Legal IT: Wins, deals, launches and industry updates

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for hires, new deals and product launches, particularly given the disruption of Easter, which saw an ‘exit stage left’ stampede well before Good Friday.

We bring news of some classy hires from Wilson Legal Solutions and legal outsourcing provider QuisLex, together with product launches and upgrades from LexisNexis, DocsCorp; DocAuto; Morae Legal; BigHand and Evolve Law. Plus wins and deals from Eclipse Legal Systems; Frankfurt-headquartered startup BusyLamp; and Essex solicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood, as well as other industry news.

Who’s in and out?

Wilson Legal Solutions, which provides legal technology services and analytics solutions to enhance business performance, has hired Monica Browning and Greg Giblin as marketing manager and account executive respectively.

Previously, Browning worked as Aderant’s corporate events manager, where she oversaw everything from choosing the venue and coordinating logistics to planning and executing the event theme.

Giblin was employed by Thomson Reuters Elite as a sales executive, responsible for selling 3E software to professional services firms. He also worked with Thomson Reuters to support the sales of ContactNet and Hubbard One software.

“Wilson Legal Solutions has been on a real growth trajectory for the past year, and having Monica and Greg join our sales and marketing team enables us to continue this trend,” said Jessica Quesada, director of sales and marketing at Wilson Legal Solutions. “Both bring considerable experience and relationships in the legal technology industry to support our efforts to expand our customer base worldwide.”

Legal outsourcing provider QuisLex has hired Steven Rudnick as a director in legal spend management. Rudnick was previously operations manager, legal invoice review at Zurich Financial Services, where he advanced the use of analytics in billing review and compliance for a $600M+ per annum legal spend.

“Controlling legal expenses through various pricing and billing programs has become increasingly common and as organizations institutionalize legal expense management programs, it is crucial that they collect accurate legal billing data so they are able to more appropriately benchmark and model spending behaviors,” said Rudnick, who will be based in QuisLex’s Chicago office.

Product launches and upgrades

March saw the launch of LexisNexis South Africa’s new online-store, giving customers easy access to LexisNexis products with updated features and a more user-friendly platform.

Commercial director Thabo Molefe said: “Customers can easily order any print, mobile or e-book title on the go. And for online products, requesting a quote or a free trial is simple.” LexisNexis’ online store provides direct access to purchase law, tax, and financial services publications as well as relevant student books and ebooks.

DocsCorp has announced that NetDocuments’ cloud-based document and email management service now integrates with the new cloud-based version of DocsCorp contentCrawler, its integrated analysis, processing and reporting framework.

Running on the Microsoft Azure platform, the contentCrawler cloud version is available for download from Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

DocsCorp’s CTO and co-founder Shane Barnett said:  “Now available in the cloud via Microsoft Azure, contentCrawler integration adds an important dimension to NetDocuments, ensuring all cabinets are completely searchable so there are no “missing” documents – cabinet content is transparent for the users.  Also, since both solutions are cloud-based, the speed of deployment and security of the contentCrawler/NetDocuments integration is optimal.”

DocAuto’s email management for SharePoint solutions are now compatible with Microsoft’s Matter Center. Matter Center offers an easy way to find and organize files within the Microsoft productivity tools legal professionals use most. With nearly 20 years of experience working with and developing solutions for the legal market, DocAuto has expanded the functionality of its popular email management solutions to work seamlessly with Matter Center environments in order to continually provide cutting edge software for the legal market.

Legal consulting and solutions provider Morae Legal has launched ELEXIR, described as a technology-enabled extension of a law department, which enables GCs to staff up for short-term projects, cover long-term leave and outsource specific functions, international assignments or more.

“Corporate legal executives are being asked more than ever before to run their departments efficiently and more like other business functions with greater levels of transparency and accountability,” said Joy Saphla, Morae Legal chief strategy officer. “General counsel should think of ELEXIR as a technology-enabled extension of their law department. One of ELEXIR’s offerings, for example, places highly trained lawyers, empowered by technology and analytics, to handle the 60 percent of significant legal work that would be done in-house if the department had more capacity.”

BigHand Office has released BigHand Create 7.3.  BigHand Create, which allows law firms to create Microsoft Word document templates, as well as centralise and manage Excel, PowerPoint, email and PDF templates, has been enhanced to include Office 2016 and Windows 10 compatibility along with SQL database integration and additional valuable feature upgrades.

Other important new features of BigHand Create 7.3 include enhanced pleading options, letterhead options and addressee options as well as updated NetDocuments integration and improved calendar functionality.

Evolve Law, a community of legal entrepreneurs and innovators, has launched Evolve Law Jobs, an online job board focusing on careers in the legal tech and innovation space.

“The companies in our legal tech community are growing quickly and finding the right talent is critical to their success. At the same time the people who attend our events are actively seeking to work in the legal tech space” said Jules Miller, co-founder of Hire an Esquire and Evolve Law.

Wins and deals

Eclipse Legal Systems is implementing its Proclaim Practice Management Software solution at Morton Young Solicitors, a claims litigation specialist.

Based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, the new start-up handles all aspects of personal injury law. Key requirements were full lifecycle management for a broad range of claim types, rapid process automation and streamlined volume throughput. In order to accommodate these necessities, Morton Young Solicitors is implementing a full Proclaim Practice Management Software solution, incorporating a comprehensive accounting and financial toolset with an out-of-the-box Personal Injury Case Management solution.

Elsewhere, Quality Solicitors Copley Clark will also be rolling out ready-to-go Proclaim Case Management solutions across a number of its departments in a six-figure deal for Eclipse.

The firm has also implemented Eclipse’s TouchPoint self-service portal to provide a device-independent and interactive experience for clients.

Frankfurt-based startup BusyLamp, which provides web-based legal matter and spend management solutions, has become an iManage technology partner, and will be integrating its matter and spend management solution with iManage Work.

“Corporate legal departments are often under budget pressures and have a need to demonstrate their value. By integrating our matter and spend management solution with iManage’s Work Product Management products, we are able to provide them with a comprehensive solution that gives them better overview and control of their documents, matters and legal expenses, provides them with powerful legal analytics, and automates and streamlines important legal operations and processes,” said Dr. Michael Tal, Co-CEO of BusyLamp.

Tal, a former White & Case senior associate, co-founded BusyLamp with former Allen & Overy corporate lawyer Manuel Meder. BusyLamp opened an office in Manhattan in December 2014 and London last year.

Essex solicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood, which has around 60 lawyers including paralegals and trainees, are introducing Skype for Business alongside many other communication options.

Partner Peter Carr, Head of IT services at FJG, said: “By using Skype for Business, our service is even more efficient and we can better help clients meet deadlines and use their time much more effectively.”

Other industry news

Wesleyan Bank, the specialist mutual financial services provider, has completed the integration of leading IT finance provider Syscap as it plans to extend its reach into the professional services, SME and IT asset markets.

The integration has been instrumental in Wesleyan Bank signing agreements with the Law Society and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). Under the terms and conditions, The Law Society of England and ICAEW have transferred their existing relationship with Syscap to the Wesleyan Bank brand for commercial loan products, whilst the Law Society of Scotland and that of England and Wales have extended its endorsement of the Bank to now cover personal loans.

Steve Deutsch, chief executive of Wesleyan Bank and Syscap, said: “The natural synergy between Syscap and the Bank has seen the integration be a great success. We are now well positioned to offer superior levels of service to both SME and professions customers by providing an extended product range which is tailored to both their professional and personal needs.”

HotDocs has announced that registration is now open for the “Are You Ready?” UK breakfast briefing roadshows, running through April and May 2016.

For more information on this and most other major legal events see our events page, where you can self-register your event for free.