The Orange Rag Newsweek: BPP launches legal tech week & all the top stories and news in brief

With the UK visibly trailing jurisdictions such as the US in its tech training for law students, BPP University Law School is launching a series of legal tech challenges to “spark innovation and entrepreneurship within its students.”
A legal tech-themed ‘Employability Week’ (which runs from 6 – 10 March) will offer BPP University Law School Legal Practice Course students expert knowledge and practical experience of the latest legal technology, with an insight into how technology can be pivotal in enhancing their legal careers.
The Employability Week events will be held nationally in each of BPP’s centres, with live streaming of key legal tech events and keynotes running from its Holborn law school in Red Lion Street.
It’s a start, but we’d argue that legal tech should be should be an integral part of legal training, not a week-long hurrah culminating in a, woop woop, hackathon.
Derivatives initiative
As firms rise to the challenge of helping clients deal with changes to European Margin Rules for non-cleared OTC derivatives, Simmons & Simmons has launched The Netting + Collateral Reviewer – a new online tool which enables derivatives clients to streamline and manage independent legal reviews of enforceability for EMIR compliance purposes.
Craig Bisson, partner at Simmons & Simmons says: “We have already seen tremendous interest from firms around the world who are subject to the obligation, or act for clients that are. They are aware of the requirements but are unsure of how they are going to comply. What they know is that writing out to counsel in five – 10 jurisdictions is a sure-fire way of receiving an expensive legal bill, and they’re looking for a cost-effective alternative that will take the pain out of this new regulatory obligation. With the Reviewer, which was designed in consultation with clients and with the help and support of our Innovation Group, this is exactly what we’ve created.”
Changes in derivatives legislation led Allen & Overy to launch MarginMatrix in June 2016 and in September 2016 sparked a partnership between Clifford Chance and Thomson Reuters. For more information on Simmons’ offering click here:
Wins and deals
Start-up firm Progressive Solicitors is implementing the Proclaim Practice Management Software solution from Eclipse Legal Systems.
Based in Manchester, the firm was founded in late 2016 and offers services for all types of personal injury claims – from road traffic accidents (RTAs) through to slips, trips and falls.
It is implementing an ‘off-the-shelf’ Proclaim Personal Injury Case Management system, providing all staff with step-by-step procedures to streamline case progression, from instruction through to conclusion. You can read more here:
Not-for-profit New York legal services provider The Legal Aid Society has selected TutorPro’s learning management system to enhance its capacity to provide staff with access to a comprehensive library of current, high quality training materials.
Founded in 1876, The Legal Aid Society has over 2,000 employees, over 1,160 of whom are attorneys. Each year Legal Aid’s staff handle over 300,000 legal matters annually, focused in three areas:  criminal defense,  civil law, and juvenile rights. Legal Aid remains committed to one central belief, “that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty.”
Society head Jean Scott said: “Our lawyers use TutorPro for pre-recorded Legal Aid Society trainings, especially trainings for CLE credit. The fact that the courses are available on mobile devices is an added bonus for many of our lawyers who spend a lot of time away from their offices.”
New product launches
Workshare has released a User Activity reporting feature, which gives compliance administrators the ability to track every action of users and guests on the organisation’s account.
“With the rise of compliance, security requirements and GDPR, it is no longer enough to be secure, you also have to prove you’re secure.” says Anthony Foy, Workshare CEO. “Part of this is being able to prove who is doing what with data in your organisation.”
Workshare has also responded to clients’ data residency requirements by introducing greater flexibility into its platform. Now the data stored by individual users can be assigned to a specific Workshare-approved geographical location or a client’s own private location. Any new file or versions of a file uploaded by that user is then stored in their specified location.
The default Workshare storage location is in Dublin, Ireland. Depending on their entitlement, Workshare clients can now change this location to multiple secure Workshare-approved geographic locations and/or specify their own private or on-premise data storage locations.
Wilson Legal Solutions has unveiled a new systems and information security service offering that enables firms to manage, optimise, and secure software instances and the IT infrastructure and data with less effort, cost, and risk.
Delivered by a team of technical experts with a cross-industry perspective, the systems and information security services help firms manage software application instances more effectively, optimise the performance of the IT infrastructure, improve the management of large databases, and enhance the security of intellectual property.
“There is an increasing need for business systems that run efficiently and securely. These systems continually increase in complexity as technology evolves and operations become more data intensive,” says Alex Klamkin, Wilson’s director of systems and information security. “Firms need to manage this environment effectively but don’t always have the expertise or bandwidth to do so. Our new service offering provides a solution.”
System services include application-specific offerings that focus on the setup and ongoing support of Thomson Reuters Elite Enterprise and 3E software as well as Intapp products.
Top stories of the past week
Clearlake Capital Group has reached a definitive agreement in partnership with management to acquire NetDocuments. NetDocuments will continue to be led by Matt Duncan, CEO, and Alvin Tedjamulia, CTO, who will both join the board of directors alongside Clearlake. Financial terms were not disclosed. See more here:
Legal desktop app The Link App has received investment from Jenson SEIS and EIS Fund 4 in order to “take it to the next level.” Founded by family lawyer and CEO Lauren Riley, best known for her appearance on reality TV show The Apprentice, the Link App is a desktop app designed to improve communication between lawyers and their clients. Clients install The Link App on their smartphones to receive regular updates from their lawyers direct to mobile. Exchanges via the app are encrypted. See more here:
Ascertus has bolstered its management team with the appointment of Antony Wells as senior account manager. Wells was most recently with DocsCorp, which he joined in London in the summer of 2016 after relocating from Australia. He went to Australia in 2014 as commercial manager APAC for Phoenix Business Solutions, having been with Phoenix in London since 2007. See more here:
Merger update
Dentons will enter the Netherlands through a combination with respected Dutch law firm Boekel.  The partners of both firms have approved the deal, which is expected to close in April 2017. With the addition of the Amsterdam office, Dentons will have 26 offices in 18 countries across Europe.
“As the first polycentric law firm, we are committed to bringing our clients quality legal talent in the world’s most important business centers,” said Elliott Portnoy, Dentons’ Global CEO. “The Netherlands is the sixth largest economy in the European Union and a hub for international trade.  Due to its business-friendly climate, it is an attractive location for corporate headquarters and therefore a key market for our multinational clients.”
Boekel is an Amsterdam-based law firm employing approximately 70 lawyers, including 16 partners.  The firm provides clients with full service legal advice, with a particular focus on  real estate, corporate and litigation.
As a result of the combination, Boekel’s clients will gain access to the experience of more than 7,600 lawyers in more than 60 countries around the world.