Lite? The Birth Of A New Tech-Led Business Model? – Artificial Lawyer
esterday, legal services business Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) announced it was creating a new legal tech unit, SixFifty. Interesting in itself, but is this potentially a signal of a new business model developing across the legal market? Artificial Lawyer investigates.

The developer unit’s first product is SixFifty Privacy, a tool that businesses can use to assess and plan their compliance with California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – which is a local version of the EU’s GDPR.

This is basically an automated Q&A interface that guides a business through checklists and queries to find out what it needs to do in relation to CCPA. After that, the potential client can decide it has met its obligations, or decide it needs more help.
subsidiaries  innovation  IT 
march 2019 by JordanFurlong
Legal Tech in Law Firms – A Conversation with Legal Technologist Dera Nevin – Ten-Three
“The generalized criticisms of law being slow to adopt technologies may minimize some of the realities of operating technology in the legal context. Tech in law, especially technology that relies on dataset training, takes longer to mature then consumer-facing technology.  For example, some of the datasets we use as inputs to train machine learning may come from case law, on topics which are highly fragmented, unique, and specific. These datasets are the opposite of the large, aggregated sets like driving routes collected by Uber that are highly repetitive and common. Often, we don’t have the scale of data to train machines quickly and so legal technology can take longer to mature.”
robo  data  it 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Thomson Reuters Releases New Workflow Solution Panoramic With Law Firm Input | Legaltech News
The solution was designed to help firms to increase transparency and provide a more effective way to predict profitability, something that corporate clients are looking for as they aim to cut costs and do more with less.

“We know that clients continue to take more [work] in-house, and law firms across the globe for years have been forced to pivot towards efficiency more,” said Elisabet Hardy, vice president of financial and practice management at Thomson Reuters.
The initial release, scheduled for April 8, will target the United States and the United Kingdom, but Hardy said the company could explore other territories down the line. The product was built on top of Thomson Reuters’ financial management system 3E and received input from the law firms of LeClairRyan and K&L Gates during the development process.

Speaking of development, key to the architecture of the solution are “Matter Maps,” which break a given project down into phases and associated tasks. Practice areas that can be addressed in detail include corporate M&A, capital markets, litigation and finance.

Attorneys can use Panoramic to assign tasks to themselves or another lawyer, which come complete with due dates and billing codes. The nature or particulars of those assignments can then be adapted mid-process as the need arises.

Christopher Lange, an attorney at LeClairRyan and the liaison on the Panoramic project, said the solution can give lower-level attorneys a broader view (hence “Panoramic”) of a matter beyond the individual duties assigned to them. Clients will also be able to view in real-time how their projects are unfolding.

The ability to track that progress could be useful as corporations rethink the way their legal bills are calculated. Per Lange, clients are increasingly looking at other alternative fee arrangements to replace the traditional billable hours structure that has dominated the legal industry.

“And a law firm’s ability to both commit to the client to do that and then manage the work profitably is going to be a real key to success as we see the market moving more towards alternative fee arrangements and further away from only looking at rates times hours,” Lange said.
it  process  pricing 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Well hello, Project X! | Legal IT Insider
‘Panoramic’, as we now know the worst kept secret under the sun is called, has been designed to meet law firms’ complex needs on pricing; cost and process; project management; and knowledge and data. It leverages TR’s deep resources in everything from practice management to practice notes.

The brainchild of PLC editor David Rawson, Panoramic enables fee-earners to plan how a transaction or case will be resourced, how much it will cost and what it should be priced at.  Once those figures have been decided (the UI is impressive) the system will track and flag the impact of any changes down the line so that they can be revisited as a transaction or case twists and turns.

Created with heavy input and testing from law firms throughout its development, Panoramic includes brand new customisable matter maps created in conjunction with the PLC editorial team, which breaks down the stages it takes to execute a legal matter, with embedded guidance both in terms of practice notes and links to precedents – both PLC/TR’s and the firm’s own previous documents.

TR has invested a lot of time in creating out-of-the-box sequential matter map tiles, but firms can also switch tiles around and create their own maps from scratch.

Once a matter is planned, partners can assign tasks and there is a dashboard that gives them easy visibility into the projects currently on the go and where those projects sit against budget.

No wonder, then, that during our ahead-of-release demo, Elizabet Hardy, vice president of product management, told Legal IT Insider: “A lot of our clients, when they see Panoramic for the first time, say, ‘This is the holy grail’.”
it  process  pricing 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
How to Evaluate Legal Technology that Improves Efficiency | Legal IT Insider
For example, a lot of the new technology will require significant manpower (often, non-billable) to train and manage the inputs and outputs of the technology; this can be very true of machine learning technology but is not limited to just machine learning technology.  Sometimes these costs are borne by the vendor and incorporated into the cost of the product but, in other contexts, the new users need to train, configure or set-up the technology before it can be reliably used.  This means there can be significant labour and time costs imposed on a purchaser in addition to the cost of licensing or acquiring the software or technology system.

In addition to this labour cost, there can be costs associated with cleaning up data, implementing new workflows or in training before the technology can be relied upon actually to replace the work carried out by humans or permit humans to trust it to use it without human intervention.  During this period there can be significant loss of productivity with hours diverted from billable work, not to mention the need to duplicate efforts (while training or testing the outputs from the technology).  This time and these costs are often not factored into the evaluations of cost-savings possible when “efficiency technology” is used but these are important to factor into any assessment of the cost of the new technology and to evaluate the total cost and RoI of the service delivery associated with its purchase.

Introducing technology to achieve efficiency is still a significant innovation.  There can be challenges to business models associated with the introduction of this kind of technology, as has happened with the movement of much document review to lower-cost and specialty providers.  But efficiency is often really secondary to what has actually happened:  the removal and/or replacement of lawyers from delivery of the work, largely because the technology allowed for standardising an aspect of their work that formerly required opaque judgments that previously could not be easily measured.
strategy  it  firms 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Are Cybersecurity Solutions and Consulting a New Revenue Stream for Law Firms? | Legaltech News
Recently, Keesal Young & Logan’s client consulting team spun up a sister company, Keesal Propulsion Labs (KPL), to augment its service offerings for key clients through a partnership with Mitratech for Mitratech’s TAP Workflow Automation and Privva for Third-Party Vendor Risk Management. The law firm leverages the Privva platform for vendor risk assessment on behalf of the firm and as part of the firm’s client-facing cyber risk practice, and KPL is building custom legal and business process automation workflows on TAP for clients in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street.

These are not just tools purchased; KPL meets with Privva and Mitratech regularly and has become part of the development feedback loop, helping to improve the products by sharing lessons learned in the field.

“By investing our time and energy in our relationships with these strategic partners, we are able to provide integrated solutions featuring best-in-class people, process and tech — each professional and organization focusing on what they do best, while all acting as one unit” says Justin Hectus, KPL Principal and Keesal Young & Logan’s CIO/CISO and a member of Cybersecurity Law & Strategy’s Board of Editors.

A Worldwide Development
subsidiaries  innovation  it 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Slaughter and May, Others Invest $10 Million in Legal Tech Provider Luminance | Legaltech News
Machine learning-powered legal tech service provider Luminance has announced it raised $10 million from previous investors, including Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May.
The announcement on Feb. 7 said the $10 million was also backed by Invoke Capital and Talis Capital. Luminance currently offers compliance; due diligence/risk identification; lease review and portfolio analysis; and e-discovery platforms with plans to expand its user base to more law firms around the globe.

Luminance Technologies CEO Emily Foges said the recent investment would be used to acquire more office space, developers and increase its sales team.
Foges said the salespeople will be critical in explaining to law firms how Luminance can help their practice. To Foges, Luminance enhances the speed of legal services through artificial intelligence and maintains the firm’s quality through the lawyer’s input and the software’s machine learning.
innovation  subsidiaries  it 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Allen & Overy Brings Fuse Incubator to Its New York Offices | Legaltech News
This week, attorneys at Allen & Overy’s New York office are being tasked with bringing some creativity to legal services. But they won’t be doing it alone. As part of the law firm’s “U.S. Legal Tech Week,” its New York-based attorneys and clients will have a chance to interact and collaborate with four startups from the firm’s Fuse incubator.
To be sure, this isn’t the first time these Allen & Overy attorneys have come into contact with Fuse. Shruti Ajitsaria, head of Fuse and counsel at Allen & Overy, said the firm regularly hosts video conferencing sessions between its worldwide offices and its incubator, which is housed at the firm’s London headquarters.

The U.S. Legal Tech Week, however, will be the first chance attorneys in New York get to interact with Fuse startups in person. “What we haven’t been able to do up until now is bring [Fuse] members to New York and develop a relationship of trust and a one-to-one relationship,” Ajitsaria said.
Fuse, which launched in 2017 and supports a rotating mix of eight startups, is somewhat different from other incubators in the legal market in that it focuses solely on fostering legal tech innovation and forgoes equity investment.
innovation  subsidiaries  it 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Albany Law Students Create Tech Tool for Businesses to Obtain Nonprofit Status | Legaltech News
Albany Law School students have released a web-based Nonprofit Formation Tool to assist lawyers with clients attempting to gain nonprofit status.
The idea for the tool was formed during a “Law of Social Entrepreneurship and Exempt Organizations” course in fall 2017. The Nonprofit Formation Tool allows lawyers to easily create the certificate of incorporation and bylaws, important documents needed to gain status as a nonprofit in New York state. The documents are created after lawyers answer a few questions in a web-based program. The questions and program were created by Albany Law School students through the cloud-based program building A2J Author software.

The idea for the tool sprung from students observing a legal need in Albany.
“It was something needed in the community, something beneficial, and brings their [Albany Law School students] learned expertise they’ve developed in the course and spread that around with this digital tool,” said Ray Brescia, an Albany Law School professor and leader of the course. Brescia added that the tool received feedback from lawyers in the community and those in the nonprofit sector.

The Nonprofit Formation Tool requires lawyers not to charge clients when using the software. The program is only accessible for lawyers admitted to the New York bar, who must enter their attorney registration number when applying to use the tool.

While lawyers who counsel simple corporate structures is the tool’s largest projected demographic, Brescia said the software’s convenience may also encourage pro bono services.

“[It’s] really a reflection of the need in the community. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for lawyers representing nonprofits,” Brescia added. “It might encourage more lawyers to take this on pro bono as well, if they had this tool.”
schools  access  it 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Allen & Overy Expands Consulting Arm, Launches Client News Service | Legaltech News
Allen & Overy is ramping up its alternative client offering with the use of a new tool developed in its tech incubation program Fuse, as well as expanding its consulting business in Australia.

The new product, Vable Connect, provides a web-based platform that enables clients to receive research and news on relevant matters via their lawyers.
Information provider Vable was part of A&O’s first Fuse tech program intake in 2017 and worked with the firm to create a product that collates online news and information for lawyers to send to clients. It was founded in 2004 by former Manches lawyer Matthew Dickinson.

A&O global head of research and library services Sarah Fahy said that clients want “the right information coming to them in the right quantity,” but often “don’t have the staff and skills in-house to do their own research on an ongoing basis.”

Dickinson added that A&O has been the “driving force” behind the new product and that the new platform has the potential to turn firms’ library teams, traditionally seen as a cost center within a business, into a “value-add” service.
km  it  innovation  firms 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Eversheds Sutherland and Clifford Chance split innovation and back office tech teams | Legal IT Insider
Both Eversheds Sutherland and Clifford Chance have recently restructured their legal technology teams, separating client-facing innovation from back office IT.

Eversheds Sutherland IT director Andrew McManus now focuses exclusively on client-facing technology and also spearheads the firm’s innovation push.

“A separate team looks after the platform of technology that sits behind the scenes, making sure we are billing correctly, storing our documents in the right place, that our emails are working and our data is secure,” McManus told Legal IT Insider as part of our new series of profiles of the top 200 firms’ legal technology operations.

Will Jenkins, also IT director, heads up this delivery and operational IT team.  Jenkins joined Eversheds Sutherland from Hogan Lovells in September last year.

“When I joined four and a half years ago, I was IT director of both areas,” McManus explains. “But four and a half years ago, were our clients and our lawyers demanding so much technology?  Was technology affecting the legal sector as much as it is now?  Clearly not.  And we are keen to make sure that do we don’t spread ourselves too thinly.”
it  innovation 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Deloitte, Relativity Partnership Produces First Innovation: A FOIA Workflow Tool | Legaltech News
A year after Deloitte entered into an alliance with e-discovery software provider Relativity, the two have now announced the creation of an end-to-end workflow platform geared towards managing and responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Deloitte’s new disclosure solution was developed with the government agencies responding to FOIA requests in mind. But it’s also potentially good news for attorneys who don’t particularly enjoy standing around looking at their watch. Chris Knox, Deloitte’s risk and financial advisory managing director and leader in the Federal Discovery practice, said that savvy attorneys have begun to utilize the FOIA in the vein of a pre-litigation discovery request.
One slight wrinkle? The government is dealing with an epic backlog of about 100,000 FOIA requests per year. That’s not a problem that you can simply be addressed by just throwing more bodies at the wall.
it  accountants  innovation  competition 
february 2019 by JordanFurlong
Legal Expert Systems Just Got Smarter – Jason Morris – Medium
For nearly 40 years, the automation of legal services has hit a brick wall when it came to dealing with subjective questions. Until recently, it just wasn’t possible at all. Recently, machine learning has made it possible, but it can’t explain how it came to the conclusion.

We need an automated system that can answer subjective questions, and explain its answers. It is a critical missing tool in the access to justice toolbox.

When a human lawyer comes across one of these questions, they make an argument based on precedent, using a technique called “reasoning by analogy to prior cases”. But as far as I am aware, there has never been a commercial or open-source tool to automate that process.
robo  it 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Walmart's In-House Counsel Tells How the Retail Giant Is Changing Its Legal Ops | Corporate Counsel
He explained that until the turn of this century, the large retailer was heavily leveraging outside counsel and realized that, along with the policy of taking all cases to trial, needed to change. The first issue that Walmart needed to fix was a lack of centralization in the legal department.
Walmart’s legal department first put all of their outside counsel on the same engagement letter—they decided to have the same terms for all outside counsel.

“What we had found is that sometimes with the same firm, we would have different engagement letters,” Bryan explained.

Walmart’s legal department then took all of the data it collected over the years and organized it to be easily searchable.

“We wanted to be able to accomplish an accurate way of reporting out on things like spend and the performance of outside counsel,” Bryan said.

There was also a turn toward time-saving technology that would allow lawyers to take more time to focus on more difficult tasks.

“We announced a partnership with a company called LegalMation and we’re using software to take a complaint filed against the company—generally speaking in tort and in general litigation matters—feeding that complaint into the system and the system, within two minutes, kicks out an answer, a first set of interrogatories and a first set of requests for production. That is reviewed by an attorney but what we’ve found is that it is saving 60 to 70 percent of the time that would normally take to review that complaint,” Bryan explained.
clients  it  process 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
The 20 Most Important Legal Technology Developments of 2018 | LawSites
What a whirlwind of a year it has been for legal technology. Barely a week into 2018, industry-changing news broke of Avvo’s sale to Internet Brands. Legal tech news has been nonstop ever since – so much that it’s a struggle to keep up with it all.

For several years now, I’ve closed out the year with a round-up of the 10 most important legal developments (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). Last year, I bypassed the top 10 to focus on a single overarching development, The Year of Women in Legal Tech.

This year, a top-10 list won’t suffice. So much of significance has happened that I can’t sum it all up in just 10 points. Instead, I’m doubling the list to offer my top 20 picks for the year’s most important legal technology developments.

As in past years, the order in which I list these is not meant to be a ranking by importance. They are all important, each in their own way.
it  robo  innovation 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Legal’s 2019 Tech Challenge: Getting Everyone on the Same Page | Corporate Counsel
For many legal departments, the demands of 2019 will not be much different from recent years: Do more work with less resources.

“The scope of work in many legal functions has increased, and the amount of work various legal teams are tasked with [has increased], with not significant increases in their ­budgets or headcount,” says Sowmyan “Sam” Ranganathan, senior director of information governance and legal ops at pharmaceutical company AbbVie and chair of the ­Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) legal operations group.

Facing such belt-tightening, legal departments are striving to elicit efficiencies by learning skills like project management and, equally as important, leveraging legal technology.

Ranganathan says that for many this year, such technology will likely include contract management and workflow automation products. But there are other platforms corporate legal teams are eyeing to streamline their operations as well.
clients  it  process  newlaw  innovation 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Kennedys KLAIM Automation Platform Goes Global, Now in US, Oz + More – Artificial Lawyer
eading insurance law firm Kennedys has taken its KLAIM workflow and legal process automation system global, rolling out the home-built application into the US market for the first time, along with Australia, Hong Kong and offshore reinsurance centre, Bermuda.

KLAIM has been developed at the London-based firm over several years, with the team behind it steadily adding new capabilities as it has evolved (see feature). Now, the platform has been provided to clients in some of the world’s other key insurance markets, in some cases tailored with specialised capabilities that fit local needs. For example in the US, KLAIM ‘Subro’ will help clients settle subrogated recoveries without the need to resort to lawyers.

The web-based platform provides built-in templates and guidance notes that guide the user through the litigation process via a workflow, along with an automated diary and traffic light system. KLAIM also auto-populates and generates all the relevant court documentation for the client.

The logic behind KLAIM has always been to allow its large insurance clients to reduce the amount of legal process work that would otherwise need to be done by lawyers, and that would take time and add extra costs that insurance companies are very keen to avoid. Put simply they are saving their clients money through better workflows and the use of automation.

Now, you may then perhaps ask: why do that? The answer is that this lower value process work around defence of insurance claims is not something the world’s leading insurance companies want to hire a top law firm to handle. If the work is going to ‘go away’ at some point in the future, then why not automate parts of it now and ensure that the client stays with you for the more valuable, complex work as well?

Or, to quote Kennedys: ‘Using the collective knowhow of hundreds of our lawyers, it allows clients to deal with litigation without needing to use a lawyer. Clients are settling in excess of 80% of their claims inside the system without the need for a lawyer at all.’
insurance  innovation  it  robo 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Legal Technology Tools Aid with Justice Problems But Remain Limited in Services Provided: Report - American Bar Foundation
CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2019 — A report released today by American Bar Foundation (ABF) Faculty Fellow Rebecca Sandefur surveys the rapidly developing field of legal technologies for non-lawyers. Legal Tech for Non-Lawyers: Report of the Survey of U.S. Legal Technologies was created with funding from Open Society Foundations and examines an expansive list of over 320 digital tools that help a range of users to act on a legal problem.  

Each year, tens of millions of Americans face justice problems that have potentially wide-ranging impacts on core areas of life including livelihood, shelter, care and custody of minor children, neighborhood safety, and environmental conditions. Most of these issues do not reach the justice system and receive no attention from any sort of legal professional. Legal Tech for Non-Lawyers assesses how legal technology tools can assist people who do not practice law in dealing with these sorts of challenges, with a focus on bridging the access to justice gap for low-income communities and others who have restricted access to law and legal services.

The report identifies an extensive number of tools that aim to aid both individual users and those who work with the public on a range of criminal and civil justice problems.

Tools described in the report specialize in areas from criminal to civil rights to employment to health. Though no single tool offers a “one stop shop” for every kind of justice issue, most try to ease the experience of dealing with justice barriers for non-lawyers by providing legal information, offering connections to lawyers, or facilitating legal actions for users.

Although these tools offer resources to non-lawyers in dealing with justice concerns, many of them reflect outdated design standards, are limited in services they provide, and only partially match the type of justice issues most commonly reported by Americans. The report found that there is currently a substantial mismatch between the services offered by the legal tools and the services people need.

Because of barriers of language, literacy, and the cost of internet data access, the same groups that often cannot access traditional legal services, such as people with lower incomes or less education, are also less likely to be able to use many existing tools that would otherwise be available to them.

“There is another important cause of the mismatch between the help these tools offer and the help people need,” said Sandefur. “These tools could be more effective if they could provide more extensive help. That’s not a technological problem.”
access  it 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Reed Smith’s Tech Subsidiary GravityStack Hits Maturity Milestone | Legaltech News
Since launching as an independent legal tech subsidiary of Reed Smith in last April, GravityStack has been quickly ramping up its business. The subsidiary has developed five proprietary legal tech platforms that it licenses as cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) products to hundreds of clients, including corporate legal departments and other law firms, according to Bryon Bratcher, managing director of GravityStack.

Recently, GravityStack also took a big step forward in becoming more of a full-service legal technology provider. Early this month, it licensed its e-discovery analytics and business intelligence tool Periscope, initially created by Reed Smith in 2014, as an on-premise solution for Toronto-based law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
It was the first time GravityStack sold an on-premise license for one of its products, and Bratcher believes one of the first times a law firm-created company offered a proprietary legal tech solution to another firm in an on-premises installation.

Bratcher called the development a “turning point” for GravityStack. “I definitely would say this is a sign of maturity for us based on growth and capabilities and specification of what we can do,” he said.
Unlike cloud products, an on-premise license requires setting up software within a client’s own IT environment so that it can run locally without having to connect to outside servers. Offering on-premise installation of Periscope, which Bratcher previously described to Legaltech News as a “data warehouse” that sits on top of different e-discovery platforms to track “the speed and accuracy of document reviewers at the individual level,” is no easy feat.

“Because Periscope is a data warehouse it inherently is going to connect to different data sources, and each customer has different data sources, different technology environments, [and] different technology they need to have Periscope connected to,” Bratcher said. Still, he noted that while on-premise solution deployments can be challenging, they can also be “exciting because we learn more with each installation.”
subsidiaries  it  firms 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
Kira Systems – AL Product Review – Part One – Artificial Lawyer
This is the first part of the product review by Artificial Lawyer of legal AI document review pioneer, Kira Systems.

Feedback was called for in November and 24 law firms and corporates responded in full, plus one partial review in addition. This represents approximately a quarter of Kira’s customers at an organisation level.

Reviews of products are never an exact science, but it is hoped that this combination of scoring and verbatim responses to the review questions will provide potential customers with some insight into how a number of the world’s leading law firms and corporates are making use of this legal AI product, what they like about it, and what they think could improve.

The reviews are predominately from US and UK law firms, several of which are global, plus firms from Canada and across Continental Europe. There are also several corporates, which are mostly global businesses. In short, these are very significant customers and the views represent the experience of a number of users inside each organisation. For the vast majority the views are of ongoing customers.

Naturally, this is feedback from third parties. All potential buyers of a product should do their own research and speak in depth to the company providing the product. It is also recommended that you conduct a pilot before committing to a long term contract, whichever type of legal AI product you choose.

Overall Score
Overall score of between one and four: 3.6 out of 4
robo  it 
january 2019 by JordanFurlong
The Next Wave of Legal Tech Innovation Can Be Found Down Under | Legaltech News
ALTA members’ solutions to these very real needs were on display at our organization’s first-ever transoceanic Demo Day, hosted by DLA Piper in San Francisco on October 26:

Outside counsel costs can be monitored and systematized with Persuit, an application for outside counsel management and proposals;
Department workflow and processes can be automated with Neota Logic’s AI-powered applications, while Contract Probe reviews legal documents in less than one minute, and Lexico creates routine paperwork, such as work orders, client contracts and employee forms;
Internal data security can be ensured in corporate and commercial transactions with thedocyard, a cloud-based deal space that brings together investment bankers, corporate counsel, law firms, corporate advisors and more in a private platform; and
Legal operations can be analyzed, streamlined and tracked with Xakia, which eliminates guesswork about a team’s capacity, capabilities and cost.
it  innovation  australia 
december 2018 by JordanFurlong
6 Law Firms That Became Software Developers This Fall | The American Lawyer
If necessity isn’t the mother of all invention then it’s certainly a close relative. Law firms have begun moonlighting as software developers to help make day-to-day operations run more efficiently, provide better service to clients or just to keep the lights from going out.
innovation  firms  it  clients 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
What the Elevate/LexPredict Deal Means + Interview with Dan Katz – Artificial Lawyer
LexPredict has always been pioneering and a lot of Katz’s work has been around litigation, creating algorithmic models based on legal data, and prediction. They’ve also had a lot of experience in running an AI business, as well as working with lawyers through their consulting engagements and generally being at the cutting edge of this sector.

And, it’s worth noting that if you were in the market to buy a North America-based legal AI company, then first there are not that many well-developed ones to choose from, and of those that really stand out, such as Kira Systems and Seal Software, they are probably a bit too big now for an ALSP takeover, unless Elevate wished to pay in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Whereas LexPredict is still only around 20 people – so a much more doable deal.

Moreover, LexPredict and Elevate had already worked together, most recently on matters for tech company Cisco, but the formal link between the two companies goes back to June 2017 when they jointly announced a working partnership.

That said, Elevate has also long worked with Kira (see response on how things will go now with them, below).

The deal also builds upon Elevate’s own suite of legal tech tools and capabilities, known as Cael (see graphic below). Some of these tools are more developed than others, but you can clearly see where Elevate has been heading.

So, the deal with a legal AI company perhaps was inevitable at some point, the questions perhaps were only when and which company. And, if that had not been possible, Elevate may well have then tried to build its own capability that could compete with the likes of Kira, Seal, Luminance, Ayfie, RAVN (iManage), Diligen, Eigen…..and more…..which arguably they had already started on by working closely with LexPredict.
merger  innovation  competition  robo  it 
november 2018 by JordanFurlong
Merging Traffic: Why Clio Acquired Lexicata - Attorney at Work
Clio is also slow-playing a referral network. Now, consider this: What space exists between leads and conversions? That amorphous netherworld where a law firm doesn’t want a case, but that same case would be valuable to another law firm. There is no existing system for managing those referrals between lawyers outside of ad hoc attorney networks. Enter Clio, with its baseline usership of 150,000 legal professionals. With the announcement of, and what appears to be a soft launch for, the Clio Referral Network, Clio users can now process referrals through Clio Grow or through the Clio website —

Not only is this another compelling reason to continue or start using Clio for case management, but it’s also an initial entree point into a market that is massively underserved. I predict that the Clio Referral Network will become the biggest play to come out of Clio’s spate of announcements at this year’s conference. If done correctly (meaning, if leads can be routed intelligently), the Clio Referral Network stands as a bridge for unlocking so much untapped law firm revenue that it’s staggering to think about. And, while at this moment, it doesn’t appear that Clio is looking to monetize this service, they could certainly do so, via a lead generation service model, if they wished.

There was, as there is at every legal conference in the universe, much discussion at Clio Cloud Conference about the latent revenue available to law firms pending a viable solution for the access to justice (#A2J) problem. But, frankly, the potential law firm revenue lost to poor referral management is also gigantic, and more readily solvable.
cloud  referrals  marketing  mergers  it  competition 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
LegalZoom GC Eyeing New Tech, Expansion Into Foreign Markets | Corporate Counsel
Can you be more specific about how you envision LegalZoom using blockchain technology?

When you think of small businesses that have to make regular payments or have to do regular invoicing and have to understand how to amend or renew contracts, putting them all into a smart system that tells them when and how to get that done so they’re not out there doing it themselves—that’s part of something the blockchain can do. But it can do a lot more. Right now we’re trying to figure out what, exactly, will a small business like. What will it need, use and pay for to make the contracting process a better value for the legal consumer?

What other new technologies are you excited about?

I’m excited about natural language processing and machine learning. These are technologies that we’re still exploring how they can be used. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think one day we might be able to ask questions of a very intelligent legal computer and get real answers to questions, questions right now that people don’t have answers to, questions right now where they’re having a hard time figuring out who can answer it and how much will it cost to answer it. If we can take that and make it more commoditized I think it will really change the face of the law. If we can figure out a way to harness the knowledge that most lawyers take to their grave and put it into an accessible, relatable medium, it’s something that can change the way consumers look at the law.
competition  access  innovation  it 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
A Tricky Relationship: General Counsel + Legal Technology – Artificial Lawyer
A new report by LexisNexis has found what most of the market has known for some time: the relationship between General Counsel (GC) and legal technology is not always a comfortable or easy one.

The report is based on a survey which found plenty of interesting nuggets of info. A few of Artificial Lawyer’s favourites are below.

1 – Many Inhouse Legal Teams Are Not Set Up for Legal Tech Innovation, Adoption or Execution

When asked what the main barriers were to legal tech adoption the three issues were: a lack of resources; a lack of time to get their heads around the issues and deal with it all; and also a lack of understanding of the tech and what it can do.

In short, GCs have been very busy….but not with legal tech, and that is no surprise.

Most of the sessions at conferences Artificial Lawyer attends where GCs are speaking on tech are fairly uninspiring moments. They tend to be a litany of reasons why little change among inhouse teams takes place. A conference for GCs and tech a couple of months ago even saw a GC for a major FTSE company say loud and clear: ‘I have no interest in legal technology.’ They even sounded a bit sorry for people who did focus on this area.

Of course there are also companies, ranging from Google, to NetApp, to Vodafone, to BT, whose inhouse legal teams are very much focused on legal tech and innovation and doing a great job – but, the truth is they are not the majority.
clients  it 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
These Big Law Firms Are Backing an App Store for Legal Tech Products | The American Lawyer
A group of 12 of the world’s most elite law firms have teamed up to nudge legal technology vendors toward adopting an infrastructure that sounds arcane, but could be a key development in unleashing a digital revolution in the practice of law.
Legal tech companies, listen up. It’s called “containerization.”

The 12 law firms have joined a consortium to support a legal tech startup called Reynen Court LLC, which is creating a platform to allow law firms to more quickly deploy legal tech tools such as contract analysis, discovery and practice management. In short, the effort is akin to creating an App Store that will allow law firms to quickly and more securely fire up third-party software.

The group is asking tech companies to, pardon the jargon, deploy containerized apps into firms’ private cloud environments or their own data centers. Applied to the legal world, the benefits of this new technology infrastructure pioneered by companies like Inc., Google LLC and Microsoft Corp. could include safer, less expensive storage of client data. But it could also supercharge the impact of disparate legal tech solutions by allowing them to work together.

If legal tech vendors adopt Reynen Court’s platform, products that, for instance, analyze contracts, conduct decision-tree reasoning and draft documents could interact with each other.
consortium  firms  it 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
SCL: In-house Lawyers and Legal Tech
LexisNexis UK has published a dedicated Insight report for in-house counsel titled ‘Legal Technology: Looking Past the Hype’. It is not going to surprise but it does add a little extra knowledge to the murky pool. According to Lexis Nexis, over 130 in-house lawyers were surveyed and that data was augmented by 20 ‘qualitative interviews’ with General Counsel from some of the UK’s largest in-house legal teams.

The report (you have to register to download it) found that 85% of the General Counsel surveyed have introduced multiple technology types and are most comfortable using tried and tested legal insight tools. While 57% of respondents believe that technology investments have already increased their efficiency, one in five can point to a piece of recently installed technology that has had low or no usage. Despite this, 60% believe that legal technology will further improve the accuracy of legal work over the next three to five years – with 72% expecting technology to enable new data insights during that time.

Additionally, 75% of in-house lawyers expect their law firms to adopt technology and as a direct result deliver efficiency gains - specifically lower fees (74%), increased quality (66%) and faster turn-around times (63%). 45% of those surveyed also expect their law firms to advise on the best technology to use although 37% of General Counsel do not know what technology their law firms are currently using.

Sophie Gould, Head of In-House at LexisNexis said: “Our inaugural Insights in-house report reviews how the issue of legal technology is being approached by the UK’s in-house legal community.  The in-house role has changed significantly, and beyond being ‘a good lawyer’ general counsel now need to drive efficiencies, add real value and demonstrate commercial acumen.  Our research revealed an interesting range of operational and technological maturity across in-house legal teams, with some organisations needing to develop or consolidate their legal operations and technology landscape, while others were already developing robust infrastructure to undertake strategic and business transformation roles.” 
client  it 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
Law Firms Recognize Automation’s Importance, but They're Still Not Leveraging It | Legaltech News
Over 60 percent of surveyed firms said that automation around pricing and contact management was important to their efforts to win new clients and grow existing relationships, though only slightly under half leveraged automation for pricing, while only a third leveraged it for contact management.

Among those automating contact management and pricing, only about 40 percent said it reduced hours spent on those tasks. The majority of firms either saw no change, or did not know if there was a change in time spent.
Dan Tacone, president at Intapp, explained that automation around contact management usually takes the form of knowledge management databases that can automatically be updated with current and potential client information to keep attorneys informed. Likewise, automation around pricing refers to similar repositories that automatically collects pricing data, either externally from public databases or internally from the firm, to help attorneys determine how best to price certain matters.

To help with evaluating and onboarding new businesses, almost 70 percent of surveyed firms said automation around conflict clearance was vital, though only less than 45 percent implemented such automation in-house. Around a quarter of those automating conflicts clearance said it reduced time spent on the task, but a majority still saw no change or did not know what the impact was.

Likewise, while around two-thirds of surveyed firms also said that e-billing and time management were important to help meet client demands for transparency, only about 40 percent used e-billing, and 35 percent used management solutions. Under half said e-billing and time management were time-savers.

Tacone explained that though they find automation important, many firms aren’t bringing it in-house because it takes time to change their old spending and work habits. “They haven’t invested in technology as a strategic advantage before” and aren’t used to thinking of using technology for client services, he said.
it  efficiency  firms 
october 2018 by JordanFurlong
In-house guide to LawTech for Commercial Contracts | Radiant Law
About this guide
This is one of a series of guides created by Radiant Law to help in-house legal teams improve their contracting processes. You can find other guides here. Although these guides are focused on handling commercial contracts, many of these technologies and approaches can be applied to other activities that you do.

LawTech is both helpful and overhyped and finding the right path is hard. We published a LawTech Glossary with definitions for lots of the lingo you will inevitably be exposed to, which admittedly expressed some of our frustration with the hype. This guide is to assist you to find tools that will actually help, and ensure that they are actually used.
contracts  clients  robo  it  innovation 
september 2018 by JordanFurlong
GravityStack's Bryon Bratcher on the Reed Smith Venture's Strategy | Artificial Lawyer
To conclude, Gravity Stack is an impressive, tech-creating organisation, even more noteworthy when one considers it has been born out of a law firm – which are not usually the most focused businesses when it comes to tech R&D.

Is it a tech company? Is it a consultative business? Is it an internal innovation resource? Probably it is all three of those things put together with a focus on data, process and, much to Artificial Lawyer’s pleasure, leveraging automation in conjunction with human lawyer work.

Where Bratcher and the team go now remains to be seen, but given the huge demand for transformation in the legal market then it seems safe to say the future is bright for GS.
firms  innovation  it  subsidiaries 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
Clifford Chance launched IGNITE
Clifford Chance has launched IGNITE on August 1st, a new London-based training contract focused on Legal Tech.

The Magic Circle firm is the first in the legal sector to offer a training contract centered on Legal Tech.

The programme – which is currently accepting applications – is geared towards individuals with an aptitude for tech and interest in technology areas such as artificial intelligence, fintech and coding.

The new scheme will mirror the structure of a regular training contract but have a specific focus on Legal Tech. Trainees will be given time away from fee-earning to gain the necessary training, support and expertise in the field of Legal Tech. Upon qualification, trainees will have the opportunity to join one of the firm’s main practice areas which include finance, corporate, capital markets, litigation & dispute resolution, real estate and tax, pensions and employment incentives.

The launch of the programme comes at a time of increasing convergence between the legal and tech world. Michael Bates, regional managing partner said: “We know we must continually challenge ourselves to guide our clients through game-changing opportunities and risks, both now and into the future. Legal Tech is changing the face of our industry and we want to be at the forefront of that change. We’re committed to driving a culture that embraces digital thinking across each of our practice areas and we hope that these trainees will go on to make a significant change in their practice areas upon qualifying.”
it  firms  innovation 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
Kim Technologies Signs 10 Year Contract with Riverview Law – Kim Technologies
Bob Farina, CEO of Kim Technologies commented:

“We have worked with Riverview Law for the last three years and we are delighted for its team that it is achieving its ambitions and accelerating its growth by joining EY. We really enjoyed supporting the Riverview Law team as it has demonstrated the power and scalability of Kim with its global clients and, more recently, during the due diligence process. We look forward to our software helping Riverview Law achieve its global ambitions and are delighted we will be able to add ‘EY Riverview Law’ to our growing list of global customers across a range of sectors.”

Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law, says:

“A fundamental part of the Riverview Law operating model is our Legal Operations Platform which is ‘powered by Kim’. The ability for us to configure Kim using subject matter experts who have no IT development or coding expertise has helped us grow Riverview Law and deliver high quality cost-effective solutions to customers. We would like to thank Bob and the CTO and founder of Kim, Richard Yawn, for their support over the last three years and as we went through the due diligence process. We look forward to working with Kim in the years to come.”

*Both transactions are subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions and completion is expected to be no later than 31st August 2018.


For further information, please contact:

Andy Daws, Kim Technologies,

About Kim Technologies

Kim is an AI-enabled Automation Platform that integrates sophisticated case, document and workflow management capabilities across all industries and functions. Its no-code configuration model enables knowledge workers, with no software development expertise, to take control of their critical business processes to improve decision making, speed and effectiveness. Visit

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robo  it  accountants  newlaw 
august 2018 by JordanFurlong
Updated: Facebook confirms it is to buy Allen & Overy Fuse startup Bloomsbury AI | Legal IT Insider
Facebook is buying Bloomsbury AI – one of the early stage companies currently resident in Allen & Overy’s incubator Fuse – according to a report from TechCrunch that has subsequently been confirmed by Facebook to Legal IT Insider.

Bloomsbury AI uses natural language processing to create virtual assistants that can be taught to read, reason and communicate (AI that Bloomsbury calls ‘Cape’), which Facebook is reportedly going to use as a part of its arsenal to tackle the growing problem of fake news. Cape allows developers to add question & answer functionality to websites and other documents.

Facebook’s press team contacted Legal IT Insider on 3 July to say: “The team behind Bloomsbury AI has agreed to join Facebook in London” and directed us to the following statement on Facebook Academics:
firms  innovation  startups  it 
july 2018 by JordanFurlong
Clifford Chance Looks to Break Out to Break Through With 2 New 'Innovation Units' | The American Lawyer
Clifford Chance’s recent launch of two new “innovation units,” Clifford Chance Applied Solutions and Clifford Chance Create, is an attempt for the firm to eke out the necessary space for experimentation. The Create unit will be charged with helping the firm flesh out its technology ecosystem and partner network, while Applied Solutions is dedicated to helping build and scale out technology systems for clients.

Visser explained that the firm decided to move forward in creating these innovation units after deploying a MiFID II compliance tool co-constructed with Neota Logic, where it saw the potential to scale and monetize the venture.

“We see a fantastic opportunity to monetize experience in tech solutions. We have to make sure we’re acting on those lessons learned,” Visser said of the experience.

To do that, the firm opted to create these two divisions, each headed by Visser, to operate slightly outside of the firm’s traditional leadership structure.

“If you really want to do this successfully, you need to have in your ecosystem people who are really focused on customer satisfaction and product development, all the skills that you would typically expect in a software-based or subscription-based environment, but which are not necessarily present in our normal law firm ecosystem. It’s really a different mindset and a different way of working,” Visser explained.
firms  innovation  startups  it 
july 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Law Firm Disrupted: How Does Dentons Keep It All Together? In Part, This Company |
Dentons put out a joint press release hailing a license it signed with a privately owned software company called HighQ. The partnership, according to the announcment, will help Dentons deliver a more “collaborative” product to its lawyers and clients in cities around the world.

“Our clients’ digital experience is core to our value proposition, and we are delighted to be partnering with HighQ,” said a statement from Scott Saundry, Dentons’ global chief digital officer.

Sure. But what is HighQ and what does it do for Dentons?

I spoke with Stuart Barr, chief strategy and product officer at HighQ, who calls the company’s software-as-a-solution product an “intelligent work and client-engagement platform.”

It’s not too far off to think of HighQ as creating for law firms and their clients the sort of point of access that a banking app provides customers on an iPhone. That, of course, is not really a new idea. Law firms themselves have developed client portals. (Seyfarth Shaw’s comes to mind.)

Some other firms have scrapped homegrown file-sharing products in favor of HighQ. Haynes & Boone, for instance, put its “Client Connect” out to pasture three years ago to sign up with HighQ.

“There was emotion in it, but when you look at the dollars and cents of it, it just didn’t make sense,” said Thom Wisinski, chief knowledge officer at Haynes & Boone.

Much of the reason firms are shifting from homegrown products, Barr said, is the versatility that HighQ provides.

“The reality is technology really isn’t the differentiator,” Barr said. “It’s what you do with it. It’s how you use it that makes a difference.”

Take Allen & Overy, for instance. The innovative London-based legal giant used HighQ to provide a new service to banking clients after a European regulation required they re-paper up to 10,000 contracts.

Using a platform within HighQ called iSheets, Barr said Allen & Overy was able to build a rules engine that staff could work through. Updated contracts were a few answered questions away, and lawyer time per contract was cut from three hours to about three minutes, said Barr, adding that the review time for 10,000 contracts went from 15 “lawyer years” to about 12 weeks.

Fasken, a newly rebranded Canadian firm with about 700 lawyers, is banking on HighQ’s interface with clients to help it launch a product called “Fasken Smart Lease,” said Robert Garmaise, Fasken’s chief innovation officer.
portals  highq  collaboration  it  robo 
june 2018 by JordanFurlong
In-House Gives Mixed Reaction to UnitedLex, LeClairRyan Legal Services Venture | Legaltech News
“Large corporations look for the ability to holistically address their challenges,” explained UnitedLex CEO Daniel Reed, adding that ULX Partners will allow law firms to provide corporate clients with non-transactional solutions.

Denniston said, “It might help some companies with small legal departments. But outsourcing is not new. This is just a broader expansion of it.”

He said law firms and companies have already been outsourcing to UnitedLex, including his old company GE and his law firm, Goodwin. “UnitedLex is not a secret. It’s not hard to find them. And you don’t have to go to LeClairRyan to locate them.”

Denniston said the venture “may develop into something [of value to GCs]. But based on the announcement, you can’t conclude that.”

Deckelman disagreed. “The value proposition is: the firm lawyers are freed of [many] of the administrative headaches and can focus on higher-value work for clients,” he said. “At the same time, UnitedLex can significantly enhance the law firm’s client service capabilities through leverage of UnitedLex’s technology, process design and project management discipline. “

Deckelman said the UnitedLex technology also could help manage a client’s litigation portfolio, including cases being handled by other law firms.
innovation  sharedservices  it  ethics  clients 
june 2018 by JordanFurlong
UnitedLex and LeClairRyan Announce Innovative New Law Venture | The American Lawyer
Daniel Reed
“Large corporations look for the ability to holistically address their challenges,” said Reed, adding that ULX Partners will allow law firms to provide corporate clients with nontransactional solutions.

Both Reed and Gustafson said that law firms will have more certitude about their operational costs, which could therefore offer clients’ set costs with less risk. But perhaps the biggest attraction for law firms is a pathway to funding from outside investors.

“Law firms are partnerships. They are less well structured to invest in the range of needs their clients have,” said Reed about an issue that has bedeviled some, but not all, firms in Big Law.

Joining a venture like ULX Partners, Reed said, will give firms access to investors’ cash for technology purchases that fulfill client needs, even when those buys are not immediately repaid with clients’ legal fees.

“[ULX Partners is a] bridge that enables firms to be successful in this rapidly evolving business world, where CEOs, CFOs, boards of directors and procurement departments are saying, ‘Why is it that legal is the only area where spend has not yet been put under the crucible of both effective and efficiency measures?’” Reed explained.
innovation  sharedservices  it  ethics 
june 2018 by JordanFurlong
Barriers to tech adoption in BigLaw - Remaking Law Firms
echnology has reshaped and will continue to reshape the way in which legal services are delivered. The successful firms will be those who are able to harness the power of technology and combine it with the people in their organization to deliver measurable results – both to clients directly and to improve internal business processes. Those who achieve success will do so not because they simply buy a piece of software but because they thoughtfully approach and deal with these, and other, barriers to adoption.
firms  it 
june 2018 by JordanFurlong
Corporate Law 2.0: What It Means to Be a 'Chief Legal Innovation Counsel' | Corporate Counsel
I simplify the way we work and reach better outcomes, whether that means reducing cost or reducing risks, finding more efficiencies and producing better quality and substantive results. Oftentimes, these outcomes can be unlocked or enhanced by harnessing the power of legal tech, and that is certainly a huge element of the role.

I would also add the role of chief legal innovation counsel is an in-house variation of the chief innovation officer role that has started to take root at law firms but is still fairly fresh and new in the in-house world. Part of the role right now is defining the role.

How closely will you work with the legal operations team?

I have a natural synergistic partnership with the legal operations team at Marsh & McLennan.  Think of it as the interplay between operations representing current state—“keeping the lights on,” as they say—and innovation ushering in the future state, like an R&D lab. I remain the subject matter expert on discovery, but I also offer the broader innovation vision: the why, the what, and also elements of the how.

The operations team helps with the how and also does the blocking and tackling, but there is an element of give and take across these generalities, meaning the operations team may be the source of great innovative ideas, and I will roll up my sleeves to get in the weeds.
client  ops  it  process 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
Blakes Innovation Arm Partners for a Startup of Its Own | Legaltech News
Blakes Nitro, the innovation support arm of Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon, last week announced a partnership with Toronto legal tech startup Founded to offer a document generation and management platform for startups. The platform will go live this summer.

Blakes chief officer of practice innovation Carla Swansburg said the partnership was a logical next step for Blakes Nitro “in order to scale that business, and in order to engage in some innovative technology and work in a bit of a sandbox space in terms of document automation and workflow automation.”

The service will provide startup companies and Blakes attorneys a shared digital space to tackle some of the more common corporate legal documents and processes that early stage startups need to work through. Startup groups can quickly generate and store the legal work they need in a shared space, while attorneys can leverage the Founded platform’s automation and workflow management tools to work on those client documents.

The platform will also offer a legal checkup tool that allows attorneys and clients to review existing documents to identify potential improvements or gaps in current legal coverage.

Blakes opted to work with Founded not just because “it’s always nice to support a local Toronto business,” as Swansburg said, but because of the platform’s work with early stage startups and understanding of legal parameters. “They’ve really focused on some of the more substantive knowledge documents. They’ve married that with the process automation and married that with some of the process of the law,” she added.
innovation  it  startups 
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Real Reason Why Lawyers Are Slow to Adopt Legal Technology
One of the persistent assumptions in the legal technology world is that lawyers are technology averse, or at least risk averse and don’t want to try anything that would change their business model. I have already pointed out why this is largely a baseless assumption, and one that harms people who are trying to build technology products for lawyers.

Lawyers are actually very willing to adopt technology, as long as it can meet their needs…and do it well. Often, when I read an article or hear a comment from a startup founder about how “lawyers don’t have business skills” or “lawyers are resistant to change”, a red flag goes up. It’s often the case that the founders’ company is not getting the traction they are expecting, so they are choosing to blame the market, rather than seek feedback and correct.

Lawyers want new technology and will pay good money for it. It just has to be really, really good.

What Do Lawyers Want?
If you are going to build a product that you want lawyers to adopt, you need to critically examine what lawyers want, just as you would with any other market.

The legal market is a tough one. It is a highly regulated industry where the fear of being sued for malpractice or losing your law license is a constant. If there is any aversion to adopting a new technology, it comes from that and not from any genetic predisposition that lawyers supposedly have to change. To crack the legal market, startup founders need to understand that and reassure lawyers that these concerns are being addressed.
may 2018 by JordanFurlong
Legal Tech For A Change Project Launches | Above the Law
LTC: The objective of LTC is twofold:

To get cutting-edge technology into the hands of our nation’s legal aid providers for free so that they can increase their capacity to serve more clients; and
To help legal tech companies demonstrate how their products and services can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal services.
By facilitating the donation of legal technology, we hope to produce a win/win for legal innovators and legal aid providers.  We will help legal aid providers sort through various possible solutions and select those that are most worth implementing.  We will then help coordinate the legal tech provider’s installation of the technology.

Legal tech companies benefit as well.  These companies are often founded by lawyers who have a deep personal interest in helping to improve access to justice for the millions of Americans who are currently underserved, but these companies often don’t know the best way to make a contribution. By participating in the program, legal tech companies not only find a way to give back, but they also receive feedback on their products from lawyers and entities whose primary mission is serving more clients with fewer resources.  A side benefit can also be exposure of their products to potential customers, such as private practice lawyers who volunteer at legal aid offices.
access  innovation  it 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Right Incentives for Legal Tech | Blog | PartnerVine
The Solution

Law firm partnerships need to get the incentives right to be successful at Legal Tech. The proposal here is to treat investments in disruptive tech differently so that the benefits for partners match the burdens. Here are the key elements:

Ownership. You can’t ask partners to make a long-term investment in disruptive technology if their share of the rewards is based on their billing pyramid at some uncertain date in the future. Partners that make the investment should have a clear stake in the rewards, unrelated to their billing pyramid. As with other business ventures, there should be equity and sweat equity, as further described below. I’ll call this vehicle the “Legaltech Project”.
Control. You also can’t ask partners to make a long-term investment if they don’t have control. We suggest that the equity owners of the Legaltech Project have control of the project unrelated to their billing pyramid. As with other businesses, the equity owners would determine the terms for the issuance of new equity, preferably on an annual basis.
Services Agreement. Now that there’s a sub-group of partners investing in the Legaltech Project, there should be a Services Agreement to incentivize all partners in the firm to work for the Legaltech Project. The Services Agreement would cover the terms of compensation for employees and partners working on the Legaltech Project. For partners, the terms of any sweat equity and discount to external billables would be set annually by the equity owners of the Legaltech Project.
Voluntary Investment. Since ownership and control have been separated from the main partnership, law firms can consider making the investment in the Legaltech Project voluntary, particularly if pursuing Legal Tech is held back by a sub-set of partners.
There's plenty to unpack there, but that's the way I'd convince my partners. The worst outcome for a law firm is no action, and an important part of treating the Legaltech Project separately from the main partnership is to enable decision-making. It is also a better way to match the risks and rewards for law firms pursuing Legal T
firms  it  disruption  partners 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Clifford Chance aims to break away from 'terribly unpredictable' pricing with new AI tool | Legal Week
New tech helps to work out how long lawyers should spend on tasks to better predict pricing

Clifford Chance (CC) is in the final stages of piloting new artificial intelligence (AI) software that will help work out how long lawyers should be spending on tasks in order to better predict pricing.
pricing  it 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
'Half-Assed Innovation': Do Law Firms Need to Change Incentives to Innovate? | The Recorder
Law firms are starting to try to do stuff, but firms were not set up to do anything that’s innovative. It’s like a horse-and-buggy company: How can a horse-and-buggy company design cars when their whole business model and all its individuals are incentivized by how many horses they can make run faster? All the decision makers were incentivized by how many hours they spent on horseback.

Your whole business model is based on that metric, and I come along and say, “There’s these things called cars, and your clients love cars so much more than horses.” Why would you do that?

Is this due to the partnership structure?

It’s entirely because of the incentivization structure at law firms. It was built on a model that made perfect sense in the ’60s, ’70s and even the ’80s and ’90s. It’s completely orthogonal to innovation.

When we see firms quote, unquote “innovate,” it’s horizontal innovation. It’s like, ‘Oh we have a better buoy system. We have a more efficient system for sourcing work. We have a better way of document review.’ They’re making the horses run faster and enable people to stay in this battle longer.

Upon leaving Littler, were you frustrated because of these concerns?

No. Law firms are really trying, and I think they are really genuinely trying to catch up. They realize that the market is shifting, but there’s a disconnect between that realization and what they can do because of their structure and their incentive. Humans can’t overcome that unless you have people that completely change incentives and structures. And there’s a disconnect between those considerations and those questions and whether firms can innovate. Many firms are not linking those two things.

I’ve given many presentations to C-suite leaders and law firms all over the world, and when I bring this up they’re like, “Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense.” And I’m like, “OK, here’s the fix. Before you start rolling out some half-assed innovation, how about changing the way your firm is structured to incentivize innovation?” And they’re like, “No, no good.”
compensation  it  partners  firms 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Law Firms Are Investing in Tech Before It Overtakes Them | The American Lawyer
But partnering with LegalSifter was also a recognition by the firm that it could offer its clients more than just legal advice.

“We do find that clients come to us principally for our legal advice, but they are also asking us to help with their legal operations,” Touzel says.

And Touzel believes law firms are in a better position than legal outsource providers to help with legal operations because clients usually want to work with one provider for all their needs—the ever-desirable one-stop shop.

Of course, TLT isn’t the only U.K. firm investing in AI contract technology. In 2016, Slaughter and May invested an undisclosed amount in Luminance, an AI contract review platform used by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and a host of other firms around the globe. Rob Sumroy, a partner at Slaughter and May and head of its technology and outsourcing practices, says the firm is “at the forefront of teaching the AI software.”

“We’re not software developers, but the market intelligence and machine learning has been driven by us,” he boasts.

For Slaughter and May, however, it’s not just a one-way street. While the law firm provides subject-matter expertise for Luminance’s development, it can also tap into the Luminance team’s knowledge and experience to further drive innovation in its own offices.

“There is a lot to be said about learning from experts in other industries, both in terms of what they do and how we can harness their expertise to improve our business,” Sumroy says. The firm is looking to improve not only through technology but also through “process improvements, agile resourcing models or, more generally, finding new creative solutions to our clients’ business problems,” Sumroy adds. But it is still keeping a watchful eye on technologies that will provide real benefits for its attorneys.

“AI, along with blockchain and data analytics, is one of the key areas of focus now and definitely provides lots of opportunities,” Sumroy says.
it  robo  firms  competition  newlaw  clients 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
Death of hierarchy: The tech generation that is revolutionising law firms
This would seem to be borne out by its headcount data. In the 2016/17 financial year, Mishcon had 53 staff in its technology team. In total the firm also had 494 fee-earners, giving it a ratio of 9.32:1.

Only Slaughter and May, with 84 technology specialists and 754 fee-earners, and the tech-driven, commoditised legal services boutiques Drydensfairfax and Bott & Co (respectively 27/119 and 14/35) have a higher proportion. Of the larger firms that provided data for this year’s report, DAC Beachcroft (98/1,530), Ashurst (172/1,644), Berwin Leighton Paisner (78/780) and Addleshaw Goddard (62/927) also feature prominently in terms of absolute numbers.

Elliot Moss, Mishcon’s director of business development (and one of the firm’s newest equity partners, having been made up last year) says the headcount data reflects an “inexorable change” taking place in the way legal services are delivered in the UK. This tech-led evolution, says Moss, will require a shift in the mindset of law firm leaders tasked with making long-term investments not just in technology, but also in the specialist professionals who can implement it.

“We’re seeing an increase in the use of technology and automation and process as an enabler, which means, as night follows day, that you need people who understand how to build and then interact with that technology,” says Moss.
firms  it  robo  innovation 
march 2018 by JordanFurlong
What I'm Learning About AI and the Law From #Legalweek18 | Legaltech News
Adding a caveat to that was Brian Kuhn, the global leader and co-founder of IBM Watson Legal. Kuhn envisions—and it sounds like IBM is implementing—the creation of “cartridges” of specialized legal information that can be deployed for various legal tasks. That’s a mouthful, I know.

But imagine this: A firm that specializes in antitrust law “trains” an AI algorithm to interpret documents relevant to that practice area. Then, the firm sells that piece of trained software, allowing a firm weak in antitrust to gain capacity (and removing the need, perhaps, to bring on a bunch of antitrust partners).

Another point hammered home here: AI is only as good as the data it’s trained on. Krow referred to this as the “garbage in, garbage out” problem. Arruda adds that it’s not just having sufficient “Big Data,” it’s whether that data is usable in its current form. “Clean data” is the new buzzword.
cartridge  robo  it  data 
february 2018 by JordanFurlong
Start-Up PartnerVine + PwC to Sell Automated Legal Contracts – Artificial Lawyer
Legal tech start-up PartnerVine has launched an automated legal contract market for corporates, in conjunction with Big Four firm, PwC.

The Swiss venture is the brainchild of Jordan Urstadt, who previously worked as a general counsel and earlier in his career as an associate at White & Case.

The core offering is a marketplace of automated contractual documents covering a wide range of needs a company may have. The first major seller in the marketplace is the Swiss division of PwC, which has created a range of contracts for sale based on the Exari automation platform.

It is expected that lawyers from other firms will also place automated contracts on the market place in the coming months. The automated contract templates appear to be very reasonably priced, with an automated employment agreement for CHF 219 ($223) and an automated NDA for use during M&A priced at CHF 99 ($100).

Urstadt told Artificial Lawyer that he believed this was the best way for legal tech to ‘add value’ to the work of inhouse legal teams, i.e. to make the completion of standard contracts, faster, cheaper and more efficient.
startup  robo  accountants  it  competition 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong » Chapman Tripp launches new tech and innovation business
Chapman Tripp today launches its technology and innovation business, Zeren. Zeren delivers legal documentation and advice in new ways. This reduces cost, saves time and enables legal teams and other business users to “self-serve” legal advice through the cloud.

“Technology is changing the delivery of legal and other business services globally, and this – along with globalisation and competition – means lawyers’ time is transforming into legal products and online services,” says Chapman Tripp technology partner and head of Zeren, Bruce McClintock.
innovation  it  robo 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
New Rivalries Emerge as Law Firms Race to Innovate | The American Lawyer
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe launched a complementary online interview tool powered by HotDocs that lets companies “stress test” their readiness for the law. DLA Piper made an app that allows users to download the text of the law onto a phone. Hogan Lovells’ app asks seven questions of its users to determine a basic understanding of their readiness for GDPR. (Of the three, Orrick’s is the most advanced.)

Meanwhile, alternative legal services provider Axiom Law has developed what it hopes will be a more end-to-end product. Axiom’s solution uses artificial intelligence to review contracts; provides a staff of human lawyers to negotiate new provisions; and guides their work using a GDPR-specific workflow management system. Consilio, the e-discovery and document review provider, wants clients to know it has tailored its document review technology product for the GDPR.
robo  competition  innovation  it 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
New Study: GCs Have Brought The Majority Of Work In-House | Above the Law
The 2017 In-House Legal Benchmarking Report from Exterro polled a number of in-house legal personnel about their business and found that everyone’s bringing more and more under the company tent as we’ve suspected for some time. And they’re doing it for the most obvious reason of all:

When asked why they brought more work in-house, they most frequently responded that it was because they could (they had built or expanded internal capacity and now were using it), to save money, or because better software had become available.

Because I can! Perhaps this could be phrased better than invoking the go to excuse of a toddlercaught reaching into a cookie jar, but this is a serious reason that spells trouble for Biglaw. While lawyers worry about AI building robot lawyers to displace attorneys — a fear that’s mostly overblown — the real technological threat to Biglaw is in easing once formidable legal processes to the point that in-house departments present a more cost-effective option than outsourcing. Legal holds and other document preservation tasks can be handled cheaper and more cost-effectively than ever by clients with the right tools. With clients reporting that they’ll be investing in more software solutions going forward, this inward flow of work shows no signs of stopping.

Where does that leave the outside counsel landscape?

And we suspect the likely outside winners will fit into two broad categories: those who can deliver standardized services efficiently, effectively, and at a very low cost, or at least lower than can be achieved internally; and those who deliver custom and specialized services — bespoke services — that only the rare corporation is likely to invest in developing itself.
metrics  clients  it  robo  process  firms 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
PartnerVine Launch in Beta | Press release | PartnerVine
: PartnerVine, an online portal for the sale of automated legal documents, launched today in a beta version. With PricewaterhouseCoopers Switzerland's legal arm ("PwC Legal") as its initial supplier, the launch is the first time a major legal service provider sells automated legal documents to the public, which marks a major milestone in how legal services are sold. 

"PwC Legal has opened its Swiss-law automated document library for sale on an unbundled basis. From now on, customers of PartnerVine can start their in-house legal projects with the resources of major legal service providers, at a fraction of what it'd cost to have us do the work manually. There's nothing like it in the world and we're thrilled to be leading the way," says Dieter Wirth, head of Tax and Legal Services at PwC in Zurich. 

"The value proposition for in-house counsel is clear. You can get the document and guidance notes in a smart questionnaire that'll get you up and running for a fixed price. No more telephone calls to figure out the options--just buy your document and get going," says Jordan Urstadt, CEO of PartnerVine. 

PartnerVine has launched in beta with a first set of documents under Swiss law from PwC Legal. PwC Legal, shortly to be followed by additional documents from Meyerlustenberger Lachenal ("MLL"). Subsequently, both PwC Legal and MLL aim to produce a complete suite of corporate documents aligned with their practice areas. During the beta phase, the documents will only be sold to customers that do not have an independence-relevant relationship with PwC (including, but not limited to, being an audit client of PWC). The launch in beta is to provide an opportunity for early adopters to provide feedback, build the community and improve the offer. 
docs  accountants  it  robo 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Prism Legal Document Assembly in the Real World (Live #ArkKM) - Prism Legal
Faster, better, cheaper, smarter, happier > the key drivers.

When billing by the hour, faster drafting makes a practice more competitive. One firm cites big drop in write-offs – and cost reduction – by using D/A.

Faster is great, but must also deliver high value. One firm says using D/A right way takes time from 40 hours to 20 minutes.

D/A ensures higher consistency than humans can.

Re-allocate lawyer time from mechanical drafting to higher value, critical thinking.

Practice analytics, for example, capture party data systematically

Embed training in the document to assist new lawyers.

Improve lawyer satisfaction by reducing drudge work.

Collaborate more effectively with clients.

Benefit form vendor-provided, ready-to-go templates.


Leadership buy-in: Management may be skeptical that it’s possible to automate complex documents. One way to overcome: do a proof a concept.

Form development: Can be hard and time consuming. Some practices have forms that are not so good, they may blame D/A software or KM for fact that it’s hard to automate form – when the form itself is bad. Another example: one practice realized, from doing PoC, that it had to change it forms. Note that some providers, not just D/A ones, provide forms.

Billable hour reductions: Management may not like reduction in hours = “Associate Killing Technology”.

Commoditization fears

Cost concenrs

Labor / staffing

Training opportunities: More senior lawyers say “I learned by spending hours or weeks going through a form – others should do so”. Panelists believe that’s not necessary. (RF: I agree with panel)


Is It the Right Solution?

Volume of use must be high enough to justify investment in building an automated form.

If turn aound time is key, then yes.

If consistency is critical, then yes.

If firm or practice faces price pressure, yes.

If keeping associates is a goal, yes.

If above answers are no, you may have to wait.
docs  it  firms  process  laterals 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Technology and Access to Justice: the end of the beginning? | Law, Technology and Access to Justice
One scenario is, therefore, that technology adds a further element of bifurcation in a legal profession where internationally oriented commercial work is already delivered in a very different way from low income private client cases. Life in a law centre or low income practice is already very different – almost unrecognisable – from that in one of the large City firms. Technology will just add to that difference. Family, housing, employment, immigration, asylum work will – to the extent that services have not been killed off by legal aid cuts – continue to be done by hard pressed, underpaid lawyers and paralegals still toting unruly piles of books, papers and notepads while everyone else has gone digital and is brandishing iPads. To some extent, this is probably what will actually happen.

However, there are a number of reasons to think that the future will not be quite so stark.

First, foundations and funders, like the Legal Education Foundation, are putting money into what could be groundbreaking new projects. The Rechtwijzer is dead; but long live its continuing inspiration. Its promotion changed the perception of what could be done around the world – a tribute to the team behind it at the Dutch Legal Aid Board and what is now known as the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law. The notion of interactive delivery of legal assistance initially through guided pathways – and potentially some form of AI  – is so evidently sensible that it is unsurprising that providers are springing up to continue testing its possibilities.

Second, there is likely to be a ‘trickle down’ effect from the corporate world – particularly in the field of business management. Commercial practice management software – like the Canadian firm Clio – is beginning to incorporate forms in its processes where clients can input their own data. That would elide very easily into the sort of initial information and triage that, on the one hand, is the goal of the US Legal Services Corporation and, on the other, was the aim of the Siaro product developed by Alan Larkin at Brighton firm Family Law Partners – even thought this now seems currently stalled.
it  access  innovation  robo  firms 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
Is ‘Revolutionary’ Law Firm Atrium A Case of Clearspire Déjà Vu? | Above the Law
The Atrium model bears an uncanny resemblance to that of another firm that likewise aimed to revolutionize legal services, Clearspire, which opened in 2010 and shut down four years later. Like Atrium, Clearspire operated as two entities. The law firm, Clearspire Law, promised high-end legal work delivered efficiently, collaboratively and transparently, at fixed prices. The service company, Clearspire Service Co., supported the firm’s business operations and infrastructure and developed a custom software platform, Coral, to support the law firm.

Like Atrium, Clearspire planned eventually to market Coral to other firms. And, like Atrium, Clearspire was backed by fairly substantial investments, some $6 million all told.

(In 2015, a group of investors said they would resurrect the Clearspire software and market it to law firms and corporate legal departments. Since then, no product has been released, and the Clearspire website shows the same “coming soon” announcement that it had two years ago.)

There is one notable difference in their models. Clearspire operated as a virtual firm with its attorneys operating out of virtual offices and connected to each other and to clients through the Clearspire software platform. Atrium, by contrast, will be very much a brick-and-mortar firm, with its attorneys operating initially from an office in San Francisco and eventually from offices in New York and Los Angeles.

“We’re not a lifestyle firm, it’s not a firm you come to to work less,” founding partner Rakow told me. “It’s a work-style firm. We want to build the platform that ambitious lawyers come to to dominate the future.”
innovation  it  value 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
What Does “Viable” Mean in the Context of Consumer Legal Tech MVPs?
Much of the consumer legal tech to date has been built with the realities of a complex legal system in mind. Think what you will of LegalZoom, but for any DIY document you complete there, the site walks you through what the purpose of the document is and what the advantages are, along with the ability to ask questions and read through FAQs. It also provides quick and easy access to a lawyer to discuss any issues for a low-cost. The user gets a lot of value through that product for very low cost.
But what about new products? If you’re in software development, you’re already familiar with the concept of an MVP. For the rest of you, we’re talking about a “Minimum Viable Product.” Releasing an MVP is a hallmark of a more agile development methodology where you release a product with enough features for the user to receive value from your product, but without all of the bells and whistles of a more mature product. The idea here is that the best way to test your assumptions and understand your users is to get an early version out there, test with the users, and then correct course based on feedback. This is in contrast to the older “waterfall” method, where the developers work to build the bells-and-whistles version of a product, only to find that there are features that were worked on extensively which the user finds no use.
ethics  innovation  it  robo 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
"Crossing the Chasm" and the "Hype Cycle", Part I (024)
Moore refers to the early majority (the leading edge of the mainstream) as “pragmatists” because their buying requirements are so practical and stringent.  “When pragmatists buy, they care about the company they are buying from, the quality of the product they are buying, the infrastructure for supporting products and services and systems interfaces, and the reliability of the service are going to get” (p. 43).  When the company’s sales team points to visionaries, the pragmatists are unimpressed, distrusting the visionary’s risk-taking, flaunting of convention, excessive attention given to early stage technology, and the “overall disruptiveness” they impose on others. See p. 58-59.

If a tech start-up is not aware of the chasm, it runs the risk of being lulled into complacency by a few large sales to visionary clients.  But more problematic is the resulting “catch-22.” As Moore notes, “The only suitable reference for an early majority customer … is another member of the early majority” (p. 21).  This is the problem that Crossing the Chasm is trying to solve.

How does a company cross the chasm?

A company transitions from the early market to the mainstream market — i.e., crosses the chasm — by focusing on a niche market where, by sheer dint of preparation and focus, it becomes “the only reasonable buying proposition” (p. 110).  The narrow focus is necessary to conserve limited resources and increase the odds of delivering a whole product solution.  This “big fish, small pond” strategy enables the start-up to “secure a beachhead in a mainstream market — that is, to create a pragmatist customer base that is referenceable” (p. 68).
startups  it  innovation 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
Let the law-tech wars begin | Canadian Lawyer Mag
The latest incubator effort comes from Allen & Overy, which in March announced the creation of Fuse, a space where it will invite tech companies to collaborate with the firm and its clients when developing law-tech solutions.

Mishcon de Reya LLP launched its MDR Lab incubator in January and, in January 2016, Canada’s Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP partnered with Ryerson University’s, incubator, the Legal Innovation Zone — or “LIZ”. Its current portfolio includes 15 companies.

The law firm that seems furthest down the road with its own initiative, however, is Dentons, which launched NextLaw Labs, in the spring of 2015. IBM is one of its partners. NextLaw has 10 portfolio companies, including three with Canadian connections, Beagle Inc., FileFacets and ROSS Intelligence. It also has a venture capital arm with a mandate to invest in such technology.

Dan Jansen, a technology entrepreneur who is CEO of NextLaw Labs, said that legal technology is reaching critical mass and drawing the attention of venture capitalists.

He said that, globally, there are 1,400 companies working to disrupt various aspects of the legal business and those companies have attracted more than US$1 billion in investment.

“Institutional money is starting to come.”
it  innovation  incubator 
september 2017 by JordanFurlong
How O’Melveny Is Creating an Operational Roadmap for Its Litigators | Big Law Business
We began in earnest to try to solve that problem and our initial [idea] was that we had to be smarter about our staff. If you had people chopping the vegetables and creating the plate, you had to have the people in the right positions. We started going down that path and realized we had to deconstruct 400 litigation projects into tasks that chronologically represent the litigation process at our firm. And then we realized, ‘Wait a minute. Since we have gone this far, why don’t we associate with each task the smartest, quickest way to do it, given our library resources, technology, specialized people and all documents and precedents across all the work we’ve done. And that way, not only would we know for a particular task who would do it, but we could direct them to the best way of doing it.
process  systems  km  biglaw  firms  it 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
ILTA 2017: Where Have all the Lawyers Gone?
It’s as if the big firms for whom most of the legal professionals here work for have basically farmed out all things tech and don’t want to get their hands dirty. And therein lies the problem: by creating this gap between the lawyers using the technology and what some lawyers call “staff” a lack of understanding and communication exists. Warren Rheaume of Davis Wright Tremaine, a speaker on the politics of change—and one of the few other practitioners in attendance—calls it a crisis.

So many of the conversations going on at ILTA about innovation and technology lack the input of lawyers actually using the hardware and software. The lack of involvement and participation by lawyers leads in turn to their lack of understanding of what works, what’s coming and how it may impact what they are doing. So the gap is not only cultural in a sense but is also one of knowledge and understanding. As Rheaume told me, “lawyers need to be alert and energized about technology and innovation; there n
it  firms  partners  innovation 
august 2017 by JordanFurlong
Clause, Clio + US Law Firm Cooley Launch Smart Contract Consortium – Artificial Lawyer
US-based legal tech pioneer, Clause, is co-launching the world’s first smart contract consortium, alongside tech company Clio, blockchain platform Hyperledger and leading law firm, Cooley, among others.

The goal of the ground-breaking consortium, to be named Accord, is to help bring together key players in the world of smart contract technology, blockchain and legal tech companies in general so that ideas and formats can be shared across the industry.

The move is similar to the consortia banks, Big Four accountants, major corporates and blockchain companies have developed together to help share knowledge and develop common standards that will enable the spread of the technology.

While New York-based Clause has pioneered the use of smart contracts, whether on-chain or off, without broader acceptance then the technology may have limited impact. A key strategy for broadening use, knowledge and familiarity is thus to bring together multiple parties, all of whom can make use of smart contracts or link to them in some way.

A joint statement by the group said: ‘With support from leading law firms and other organisations, including the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger, the International Association for Commercial and Contract Management ( IACCM ) and Clio, the Accord Project has launched to develop open source technology and standards for computational contracting.’

Peter Hunn, the British co-founder of Clause told Artificial Lawyer: ‘The end goal is to establish workable standards – both technical (hence the open source element) and legal – for smart legal contracts. There needs to be action on this level to build this new paradigm. Traditional contracting practices have been built up over centuries so Accord is the catalyst for this new wave. Our call to action is to get law firms, lawyers, and legaltech companies involved. ‘
contracts  collaboration  it  robo  innovation 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
Tech Scene Pulls Firms to Pittsburgh, but Not Just for Clients
Pittsburgh's growing startup and technology scene is hardly a secret. And now it's drawing the eyes of large law firms across the United States, as they begin to notice what local firms have been tapping into for years.
Legal industry watchers in Pittsburgh say more large firms are likely to build outposts in the city, as they aim to be close to its research institutions and young talent pool, while potentially drawing in lateral hires from Pittsburgh whose practices fit well in a national or international platform.
"Pittsburgh is sort of uniquely positioned because of the lower overhead associated with practicing in Pittsburgh, as well as the growing and dynamic tech community," said Maura McAnney of McAnney, Esposito & Kraybill Associates, whose Pittsburgh-based legal recruiting business stands to benefit from the trend. "I do think more firms will begin to open up, mostly because there are so many Pittsburgh lawyers who have global practices."
global  it  robo  firms  future 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
Fragomen to Launch Unique Tech Development Center in Pittsburgh | The Legal Intelligencer
he firm's chief information officer, Scott Angelo, will lead the lab. Angelo was the chief information officer at K&L Gates for more than five years, until he departed for Fragomen in January.
The office will include 40 to 50 professionals once it is fully staffed, Angelo said, but none of them will be lawyers. They will mostly consist of engineers and developers, as the firm looks to bring its software development and cybersecurity in-house. Angelo said Fragomen is looking to be a technology leader within the legal industry, beginning with this office.
"As far as law firms are concerned, [such a facility] just doesn't exist," he said. "It's more like a software development firm."
immigration  it  robo  innovation 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
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