Startup Corner: Legatics in Focus

Legatics is an end-to-end deal platform designed to cut out deal administration and with an immediate focus on automating the conditions precedent process. The company was this year selected to be part of the first wave of startups in Allen & Overy’s tech hub Fuse and was nominated for a Legal Geek startup award. Here’s what you need to know.
How would you describe your company to a friend?
We are redesigning legal processes to cut out deal administration and let lawyers focus on legal tasks. We do this by writing simple software that speaks the same language as lawyers and their clients, whilst adding in powerful automation behind the scenes. We started with the conditions precedent (CP) processes in financings where the amount of administrative work relative to legal review can be enormous and are now working in partnership with a number of firms to redesign further legal processes.
And if you had to describe it to a techy?
The needs of lawyers might seem strange to a techy. They can seem overly exacting and archaic and do not fit well into traditional data models. But to deliver software that lawyers can really relate to and gets close to an ideal process the techies must innovate. As a result we have created a specialist back end, accessible via a REST API that allows us to store data in highly flexible ways. The system pushes the boundaries of database architecture all with the aim of delivering data to lawyers in ever simpler and more useful forms. We show lawyers exactly what they want to see, when they want to see it and, as a result, they love our software.
When were you founded?
By who?
Anthony Seale (pictured), previously a magic circle finance associate.
Who are your key managers/senior execs?
Anthony Seale, CEO
Daniel Porus, Head of Business Development
Yuriy Litovchenko, Lead System Architect
Arne Zeidler, Advisory Committee
Maximillian Harper, Advisory Committee
Marcos Lucena, Advisory Committee
What is your growth strategy?
We want to work with those firms that are most interested in cutting edge innovation that delivers real and practical benefits to their lawyers. As the number of such firms is growing, we are growing too.
Have you received investment?
Yes. [Legatics raised a six-figure equity investment from external investors as a seed round. It used the funding to grow the team and bring a number of ideas that were previously at ‘lab’ stage to fruition.]
Who are your target clients?
City and specialist firms conducting transactional work, particularly those who do large scale finance transactions.
Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?
We are taking our success in reforming the CP process and using the same methods to reform further legal processes.
What are the key challenges you face in your market? [these can be generic/political/economic etc]?
The speed at which large firms operate is different to that of a startup and they are also used to contracting with large companies. The time from first contact to sale can therefore be very long and their contracts often do not cater for models such as SaaS.
What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year to 18 months?
The desire for innovation and reform within firms has expanded enormously over the past year. Firms are inventing new roles with titles such as ‘innovation manager’ and it is now common to find technology innovation a priority at board level. This has turned the market into a very exciting place for legal software startups.
Probably one of the greatest but usually unspoken developments was Microsoft ending support for Windows XP. It happened in 2014, but we are just starting to see the impact. Having to move on from Windows XP forced firms and their clients to move to newer operating systems and in doing so they also had to adopt more modern web browsers that support rich HTML5 web applications. This has allowed a wave of new software offerings to emerge that deliver sophisticated applications over the internet. Such software can be rapidly deployed, updated and scaled. New business models for both software providers and law firms are now possible. Firms and their clients can help accelerate this by increasing their support for cloud based architectures.
Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?
Firms are increasingly approaching us either through scouting out new legal technologies or because their lawyers and clients have used our software on the other side of a transaction.  This means that a lot of our marketing is reactive as opposed to proactive.