Legal IT News Round-up

Causing intrigue at the end of last week (16 June) was the news that US serial entrepreneur Justin Kan has raised $10.5m in the first round of funding for his new legal technology startup Atrium LTS, which appears likely to focus on workflow tools for lawyers and client-facing tech.

Announcing what must in legal be a record breaking Series-A round, which has been led by General Catalyst and includes a whole host of other investors, Kan said on Facebook “Excited to announce our Atrium LTS fundraising from General Catalyst and many other amazing investors. [Co-founders] Chris Smoak, Bebe Chueh, Augie Rakow and I are excited to build innovative technology for the legal industry.”

Also gaining significant attention on social media was the news that CMS is assisting Cognitiv+, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that automates knowledge extraction from legal data, on the development of their financial agreement risk analysis module under the InnovateUK Open Programme.

Founded in 2015, Cognitiv+ provides legal and regulatory analytics to corporates, consultancies and legal firms enabling them to understand and act upon contractual and regulatory obligations using artificial intelligence.

By automating long and repetitive tasks, Cognitiv+ enables the users to remove constraints while ensuring all possible risks are carefully reviewed. Cognitiv+ provides them with benefits such as being able to focus on high added value solutions, time and cost efficiency.

The CMS team is led by partner Charles Kerrigan, with support from Of Counsel Anne Chitan.

Commenting on the project, Vasilis Tsolis, CEO of Cognitiv+ says: “In this project we will revolutionise the way people understand and manage their contractual and regulatory obligations that are buried in financial agreements. It is very exciting to work with CMS, as they are the global leaders in M&A transactions, giving us true insights in the market.”

Eclipse Legal Systems announced on 15 June that it has been approved as a supplier on the latest version of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement framework, G-Cloud 9.

G-Cloud 9 is a Government initiative targeted at easing procurement for public sector organisations and departments across the UK, enabling them to seamlessly search for businesses that offer infrastructure, software and cloud services, via a secure online store, the Digital Marketplace.

Phoenix Business Solutions has entered a strategic reseller partnership with CheckRecipient to help the London venture capital-backed startup expand its customer base and accelerate its growth within the legal sector.

CheckRecipient, which was founded in 2013 and counts Travers Smith and Penningtons Manches among its clients, applies machine learning to prevent sensitive information being sent to the wrong recipient through misaddressed emails. Earlier this year it raised $2.7m in a funding round led by Accel and LocalGlobe and co-founder and CEO Tim Sadler told Legal IT Insider: “We’re a VC-backed company and it’s important to grow as quickly as we can and we see working with Phoenix as a great opportunity to enhance our position and accelerate our growth through their network of clients.”

Austrian startup Timeular, which is behind the Zei time-tracking device showcased at the 2017 Janders Dean London Horizons conference in May, has raised €1m ($1.1m) in funding.

Zei is an eight-sided physical device that connects to time recording software by bluetooth and each side can be programmed with a matter number. The device automatically starts tracking on whichever side is facing upwards, meaning it can be automatically activated when a call comes in or when a fee-earner changes task.

Alphaserve Technologies, a global provider of managed IT services, cloud services and cybersecurity services, has announced its further expansion into the legal market. By re-engineering its proprietary platform for managing technology infrastructure and applications, Alphaserve now offers a scalable model that allows midsize and small law firms to enjoy the premier services previously available only to large firms.

The Alphaserve Technologies leadership team and top technologists have several decades of experience serving the nation’s largest financial institutions as well as top health care and pharmaceutical companies. The company has taken on several large, prominent law firms as clients over the past several years but says its offering is now accessible by the broader legal market.

Global technology company Nuix and MSAB, a pioneer in mobile device forensic examination, have announced a  partnership focused on harmonizing the Nuix digital investigation platform with MSAB’s suite of market-leading mobile forensics solutions. This partnership offers a streamlined workflow for investigators seeking to reduce their case backlogs and become more efficient in examining the dramatically growing volumes of digital evidence involved in investigative cases.

Zylpha has entered into a formal partnership agreement with PayPal, which is said to reflect the success of its PayPal Invoicing integration, launched in July 2016.

PayPal Invoicing streamlines the process by which law firms accept clients’ funds, allowing invoice details to be forwarded to clients electronically, minimising the risk of human input errors or problems with illegible payment card details. Used within LexisNexis Visualfiles, the solution has proved especially popular when combined with eSignature product Adobe Sign.

Workshare on 14 June announced in conjunction with Kraft Kennedy a new range of security-oriented upgrade, deployment, and support services. Delivered through Kraft Kennedy, these services will help customers rapidly take advantage of Workshare’s Protect Server product and future matter file sharing security products, and expedite their response to outside counsel guidelines and regulatory requirements.

Workshare on the same day announced their matter file security initiative – Protect Everywhere – which is designed to let legal firms apply a consistent policy and a common metadata cleaning engine across email and non-email sharing channels. Complementing this, the company is showcasing Risk Analytics technology that allows Information Security teams to report on compliance.

And in a comment for Legal IT Insider Workshare’s chief revenue officer Nick Thomson called on vendors to work together to help alleviate desktop crowding and says the age of embedding is here.

People moves

In people moves, DocSolid has expanded its leadership team by hiring Anthony Argenziano as chief technology officer. Argenziano brings over two decades of global enterprise technology experience including his work in senior leadership positions at Amazon and eBay. Argenziano will lead product development and product management for the company’s suite of Paper2Digital software and cloud solutions.

Andrew Bye, an e-discovery and machine learning expert, has joined Catalyst as director of machine learning and analytics where he will support Catalyst’s technology assisted review (TAR) initiatives, and advise clients on Insight Predict projects from start to finish.

“Andrew brings an impressive background in e-discovery and technology assisted review,” said Catalyst founder and CEO John Tredennick. “We are confident that Andrew will help us improve the client experience with our award-winning team of data scientists and machine learning engineers.”

Legal publishing company Fastcase announced on 12 June that Steve Errick will join the company’s executive team on July 1 as chief operating officer. He will be responsible for executing the company’s strategic vision, developing new editorial products, and developing the company’s organizational structure as the company expands.

Errick most recently served as vice president and managing director for research information for LexisNexis. In that role, Errick oversaw the Legal Research Information Product Division, with a $1 billion P&L portfolio. He led LexisNexis’s development of workflow tools such as Total Patent, Litigation Suite which included MedMal Navigator, E-book Digital Lending, Lexis for Microsoft Office, and Lexis Practice Advisor, and he shepherded LexisNexis’s acquisition of Law360, Securities Mosaic, and Sheshunoff/AS Pratt Financial Services.

Case studies

Over the past week we’ve published two new case studies, the first looking at how Bury Council’s legal department, a longstanding users of Lexis Visualfiles, has created a new debt management solution within the platform to facilitate more efficient debt recovery. This has helped it to achieve over a 50% recovery rate.

We also look at forward-thinking Northern Ireland law firm, Cooper Wilkinson Limited, which as part of a larger investment in best-in-class technology, decided to explore the option of BigHand Speech Recognition as a way to streamline processes and work more efficiently. Already a BigHand Digital Dictation customer, and being pleased with the product and service to date, they chose to roll out both BigHand Speech Recognition and upgrade to BigHand’s newest version (‘The Hub’) which brings with it many new features available within the Speech Recognition module.

New versions

Finally LockPath, a leading provider of governance, risk management and compliance solutions, has announced the availability of Keylight 4.7, now featuring the Health and Safety Manager (HSm) application, a new addition to the Keylight Platform’s suite of applications designed to integrate risk management processes across the enterprise. Keylight 4.7 also features new reporting and calculation enhancements.