All the latest legal tech wins, deals, launches and moves

Catch up on all the latest legal tech news here with our Monday morning roundup. Includes the latest wins, deals, moves or launches from SOS Connect; Eclipse Legal Systems; ayfie; NetDocuments; iManage; Tikit; BigHand; Thomson Reuters; Converge TS; Enable Business Solutions; Epiq, Elevate, HighQ; QuisLex; Lockpath; DiscoverReady and more.
Wins and deals
Commercial law specialist, PG Legal, has implemented Proclaim Practice Management Software solution from Eclipse Legal Systems.
Established in 2011 and specialising in commercial property transactions, PG Legal has grown to provide a range of legal services to businesses of all sizes and sectors in the North East and throughout the UK, including dispute resolution, debt recovery and employment law. Today the firm operates from its head office in Gateshead with further offices in Stockton and has a team of 24 committed to providing excellent client care.
Ipswich law firm Prettys Solicitors has swapped out Thomson Reuters Elite for SOS Connect from Solicitors Own Software due to its “proven track record.”
“We had been with our previous suppliers for several years and looked at an upgrade with them, as well as seeing what some of their competitors could offer,” says CEO Ian Carr. “We decided to adopt SOS Connect mainly because it was a well-established, prudent product with a proven track record. In addition, as a firm we are looking to drive our efficiency in the coming years, and SOS Connect will help us to do that. The level of support, security and knowledge provided by the SOS team so far is very, very good and we are now in the process of rolling out the second phase, which involves the probate and litigation modules.”
And full-service law firm Allington Hughes Law has signed up to SOS Connect as part of a “natural progression.”  The firm, which has offices in Wrexham, Chester and Llanrwst in North Wales, was a long-standing SOS customer when it decided to upgrade to SOS Connect.
“We have been customers of SOS for a number of years, and felt that the way things were moving on, adopting SOS Connect would help us become more efficient, improve our working practices and ultimately provide a better service to clients,” says practice manager Tammy Hughes.
At the end of May Bighand became the latest iManage partner to announce an integration with Work 10, the newest version of iManage’s work product management system.
By automating much of the document profiling process and giving users access to a range of styling and formatting tools, the BigHand Create and iManage Work 10 integration is said to significantly improve the quality and efficiency of the document production process, regardless of the users’ level of experience.
It’s a double win for Tikit and BigHand as Peterborough-headquartered law firm Hunt & Coombs selects case management system P4W and BigHand Digital Dictation.
The selections were kickstarted when Hunt & Coombs, which has four offices and over 100 staff, set about a review of their internal processes with the aim of driving increased efficiencies.
Hunt & Coomb’s legacy case management system was time-consuming to use, with the legal secretaries having to copy and paste case numbers from one system into another in order to complete transcriptions effectively: yes, really. The decision was made to review the technology and explore other ways of streamlining their processes to ensure optimum efficiency within their secretarial teams.
ayfie, a leading provider of search and text analytics solutions, has won Norwegian law firm BAHR as its newest partner. Aimed at managing BAHR’s vast domain knowledge, ayfie will combine and leverage different technologies from its portfolio to get BAHR’s lawyers the information they need.
All documents will now be automatically classified for efficient recall and BAHR can easily search for internal competencies, clauses, terms and documents.
Having been acquired outright by Dye & Durham at the end of last year, UK-based e-conveyancing provider easy convey announced on 1 June that it has acquired 100% of conveyancing search company Finlay Associates.
easy convey’s electronic conveyancing case management solution is one of the largest conveyancing platforms in England and Wales. This acquisition of Finlay Associates, which was founded in 2003 by Richard Norman and provides searches and reports to solicitors, conveyancers and other property professionals, will boost the search capability within easy convey’s conveyancing case management platform.
The University of Manchester Law School has teamed up with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Neota Logic to provide students with a new legal tech module. We spoke to Professor Claire McGourlay, who is driving the inclusion of legal tech at the University of Manchester School of Law, about the new module and other initiatives that put Manchester ahead of many if not most of its UK competitors. You can read more here:
Chainvine, the UK-headquartered blockchain developer used by K&L Gates for its internal blockchain initiatives, has raised £2.5m/$3.3m in its Series A fundraising.
The fundraising was led by Chester-based fund Deepbridge Capital. Chainvine, which was founded in 2016 by Oliver Oram, Niclas Wigstrom and Dr Rajiv Mathur, creates bespoke platforms, using Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which decentralise a company’s ledger systems; creating a secure, intuitive and permanent recording of ledger data.
And growth private equity investor Bowmark Capital is to buy out Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s circa 60% stake in LOD (Lawyers on Demand), as the management of the alternative legal services arm looks to accelerate its recent growth and take advantage of a “tipping point” in the market.
LOD, which was co-founded in 2007 by former Berwin Leighton Paisner partner Simon Harper and head of recruitment Jonathan Brenner, was spun out in 2012 – six years ago on 1 June – when BLP held between a 70 and 80% share in the flexi legal resource company.
Two years ago, LOD merged with AdventBalance – the largest ‘new law’ merger to date – and BLP’s share was reduced to 62%, which Bowmark has now acquired in its entirety. We spoke to Harper about the acquisition and you can read that interview in full here:
People moves
Following the injection of private equity funding this year, Converge Technology Specialists has continued to build out its c-suite with the heavyweight hire of former PwC corporate finance director David Byrne as the company’s chief financial officer.
Byrne has over 20 years’ experience working with fast-growing private companies in advisory and industry roles. As an M&A specialist, he has advised on deals with a total value of over £750m and will lead the company’s acquisition plans as well as supporting organic growth.
He will join former Thomson Reuters Elite’s EMEA sales head Peter Gill, who, as we revealed at the end of May, is to join Converge TS as chief commercial officer.
You can read our interview with Peter and find out more about that appointment here:
In case you missed it in the May Orange Rag, history is just about to repeat itself, when David Lumsden, who was chief executive of RAVN Systems until its acquisition by iManage, takes over as CEO of Enable Business Solutions from founder Liam Flanagan in July. Flanagan, who retains majority ownership, will take on the role of head of business development and innovation.
The appointment is a near repeat of when Lumsden took over in around the turn of the century as CEO of Tikit, which was co-founded by Flanagan. He led Tikit’s float on the AIM London Stock Exchange in 2001.
And with a massive number of views and likes on LinkedIn is our story that Jo Owen has been promoted from operations director to the newly created role of CIO at Cripps, as the Kent practice elevates its IT function to board level.
Owen, who has become a divisional head with a seat on the partnership board, takes over responsibility for innovation and transformation from Cripps’ former chief operating officer and director of innovation Christina Blacklaws, who this year took over as vice president of the Law Society. Within Owen’s team of 65 is a centralised Legal Professional Team, which includes project paralegals and document production.
Product launches
As we first revealed in the latest Orange Rag, Legal technology specialist Fraser Mayfield has launched a brand new cloud-based matter management solution called, which is based on Google Cloud and has data security at its heart.
The multi-tenanted system, which runs in five languages, is targeted at the small law firms market and intended to help them manage existing clients and matters as well and developing contacts and opportunities; capturing time in the office and on the go; and collaborating with colleagues on tasks and deadlines. You can read more on the website here:
North America
Wins and deals
iManage on 5 June announced that Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP – a full service law firm with more than 400 attorneys and 17 offices across the United States – has gone live on iManage Work in the iManage Cloud for document and email management.
Shortly after selecting iManage, the firm merged with Chicago and Florida law firm Arnstein & Lehr, which had an on-premises installation of iManage Work. To help make the merger a seamless process, both firms deployed iManage Cloud to have a single platform for accessing and managing critical work product and collaborating with one another.
“We were already planning on moving to iManage,” said Todd Corham, chief information officer, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. “In hindsight, the decision was even more beneficial than we had expected because it allowed us to combine the firm’s platforms more quickly and enable all our professionals to immediately start working together. Getting access to all of our documents and filed emails was critical to a successful combination and facilitated collaboration early in the process.”
Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, today announced that it acquired Soliton Systems’ eDiscovery business, formerly known as Ji2, expanding its presence in the Japanese legal market.
The acquisition allows Epiq to further enhance the comprehensive suite of services it delivers to Japanese clients. Through the transaction, Epiq will acquire patented, proprietary technology that optimizes Japanese character set processing.
In May the unstoppable Elevate announced that it had acquired the assets of U.S.-based e-discovery company E-STET, bringing Relativity in-house. The eagle-eyed among you may have been left wondering about the details of the deal because EY announced in November that it had acquired E-STET and the E-STET team joined the EY eDiscovery team.
We asked for some clarification and it turns out that Elevate has acquired E-STET’s infrastructure and a number of customers who opted not to transfer across to EY. Vice president of legal services, Kunoor Chopra said: “There were assets that didn’t transfer over and we purchased those.”
QuisLex announced that it is part of a team that has been selected by the Association of Corporate Counsel as a 2018 Value Champion together with its client Ocwen Financial Corporation and their counsel Hunton Andrews Kurth and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. The team was recognized for its work re-engineering Ocwen Financial Corporation’s due diligence delivery model. Working with Ocwen and their counsel, QuisLex built an AI based technology-enabled process that defines roles for each of Ocwen’s in-house and external legal teams to fit the unique value they bring to a specific project.
Lockpath, a leading provider of integrated risk management solutions, and Digital Shadows, a leader in digital risk management and relevant threat intelligence, have announced a new partnership to strengthen how organizations manage and mitigate risk.
The product integration being developed between Lockpath’s Keylight Platform and Digital Shadows SearchLight service will enhance the customer’s ability to monitor, manage and remediate digital risk. In addition to the technology integration, the partnership is also strategic in nature, as Digital Shadow’s global footprint and European presence align with Lockpath’s entry into the European market.
People moves
Thomson Reuters has restructured its senior management, appointing as co-chief operating officers Brian Peccarelli (pictured), who takes over as head of legal professionals, and Neil Masterson, with four senior execs set to leave including president of legal, Susan Taylor Martin.
Peccarelli, currently president of tax & accounting, will head all customer-facing operations. He will work to organise the businesses and allocate resources around three customer segments:
             Legal Professionals – Led directly by Brian Peccarelli
             Corporates – Led by Piotr Marczewski
             Tax Professionals – Led by Charlotte Rushton
A statement out on 4 June said: “Brian has managed the company’s fastest growing business for more than seven years and brings a proven track record of successfully leading organizations that deliver sustained, profitable growth.”
DiscoverReady has announced that Michael Ciaramitaro has joined the company as director of forensic advisory services. In his new role, Ciaramitaro will lead the DiscoverReady global forensic services team, offering consultation in support of corporate and law firm clients in the identification, preservation and collection of stored data to effectively respond to litigation, government investigations or other legal matters.
“We continue to see growth in global litigation, M&A-related activity, IP disputes and cybersecurity-related challenges that have all contributed to an increase in the need for digital forensic and cyber privacy expertise,” says Matthew D. Nelson, vice president of advisory services and associate general counsel for privacy and security at DiscoverReady. “Michael brings a depth of experience and a forward-thinking perspective that will enable our customers to address evolving forensic challenges posed by mobile devices, cloud applications, IoT devices and other emerging sources of ESI.”
Product/data centre launches
NetDocuments has officially released ndThread, a social collaboration and matter-based messaging tool built within the NetDocuments cloud platform – now available to NetDocuments customers and prospects worldwide. The ndThread product comes to market less than six months after NetDocuments acquired the ThreadKM collaborative messaging technology. ndThread is available as a native cloud service embedded within the NetDocuments platform and accessible through the web, desktop and mobile applications.
And HighQ has opened two data centres in Canada, continuing efforts to grow its global enterprise collaboration platforms. The data centres are located in Markham and Mississauga, Ontario, and are designed to serve security and compliance needs for local clients. Recently, HighQ added Canadian-based law firms Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; Bennett Jones LLP and Fasken LLP as clients.
Robust security measures in place at the data centres include ISO/IEC 27001:2013, Uptime Institute Tier 3, SOC2 Report and FIPS 140-2 Level 3 HSM certifications. The buildings also have state-of-the-art HVAC, power and network systems, plus smoke and water detection systems, and on-site security with 24/7 patrols.
“HighQ continues to address data sovereignty and security concerns by offering hosting where our clients do business,” said Paul Hunt, chief revenue officer for HighQ. “The demand for cloud-based collaboration requires assurance that data is not only safe, but also stored in a manner compliant with local regulations. Providing secure solutions remains a top priority for our company as we continue with growth initiatives.”
HighQ’s Canadian data centres officially opened March 15, adding to established locations in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Germany, UAE and Channel Islands.