Legal IT News: All the latest wins, deals and products launches

The major story of last week was inevitably that DLA Piper has been hit by the global cyber incident that was initially thought to be a Petya ransomware attack but is now understood to be a ‘wiper’ virus, which is designed to cause damage to its target.

Initially targeted at the Ukraine, the latest virus is a variant of WannaCry, which was weaponised with additional code that was taken from the National Security Agency that allowed it to spread aggressively.

Talking about the nature of the virus and the international incident, Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks said: “It has all the hallmarks of a nation state sponsored attack. Everyone else is collateral damage and it’s very irresponsible and tantamount to cyber terrorism.” You can read his assessment of the virus; how companies may have become infected; whether infection is a sign of organisational failure; and what steps law firms must take to protect themselves here:

With law firms continually trying to strike a balance between security and enabling its fee-earners to practice, Groucutt said: “I can tell you for a fact that we’re restoring data for law firms all the time after cyber-attacks. Eighty percent of all of the restores we do now is to do with ransomware of one kind or another.”

Wins and deals

In other major news, magic circle giant Allen & Overy has selected iManage Work document and email management system to replace its legacy OpenText DMS after a year of intensive trials and having previously road-tested cloud-based competitor NetDocuments. This came as leading Finnish firm Castrén & Snellman selected iManage RAVN to transform its real estate and M&A due diligence.

A&O will roll out iManage Work over the next 18 months as part of a suite of new technology, having deployed the system on live matters within an extensive proof of concept.

The project has been run for A&O by chief technology officer Ian Storer and it is understood that a key driver in the selection process was mobility and the need for the DMS to integrate with the new suite of back office applications.

A&O is moving to Microsoft Office 2016 and Windows 10, offering its fee-earners the ability to become more mobile, meaning they need to be able to access the DMS from anywhere and on any device. We brought you the details here:

The move comes as Castrén & Snellman announced it has selected a rebranded iManage RAVN AI engine to automatically review and perform checks in its real estate and M&A transactions to increase efficiency and accuracy.

“iManage RAVN has a powerful solution that enables us to automatically cluster our contracts into separate classes and then perform automated extractions and comparisons to support further analysis and provide comprehensive data,” said Paula Aura, knowledge manager, Castrén & Snellman. “This method is far more efficient, meaning less manual labour on routine tasks and more human capital allocated to tasks which provides higher value for our clients.”

RBRO Solutions has won UK top 100 law firms Geldards as a client, working with them to achieve integration and automation across the business as the Toronto software and support company begins the process of rebuilding its team on the ground in the UK.

Geldards, which is an iManage and K2 client, is looking to RBRO to facilitate a ‘deep dive’ into short and long-term business strategy, working towards Geldards’ goal of developing streamlined and efficient processes and integrations, to enhance the effectiveness of the firm’s line of business systems including document management, finance, practice management and other related resources.

The win is welcome good news for RBRO, which has this year been hit by a number of departures: in the UK senior technical consultant Lee Huggett joined iManage and account manager Adam Wiles has joined HighQ. Globally it parted ways recently with COO Dennis Croft and APAC general manager Alan McCombe.

“We’re honoured to be part of such an important initiative with Geldards,” said Howard Russell, RBRO’s president and CEO. “It underscores our focus on creating simplicity from complexity.”

Elsewhere Linkilaw, which connects startups and SMEs with legal advisers, has acquired legal comparison site Lawyerfair, which will help Linkilaw fulfill its aim of delivering the “most comprehensive, cost effective and flexible legal service for small firms.”

Alexandra Isenegger, CEO, Linkilaw, said, “The UK legal sector is out of touch with and failing the needs of ordinary business. They don’t understand start up culture and there is a complete mis-match in service provision and pricing models.

“At Linkilaw we have streamlined our service model to deliver fast economically-viable legal solutions that will save time and money for small business owners, provide guidance and support their growth when they most need it.” You can read more here.

The acquisition comes as a new report out last week revealed that investment into UK lawtech start-ups has reached £16m. Movers and Shakers: UK Lawtech Startups, a new report by Thomson Reuters and Legal Geek, says that while the market is still at an embryonic stage, the value of investment in the sector shows encouraging levels of backing by venture capital firms, angel investors and players in the legal services market. You can read more here:

Meanwhile in the latest eDiscovery wins, DTI, a global legal process outsourcing (LPO) company providing eDisclosure, managed services, litigation support, and court reporting, announced that it has been awarded multiple contracts for the provision of transcription services by the Ministry of Justice. You can read about the win here:

Product launches

Kira Systems announced last week that a new HighQ integration will soon be available for subscribers to both systems, significantly simplifying law firms’ delivery of contract review services. Kira subscribers will be able to receive documents from clients and deliver the results of their review via the HighQ platform.

The integration between Kira and HighQ enables the seamless transfer of documents and corresponding analysis between a HighQ Collaborate site and a Kira project. Once documents are transferred from HighQ, Kira automatically identifies and extracts selected provisions from the documents into a summary chart for analysis by the review team.

“We recognize that the documents that lawyers are asked to review reside in many different places and Kira users should be able to easily access them.” said Noah Waisberg, CEO of Kira Systems. “We are thrilled to release this HighQ integration, which has been requested by many of our joint customers, and we look forward to announcing more integrations in the future.”

Eclipse Legal Systems has announced the launch of Eclipse Compact, a new solution based on the Proclaim case and practice management system that’s designed to cater for the needs of small law firms.

Compact is securely hosted and aimed at law firms of between 1 and 10 users. Featuring no up-front costs, Compact can be rapidly rolled out for a standard ‘per user, per month’ price. To ensure consistency and zero IT disruption as law firms grow, a pre-defined upgrade path to the full Proclaim product is available for firms beyond 10 users or whose requirements dictate enhanced functionality.

Eclipse’s marketing director, Darren Gower said: “Our Proclaim solution has always been extremely popular with small law firms, new startups, and sole practitioners – and we are proud of our position as the go-to supplier for this market. We are acutely aware though of a number of firms that require a different pricing model and do not yet need a full suite of workflow, administrative, and customer contact tools.” See

Legal technology and services provider Exigent has strengthened its offering by launching a new contract optimization service. Led by newly recruited head of contract optimization, Elmarie Burnett, the new contract management offering combines finance, audit, commercial analytics and data visualization skills for the first time.

David Holme, Exigent’s CEO, commented: “This is a unique service.  Contract data is extremely powerful if you extract the information and have the vision, technology and techniques to mix it with other data sources. We know with this team and technology we can make people money, so much so we are prepared to look at a gain share structure if organizations qualify.”

And sounding like something from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, last week TurboPatent launched AI-Powered RoboReview and Rapid Response to improve patent drafting.

RoboReview is a new software as a service (SaaS) tool that utilizes AI and predictive analytics to automatically analyse draft patent applications to upturn complex issues in seconds rather than days.

RapidResponse assists with writing a response to an Office action, a written correspondence from a patent examiner that requires a written response from the applicant in order for a patent application to continue. You can read more here:


On your radar should be the funding round by ClauseMatch, which last week raised £1.25m in funding to scale its software-as-a-service smart document management platform globally.

While ClauseMatch, a successful graduate of Techstars Barclays accelerator program in 2014, is targeted primarily at banks and financial institutions, it claims its services are also in demand from law firms. The latest investment was received from an Austria-based early-stage venture capital fund Speedinvest. You can read more about its latest funding here. And our Startup Corner profile of the company here:


Is the era of ERP for law firms finally here? Absolutely, said Martin Telfer, EMEA chief of Fulcrum Global Technologies, in a comment last week that saw him set out the trends in the legal industry and corporate world that drive that conclusion.

Globalisation, the growth of procurement and the fact that it’s becoming a buyer’s market are key factors, not to mention that firms are moving towards cloud offerings but need to comply with increasingly onerous client information security requirements. Oh, and did we mention competition from the Big Four? You can read more here:


Industry awards

Ascertus has been awarded the title of Global Partner of the Year for 2016 by HotDocs, the document automation software specialist, at the recently held HotDocs User Group on 14-15 June 2017.

Facing stiff competition from over 60 HotDocs partners across the globe, Ascertus, which provides document and information lifecycle management solutions to law firms and corporate legal departments, won based on its longstanding business relationship with the company, new customer wins including some of the world’s largest corporate brands, and excellent customer service.