It’s been a busy week in legal tech almost certainly capped by the news on Friday (15 June) that DWF may shortly become the largest law firm to float on the London Stock Market to help increase its investment in technology and connected services. There’s was news of a litigation decision engine launched out of a partnership between Weightmans, Kira Systems and the University of Liverpool; an enormous £13m cash injection from Goldman Sachs and Temasek for Eigen Technologies; and U.S. law firm Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett, McCollam, Duplantis & Eagan became the first to go live on 3E in the Cloud, to name but a few of the latest wins and deals rounded up here.
UK and EMEA
In line with its strategy of ‘doing things differently’ and in order to help increase its investment in technology and connected services, DWF may shortly become the largest law firm to float on the London Stock Market with a valuation of up to £1bn, The Times reports today (15 June) and the UK top 25 law firm has confirmed in a statement.
The flotation would be the largest since Slater & Gordon shook the legal market with its 2007 listing on the Australian stock exchange and mean that DWF is the sixth law firm to float.
DWF said in a statement: “We are focused on an IPO, however, a number of options are available to us, and we can still continue to build on our success to date, with the support of our clients, under our current structure. For the time being, it is very much business as usual for us, our clients and our business partners as we continue to focus on delivering the excellent service which our clients have come to expect of us.”
In a major win for HighQ, Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, is adopting the London-headquartered company’s intelligent work platform to enhance the way it engages clients and transform its delivery of legal services around the globe.
With a diverse group of law professionals in 73 countries, Dentons builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size. The firm will now be delivering those services with the support of HighQ’sSaaS platform.
“Our clients’ digital experience is core to our value proposition, and we are delighted to be partnering with HighQ,” said Scott Saundry, Dentons’ global chief digital Officer.
National law firm Weightmans has partnered with the University of Liverpool and software company Kira Systems to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) solution capable of extracting data to power a decision engine that will carry out legal reasoning. The solution can identify arguments for settling cases and speeds up decision making by combining the metadata extraction capabilities of Kira with a legal decision engine created jointly by experts at University of Liverpool and Weightmans.
It has undergone proof of concept testing in Weightmans’ insurance practice and will be used to support its lawyers and deliver real world solutions for clients. Weightmans anticipates the technology being used by Autumn this year.
Stuart Whittle, director of innovation at Weightmans, said: “We’ve focused on legal reasoning and information extraction because these are areas in which AI can potentially deliver massive gains in speed and accuracy of decision-making. We are excited to be partnering with Kira Systems in this regard, one of the most trusted contract analysis software products in the world.”
Eigen Technologies, which automates the classification and extraction of data from documents for finance, law, and professional services firms, on 11 June announced that it has completed a £13m ($17.5m) Series A funding round co-led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments (PSI) and Temasek.
The London-headquartered company will use the proceeds to fund the expansion of the business in London, New York, and other global markets, including Asia and the Americas. Eigen will also use the funds to support a substantial additional investment in research and development.
Eigen, which was founded in 2014, first began gaining serious profile in the legal sector towards the beginning of 2017, when it won Linklaters as a client. The Linklaters IT team and lawyers collaborated with Eigen to launch a homegrown AI-backed data analysis and extraction tool called Nakhoda.
Co-founder and CEO of Eigen Technologies Dr. Lewis Z. Liu said: “Three and a half years ago we set out to be a truly unique AI company, one that allows our clients to harness the power of their qualitative data to make better decisions. This Series A round underlines our ambitions and is the next major step in our expansion plan.”
Peppermint Technology has rolled out two-way integration with InfoTrack, which it estimates could reduce the time it takes to complete a conveyancing matter by 30%.
The integration allows law firms to access and automatically populate the InfoTrack platform with matter data from their Peppermint solution in real time. This saves firms time and drives increased margin when performing their conveyancing, particularly during pre and post-completion tasks, including SDLT and AP1 forms.
Phil Whitehead, GM of Alliances at InfoTrack, says ‘‘Conveyancing is a particularly admin heavy area of law, that’s why we want to provide clients with technology that delivers to their needs, creating efficiencies and time savings wherever possible. We are pleased to introduce this real-time, two-way integration with Peppermint, offering clients industry-leading technology that allows them to reduce the time it takes to complete a matter by 30%. With clients becoming increasingly focussed on service and communication, providing them with technology that enables them to focus on the areas where it is needed, is imperative.”
Wakefield law firm Catteralls has selected the Liberate case and practice management system from Linetime. Paul Kininmouth, senior partner, said: “The investment we are making is to take the practice through its growth in the coming years whilst at the same time keeping service to our clients as our prime focus. It was key we partnered with a software and service provider having a reputation for delivering leading edge functionality combined with a market reputation for delivering on their commitments – we found that in Linetime.”
Tikit on 11 June announced that a new integration between The Link App and P4W, Tikit’s leading practice and case management application, will be launched in September.
This new integration will streamline law firm communications with its clients. The Link App, a mobile client communication app, has been integrated with Tikit’s case management solution. This provides a dedicated secure channel for communications related to a specific case to be shared with the client. This notification is sent straight from P4W to the client’s mobile phone. This improves the law firm’s efficiency and service offering but also gives the client a more professional experience.
“The integration with Tikit P4W will provide case users with a superior client communication tool. With just a click of a button (or automated if firms prefer), lawyers are able to share important information related to the case with their clients,” said Lauren Riley, CEO and Founder of The Link App.
Odi-sé Avocats Aviation Finance has become the first independent French law firm to adopt Workshare Transact.
Workshare Transact runs deal checklists through a secure online workspace, removing the pain of multiple e-mails. The checklist provides online access to the latest version of all transaction documents and simplifies the process of collecting conditions precedent and reviewing progress
Odi-sé Avocats is one of France’s most respected albeit new aviation focused law firms and founder and managing partner Matthieu de Varax, a former Mayer Brown partner who launched the aviation boutique in September, said: “Aircraft finance and leasing transactions often involve multiple parties in various jurisdictions and generates a considerable number of documents.
“Workshare Transact allows us to spend less time on low-value work and to bring more value to our clients. It also makes the management and closing of transactions a much smoother, more efficient and cost-effective process.”
ROSS Intelligence won an award for “best AI product in legal” at the 2018 CogX Awards in London on 12 June. The annual AI conference recognized AI products and technologies across major industries as part of its two-day event this year, “The Festival of All Things AI, Blockchain and Emerging Technologies.”
The awards were judged by a panel of industry and academic experts and journalists.
Alongside ROSS Intelligence, other companies that took home awards included Boston Dynamics, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Deepmind.
U.S. law firm Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett, McCollam, Duplantis & Eagan has become the first to go live on 3E in the Cloud. Serving as the pilot site for the development of 3E as a cloud-based offering, the firm is the first to utilize the market-leading enterprise business management solution in the cloud. As part of the firm’s forward-momentum strategy, the 3E scalable technology will be used to track and manage workflow, reporting, and analytics to improve law firm efficiency and increase profitability.
Headquartered in New Orleans, Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett was a long-time user of the legacy Enterprise platform from Elite. The availability of a cloud-based option was a key driver in the firm’s decision to transition to 3E, giving the firm lower infrastructure costs and less ongoing maintenance when compared with an on-premises solution.
Hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform, 3E in the Cloud is the first Software as a Service (SaaS) financial management solution for large and mid-sized law firms. The cloud solution is the result of a Thomson Reuters and Microsoft relationship to provide superior data security, power and load capacity flexibility, improved disaster recovery, and real-time rollover for improved risk management of business data. It is expected to be generally available in the third quarter of 2018.
“The successful implementation of 3E in the Cloud by Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett marks a major milestone not only for Elite, but also for the legal technology industry as a whole,” said Eric Ruud, managing director of Thomson Reuters Elite. “Looking ahead, firms seeking a best-in-class enterprise management technology solution to propel their businesses forward can now benefit from a cloud-based option with lower implementation and maintenance costs, driven by market-leading technology from both Elite and Microsoft.”
Anaqua on 14 June announced that Tokyo Electron has selected ANAQUA 9 software as a complete IP management solution for its patents and inventions.
TEL, a leading company of innovative semiconductor and flat panel display (FPD) production equipment worldwide, opted for ANAQUA 9 when replacing its previous IP management database. ANAQUA 9 will provide TEL with real time data analytics, and IP forecasting, which will enable them to better align their IP with their business strategy. The new software will also provide TEL with an inventor portal that makes it easy for the company’s inventors to submit ideas and drive patent portfolio development.
“For the first time in our company’s history, we are excited to have global access to a common platform and capability, provided by ANAQUA 9, hosting our IP data and business processes that promote global collaboration, productivity gains, and sophisticated data analytics that elevates our ability to manage our IP asset,” said Eric Strang, director of intellectual property at Tokyo Electron U.S. Holdings, Inc.
Nextpoint and Keno Kozie Associates announced today that they have signed a partnership agreement under which Keno Kozie may grant its customers a license to Nextpoint’s cloud-based eDiscovery and litigation management software. Keno Kozie, already a leading provider of information technology design, service and support to law firms and legal departments, will also offer training and technical support allowing its customers to easily adopt Nextpoint to streamline workflow and reduce costs.
“It is incredibly important to us to protect the trust relationship we have with our clients,” says Imraan Bhatti, director of eDiscovery services for Keno Kozie. “We’ve worked with Nextpoint in the past, and they’ve proven to be a highly reliable partner. We trust them and are pleased to formalize the relationship.”
eDPM Advisory Services announces the launch of a modern consulting and management company dedicated to meeting emerging legal technology and support services needs in law firms, corporate legal departments and service provider organizations. eDPM Advisory provides expert professional services and guidance, project management and process improvement services and training and technology assessments centered around e-discovery, project management and legal technology solutions.
“While traveling the U.S. promoting my book Project Management in Electronic Discovery, I learned that many law firms and corporate legal departments have a desire to improve their e-discovery and project management processes. I saw the need, and eDPM Advisory Services, long a dream of mine, is now a reality. I look forward to serving the legal community,” says Mike Quartararo, founder and managing director of eDPM Advisory Services.