LEGALTECH INNOVATIONS FROM MAJOR LAW FIRMS
12 Big Law Firms Are Backing an App Store for Legal Tech Products
- A group of 12 law firms including Latham & Watkins, Clifford Chance, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, have joined a consortium, Reynen Court, that says that it is “making it safe, easy and efficient for major law firms to adopt artificial intelligence, smart contracts, and other new technologies” by providing a services automation platform. According to Kenneth Heaps, the CIO at Latham:
The group is realistic that the transition to a containerized legal tech world will likely take years. But he said there is an incentive for current leading tech companies to engage with Reynen Court, which has offices in Amsterdam and near San Francisco in Piedmont, California. Because as competing offerings start to enter the marketplace, those that come into a Reynen Court environment may be more attractive for a law firm.
- The startup is creating an app to allow law firms to more quickly deploy legal tech tools such as contract analysis, discovery and practice management. The group is asking tech companies to 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 Amazon, Google and Microsoft could include safer, less expensive storage of client data. [The American Lawyer, Oct 4]
NEW LEGALTECH PRODUCTS AND PARTNERSHIPS
Tabs3 Acquires CosmoLex to Expand Into Cloud Market
- The desktop-based legal practice management software company Tabs3 announced its acquisition of the cloud-based practice management provider CosmoLex. Dan Berlin, the President and CEO of Tabs3, said that the company needed to “have a full-featured cloud product for solo and small to midsized law firms.” [The LegalTech News, Oct 3]
Law Firms Join Manchester University’s Legal Tech Initiative
- The University of Manchester has launched ‘The Manchester LegalTech Consortium,” that brings lawyers from the law firms, Freshfields and DWF lawyers, alongside business and computer science academics, to deliver the new lawtech and access to justice module it is developing with legal technology company Neota Logic. The project aims to come up with new lawtech applications to boost the efficiency of the legal profession. [The Law Society Gazette, Sep 28]
Legal Tech Startup, Lexoo, Receives $4.4 million funding
- Legal tech startup Lexoo, which enables businesses to find a lawyer by providing multiple quotes from specialized solicitors, has secured $4.4 million funding to expand overseas and develop its data-driven marketplace. The investors include Earlybird, Forward Partners and Zoopla Property Group general counsel Ned Staple, among others. Lexoo will use the funding to support its investment in new technologies, such as automated contract drafting and project management tools. [B Daily, Oct 4]
INSIGHTS FROM LEGALTECH INNOVATION LEADERS
- On General LawTech: For now, lawtech is simply a wide-ranging label that describes technology created with a view to reducing law firm overheads and/or increasing the availability of access to justice. Solicitors using technology as an enhancement to their legal advice may find it less easy to account to their clients, purely because they may not fully appreciate the mechanics of the program that has provided them with advice to pass onto their client. Lawtech applications often communicate with various sub-systems via the internet, so it may become harder still to apportion blame to one party given an error may be caused by one of many sub-systems. [Legal Futures, Oct 1]
- On Artificial Intelligence: AI can help lawyers make informed, data-driven decisions and improve their efficiency. What can be overwhelming and scary is the jargon and varying definitions of AI that have permeated the legal industry. The human intervention and supervision is necessary to the effective use of AI, and it is from this perspective that he guides the reader through the intricacies of how machine learning is most efficiently deployed in the legal setting. [Gerry Riskin, Oct 4]
LEGALTECH CONFERENCES AND PODCASTS: UPDATES
LegalTech New York 2019
- The LegalTech New York 2019 event will provide the law firms and legal departments to get hands-on practical information for improving their law practice management. The event will take place between 29-31 January, 2019.
LawTech Hackathon in Malaysia
- A total of 150 participants from diverse backgrounds will compete in Malaysia’s LawTech Hackathon on Oct 20 and 21. The hackathon will be a competition for people from the legal and tech spheres to “hack” problems within the legal industry.
Beyond the Buzzwords: Getting Real About Law Firm Innovation
- Law.com senior reporter Karen Sloan talks with Michele DeStefano, the author of “Legal Upheaval: A Guide to Creativity, Collaboration, and Innovation in Law,” about the ways that law firms need to evolve, and how they can get there. To listen to this podcast, click here.
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