Legal IT News: Wins for Kira + iManage + Elite & all the latest updates

We bring you news of a win in Norway for Kira; the first US firm to implement iManage Insight and a win for iManage in China; and the latest wins for Elite in the US and Hong Kong. Plus the latest news and updates from Oyez Speech and Dictate Now; Gavelytics; Taylor Made Computer Solutions; Deloitte; Morton Fraser; and Dentons.

Contract Analysis

Wiersholm, one of Norway’s largest law firms, has announced a new program to adopt the machine learning contract analysis solution, Kira, as they enhance their services to clients. Kira will be used to help serve clients across the firm’s corporate practice, including for due diligence on M&A and real estate transactions, and to advise on regulatory changes that may impact a client’s business. The firm has already successfully used Kira’s machine learning feature, Quick Study, to train custom provision models in Norwegian.

Kira Systems’ software uses machine learning technology to uncover information in contracts, even when the wording varies from document to document. Lawyers use Kira to help automate the extraction and analysis of key provisions from both structured and unstructured contracts, accelerating and improving the accuracy of due diligence, deal points studies, general contract reviews, regulatory compliance and more.

“With the adoption of Kira, we expect to continue to meet and exceed client expectations, give our partners confidence that their expertise is supported by an excellent tool, and attract the best associates who want to work at a firm that is adopting cutting edge technology,” says Niklas Larsson, chief digital officer at Wiersholm. “We truly believe this will make coming to work better for everyone.”

Document management

The past few days have seen a double international win for iManage: first up Fangda Partners, a leading Chinese law firm, has moved to iManage Work 10, the newest version of iManage’s work product management system.

iManage 10 is the product of iManage’s lengthy ‘White Rabbit’ project, which involved countless hours of watching lawyers use the technology – and it appears to be paying off in terms of user experience if Fangda’s praise for the new system is anything to go by. “iManage Work 10 is so easy to learn and easy to use. It completely reduces the friction of an upgrade,” said Josh Shin, a partner at Fangda Partners, which has long used iManage Work for its document and email management. “Our busy professionals could get up to speed without having to sit through hours of training. Within one month of implementing iManage Work 10, our user adoption rate escalated dramatically. The user interface is so much friendlier and the new personalized experience is exactly what our lawyers want. We have been using iManage for almost a decade now and this is the most impactful update we have seen.”

iManage partner Smart Team Global (STG) provided local professional service during the upgrade.

The wins shortly follows the news that Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP – a Chicago-based law firm representing many Fortune 100 companies – has become the first US law firm to implement the new RAVN-powered iManage Insight for enterprise search.

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP has also long used iManage Work for document and email management. The addition of iManage Insight augments their capabilities with powerful enterprise search functionality and serves as a replacement for their existing knowledge management system, Recommind.

“We saw the opportunity to significantly upgrade our search platform with iManage Insight,” said Sonia Menon, chief operating officer at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg. “It’s a powerful but easy-to-use application that enables our professionals to quickly surface key knowledge from many internal and external repositories. We’ve already started using one of Insight’s key features – Insight Knowledge Graph – to identify hidden experts and expertise throughout the firm. We are excited to take this step and we see it as a foundation for advancing knowledge management for the firm.”

Practice management

The past few days have also seen a US upgrade + Asia win for Thomson Reuters Elite. Leading U.S. law firm von Briesen & Roper, s.c. has chosen 3E as it transitions from its existing Elite Enterprise solution: von Briesen also will be utilizing several other offerings from the 3E Enterprise Business Management Solution, including 3E Workspace and xcelerate Budgeting and Forecasting.

von Briesen, a long term client of Elite, employs 192 lawyers in 11 offices. The firm has expanded significantly over the past two years, opening three new offices and adding all of the attorneys and staff from firms Peterson Johnson & Murray, s.c. and Levine & Bazelon, s.c.

3E has also been selected by Hong Kong-based firm Haldanes, which was previously using Nexus. Founded in 1975, Haldanes has clients both locally and throughout the Asia region: while best known for its criminal litigation practice, the firm, which has also selected client matter management system MatterSphere, offers expertise and collective knowledge across a full range of legal practice services.

Digital speech

Oyez Speech and DictateNow have recently completed integration between their Digital Speech software and Transcription Services.

The collaboration will provide Oyez Speech users with access to a team of more than 300 professionally-trained, UK based typists. Both firms are ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 accredited, ensuring the safe transfer and handling of confidential data.

Users will now be able to send speech files directly from their computer, via a secure cloud-based platform, as easily as if they were sending them to an in-house secretary.

And in response to growing demand for its services, DictateNow has appointed Mark Gardner to its Quality Assurance team. Gardner joins from rival Voicepath and brings with him more than 16 years’ experience, primarily working with legal sector clients. His unrivalled in-depth knowledge of the leading case management systems, was a major factor in him joining the QA team at DictateNow’s Borehamwood head office.

Gardner said of his appointment: “It is an exciting time to be joining the leading name in the sector. DictateNow supports more top 200 UK law firms than any other digital dictation and transcription services provider, which will undoubtedly keep me and the team busy.

“As more firms look to concentrate their resources on core activities and outsource more for greater efficiency, productivity and ultimately, profitability, we are on hand 24/7 to help when required.”

Litigation tech

As we reported on 13 March, Gavelytics, the judicial analytics company that uses artificial intelligence technology to help litigators quickly identify judges’ tendencies, today announces it has closed a $3.2 million funding round from prominent Southern California investors, including the backers of Legal Zoom, The Honest Company and Qualcomm. The funding round will aid the launch of new tools on the Gavelytics platform, accelerate the product’s geographic coverage and support team growth.

Investors in the latest funding round include: Brian Lee, the co-founder of Legal Zoom, Shoe Dazzle and The Honest Company; David Nazarian, an early investor of Qualcomm; Bruce Karatz, former chairman and CEO of KB Home; L.A. businessman Jarl Mohn; and Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO of the Tennis Channel and chairman of Ovation TV. The company has raised a total of $5.7 million since 2016.

Gavelytics’ AI-based technology highlights the vast differences between judges by tracking how each judge tends to rule on over 100 types of motions, how quickly they move through their cases and how frequently lawyers file peremptory challenges against them. In September 2017, Gavelytics launched its coverage of Los Angeles County Superior Court, the largest and most active state, civil trial court system in the U.S.

IP software

In another big name win for Anaqua, Inc., the leading provider of intellectual property management software and services has signed McDonald’s Corporation in a multi-year agreement to use the ANAQUA platform to manage trademark prosecution, enforcement and related legal matters.

The company’s IP portfolio includes more than 10,000 active trademark applications and registrations. McDonald’s will use the ANAQUA platform to help protect and enforce its global trademark portfolio by closely tracking its global trademark matters and continually monitoring and maintaining its portfolio.


Sophos, a London Stock Exchange-listed global leader in network and endpoint security, has announced the expansion of its Sophos Phish Threat phishing attack simulator and training solution to Europe and Asia.

With enhanced dashboards and new analytics to track organizational risk and employee performance, Phish Threat simplifies a key part of an organizations security strategy – employee awareness and training. With the capability to choose from hosting locations in Ireland, Germany or the US, organizations worldwide can now access multi-language, interactive security training from within the Sophos Central security management platform.

Sophos Phish Threat automates the entire training process and provides visual analytics to identify vulnerable employees. As the only security awareness training program from a leader in IT security, it can be managed alongside email, endpoint, and network security from one console for improved, risk management and incident response.

“Human behavior is a critical element of cyber security yet 62 percent of companies don’t train employees to recognize phishing attempts,” commented Bill Lucchini, senior vice president and general manager for the Sophos Messaging Security Group. “SophosLabs sees malware on up to 77 percent of blocked mail. Creating a culture of security and data protection awareness has risen in priority with the greater risk of email born ransomware and  the planned introduction of new legislation such as GDPR. Employees have to be responsible for the way they handle data and how to spot a phishing attack should be part of their training. Phish Threat builds greater employee awareness by creating suspicious emails using known techniques, successful spoofs, and contemporary examples. In fact, after just four Phish Threat simulation training emails, the average organization reports a 31 percent2 reduction in employee susceptibility.”

UK Hires

Taylor Made Computer Solutions has appointed a specialist new business development manager as it continues to develop its specialism in IT for the legal sector.

Rob Hillsdon joins the Fareham-based firm following seven years with a global IT company, providing corporate governance solutions at board level to FTSE 350, the public sector and charities. Prior to that Rob had lengthy stints totalling over 20 years at leading legal software vendors including Visualfiles, which was acquired by LexisNexis, where he was a key account manager.

Taylor Made counts many of the South’s law firms among its client base, including Trethowans, Paris Smith and Coffin Mew.

Managing Director, Nigel Taylor said: “Law firms make up a significant proportion of our client base and we’re looking to increase that even further with the appointment of Rob, which is why we are so excited to have him on board and increase this. He’ll be working to show more law firms how their data and IT systems could be in the safest of hands with us.”

Financial services

Business advisory firm Deloitte has invited top data scientists and fintech entrepreneurs from around the country to compete in its 2018 Datathon. The event, ‘financial services for good’, is an intensive 24-hour competition which will focus on how financial data can be used to help address some of the biggest challenges facing society today.

Following the success of last year’s event, this year’s Datathon will capitalise on the growing availability of consumer data through new regulations including open banking and PSD2. Its objective is to establish a meaningful link between financial services data and trends in other areas that underpin social wellbeing.

Hosted in Deloitte’s Greenhouse facility in Edinburgh, the Datathon will run from mid-day on March 19th to mid-day on March 20th at which point participants will present their concepts to a panel of judges including Kent Mackenzie, director, head of risk analytics & fintech, Deloitte; Loral Quinn, co-founder and CEO, Sustainably; Phil Grady, CEO, Castlight Financial and Bijna Dasani, head of business architecture and innovation, Lloyds Banking Group.

Going agile

Morton Fraser, a leading Scottish law firm, has introduced a formal ‘agile working’ policy as part of a wider focus on employee wellbeing and organisational flexibility.

The firm has been breaking down traditional notions of legal practice in order to offer its staff greater choice about where and when they work. It has now formalised the approach with a policy that applies to all staff.

The results of a recent staff survey demonstrated that around two in three staff already work remotely regularly and 91 per cent expect the major benefit of agile working to be added flexibility in their working life.

Maggie Moodie, Chair of Morton Fraser, said: “The law firm of today must be flexible, perhaps even beyond traditional norms in the sector. For some time we have been breaking down barriers, whether perceived or otherwise, to give our staff greater choice about when and where they work.

“The driving force behind this is our client base – our clients expect the best possible advice but also a strong and confident relationship. There is lots of evidence to show that agile working improves staff productivity and leads to higher morale. Ultimately, we are putting the choice down to each individual to consider how best to get the job done for their clients. Agile working is a contract of trust between employer and employee.”

If you missed our article on mental health, which is still generating comments from our readers, you can catch it here:

Merger activity

And there’s a significant amount of integration work for the IT team at Dentons, which has announced that it is combining/acquiring with seven elite law firms in Africa, the Caribbean and South East Asia.

Dentons will combine with Hamilton, Harrison & Mathews in Kenya; Mardemootoo Solicitors and Balgobin Chambers in Mauritius; Dinner Martin in the Cayman Islands and Delany Law in the Eastern Caribbean (including offices in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago); Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners (HPRP) in Indonesia; and Zain & Co. in Malaysia.

The combinations in Kenya and Mauritius follow in the wake of last year’s combination in neighbouring Uganda with Kampala Associated Advocates.