See below all the latest news and commentary from the Orange Rag! This will appear in a new responsive PDF very, very soon.
New LITI website goes live!
The new look Legal IT Insider website is now up and running, which is hugely exciting both in terms of what we can offer readers and advertisers going forward.
The site is still a work in progress in terms of its UI, but we hope that you’ll see from the outset that it is now mobile-friendly and fully responsive on desktops, tablets and mobiles.
One important thing to note is that while we have (unusually) resisted the trend towards paid-for-content of any description, you have to register in order to access the free content.
So far, the majority of readers have had no problem in registering but, not surprisingly, some have had issues. The main reason for that is where readers have historically registered/signed up, uploaded content to or downloaded content from the old site. So, if you have ever done any of the following:
Posted a comment on a news story; submitted a newswire story; added a job posting; posted an event/webinar listing; downloaded a Top 200 chart, a report or any content that required you submit a form, or requested to be added to the monthly distribution of the Orange Rag, you must make sure that the site has not automatically logged you into what it believes is your account (see image). If you are logged in, please logout and then begin the registration process or else you will not receive the necessary confirmation email.
To date this is the only issue we are aware of (apart from the occasional user error!).
If you do experience any other issues/glitches email Lum – firstname.lastname@example.org – who is our technical guru or Jez – Jeremy.email@example.com – who isn’t technical at all but will be very charming and get it resolved ASAP. The new site is very much a work in progress so please do let us know your thoughts, feedback, functionality you would like, what works/doesn’t work: we can guess what you want but it would make sense if you told us by using firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the site for all the boring GDPR and privacy notices.
For advertisers, our analytics are now spot on. Previously we weren’t able to tell you in an awful lot of detail about our readers. We now can and we will be transparent about it.
It really was eye-opening during our slightly eventful migration how many people contacted us to say that they can’t access the website – thank you for your patience and support. As many of you know, Legal IT Insider launched in 1995 and has been “on-air” since that time so the downtime was frustrating for all of us.
If you have any editorial queries, contact email@example.com – we’re looking for even more senior industry comment so don’t hold back with your (good) ideas.
If you want to market your business on our site for the first time or explore the new ways we can help you – and there are lots – please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to attend #GlenLegal20 please contact email@example.com.
Here’s to the next 25 years – let’s imagine what the market will look like in 2044!
Kemp Little to launch IP company
UK top 200 law firm Kemp Little is set to launch an IP company called Dupe Killer, which focusses on creative brand protection to help its clients protect their designs and prevent copycats stealing their ideas. The launch, which is part of a plan to create a series of separate tech entities, follows the hire of chief digital officer Gerard Frith, who previously helped large corporates to create start-ups and digitally transform their businesses.
The plan is to leverage Frith’s experience to launch the companies in which Kemp Little will seek external investment as well as partner with other entities. Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Frith said: “We’re creating not a lab but a way of creating new technology that will be spun out and that Kemp Little will retain a share of.”
We asked COO Siddartha Mankad if this is the right role for a law firm and he told us: “That’s not the right question – it suggests that law firms are vocations and professionals that should just be doing law. A law firm is a business serving its client and where there is an idea and a construct that is right for the market you should do it.”
Kemp Little has already launched one subsidiary: in September it won the Innovation in the Business of Law: Technology award at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards for its development of 4Corners, a database designed to convert complicated contracts into useable business data.
We spoke to Frith about his new role and the launch of Dupe Killer.
Can you tell us who you are and what your role is?
I’m Gerard Frith, chief digital officer at Kemp Little, which is a newly created role. I report to the managing partner and my role is to transform the organisation digitally, lead innovation and create new ideas for services and products to transform the way we relate to our clients.
When did you start at Kemp Little?
In April this year.
Where were you before that?
I have run various start-ups but immediately before I was helping large corporates to create start-ups. I’ve worked with companies like Experian and British Gas and prior to that I developed software using AI and machine learning.
Since April what changes have you introduced at Kemp Little?
There is now a different tone to a lot of the conversations, which none of us would have had without a framework for innovation internally. We are just bringing to market a new AI start-up that we’ve created in the IP area. We’ve created it from scratch and already have three clients on board and its patent is pending. It will be a separate entity when we launch.
Is the ambition to create more than one company?
Yes, we’ll create a series of entities and the law firm will own part of them and we’ll have external investors in some and will partner with other entities. We’re creating not a lab but a way of creating new technology that will be spun out and that Kemp Little will retain a share of.
Is that the right role for a law firm to take?
The role of a law firm is to deliver great service to its clients and for that you need great AI and technology and firms need to understand their clients better and deliver what they need.
“Largest ever” EMEA Aderant Momentum
October saw Aderant host its largest ever EMEA client event, with 140 delegates attending Momentum Europe in London.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, regional director for strategy and growth, Karen Bailey, told us that Aderant this year doubled the number of Momentum EMEA sponsor partners as it increases its partner network to help absorb new work – a move that will be welcomed by the industry and which follows the creation this year of the Aderant Expert Services Partner Network. New partner faces at the conference included Wilson Allen and iTrain, which has been working with Aderant users at Travers Smith.
Inevitably there was a big focus on Aderant’s hybrid multi-tenant cloud offering, and it may come as a surprise that Aderant has 18 live sites on Aderant Expert Sierra in the US and 38 in total signed – it will be launching the cloud legal case and matter management software in the UK at the beginning of 2020.
Sierra is hosted in the US on AWS, but the Atlanta-headquartered software company is still deciding which cloud platform to go for in the UK. Initially Sierra is aimed at smaller firms. In the US the firms that are on Aderant Sierra include Evans Petree; Martin Pringle; Adsero LLC; Meriwether Tharpe; and O’Donoghue, O’Donoghue. Bailey tells us that there is a six-month average implementation time.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider at the event, executive vice president Chris Cartrett said:
“Four years ago we said that mobile options would be a requirement by 2020. Today, it is a no-brainer to have mobile time, inquiries on cellular devices, etc. In five years’ time, cloud is going to be the no-brainer.”
Popular sessions at Momentum EMEA included an opportunity to play with new software: Aderant set up 40 PCs and conducted a series of exercises for attendees to become familiar with new software such as the partner dashboard, where solutions consulting and client experience manager Ian Emery demonstrated how users can create their own tiles.
Aderant also used Momentum EMEA to launch its new Handshake extranet product. It is notably going to launch a series of UK roadshows next year and is currently looking at the most popular sessions and topics.
“We’re taking the new Handshake extranet out to the regions so that people can play with it. We’ve done roadshows for a while in the US and we did them in the UK a few years ago but we are doing it again in Q1 next year.”
Aderant “working with client” after YouTube incident
Aderant says that it is “working with the client” after it this month came under fire from RollonFriday for posting confidential Watson, Farley & Williams client and partner information on YouTube.
According to the legal news and gossip website, the five-and-a-half-minute video showed someone with administrator-level access moving around the shipping firm’s website demonstrating various features. Three minutes in, the cursor opens a ‘Business Development’ section which reveals a list of ‘Deals’ and a list of ‘Pitches’. Several matters are shown, two of which are labelled explicitly as ‘Confidential’.
The video also takes a look at Watson Farley’s billing system, revealing client names and the matters that the firm was working on. Details of client invoices are also shown and the balances on client account.
A third video is reported to show lawyer utilisation rates, specifically naming two Watson Farley partners.
While RollonFriday reports that the footage was uploaded in 2017 by an employee of Aderant, we understand that it was an employee of Handshake Software prior to its acquisition by Aderant. It had been viewed 17 times.
Our understanding is that it was uploaded as a private video – undiscoverable by search – but can be viewed once the link has been shared.
The video was deleted from YouTube within hours of RollOnFriday alerting WFW.
Watson Farley said in a statement sent to RollonFriday and later to Legal IT Insider that the video was created and uploaded by Aderant “without the knowledge or consent of WFW”. The video was created for internal use to demonstrate some of the UI/UX features developed for WFW. The firm said: “We take data breaches very seriously and are concurrently conducting our own investigations including, among other things, action relating to breach of confidentiality on the part of the supplier. We take this opportunity to remind third parties that the information contained in the video is confidential and should not be disseminated. The video or any parts of it should be deleted.”
A spokesperson for Aderant said:
BRYTER expands into the UK
Germany-headquartered decision automation software provider BRYTER in October formally expanded into the UK with the hires of Sam Spivack as managing director of the UK and Ireland and Sharan Kaur as head of strategic partnerships in the UK as its client base in the region grows. Both joined in September.
Spivack until August was AI practice consultant at Kira, responsible for client relationships across EMEA and Australia (he took a lead role in Allen & Overy signing up with Kira in July 2018), and before that was an associate in Berwin Leighton Paisner’s, now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s, real estate team.
A member of The Law Society of England and Wales‘ Technology and Law Committee, Spivack arrives as BRYTER’s customer base grows in the UK, including new customers such as Hogan Lovells, Fieldfisher, Taylor Wessing and Simmons & Simmons. It also counts Ashurst Advance and Deloitte among its client base.
BRYTER provides easy to use decision trees with “draw, drag and drop” functionality plus built-in document generation (where notably many of the recent hires have come) and real-time analytics. Stibbe is trialling the software (as we revealed in July).
Michael Grupp, CEO of BRYTER, said:
“Sam is a brilliant strategist and a hands-on leader with a profound understanding of the legal and regulatory markets. He has impressed us with his strategic approach and exceptional track record in negotiating global, high-profile deals. We are honoured and stoked to welcome him as managing director for the UK and Irish markets. He is second to none in understanding the challenges and opportunities for business software for professional services firms today and we are eager to continue our fast-paced growth story with him as a leader and manager.”
BT tech and transformation restructure
BT has appointed Dave Hart as its new legal transformation director whilst former general counsel for BT Technology and Transformation, Chris Fowler, focuses all of his attention on the technology business.
Hart, who started out at BT as head of litigation and began moving into a data role as legal director in 2018, is now responsible for defining and delivering the optimum delivery model and the technology vision for the legal function, as well as the operational management of the function globally. He was previously head of litigation at Barclays.
Fowler is now responsible for legal support to the unit responsible for the design, delivery and management of BT’s fixed and mobile network infrastructure. The move happened in the late summer but, speaking recently to Legal IT Insider, Fowler said:
“Given BT Technology is key to BT’s overall transformation and the focus on 5G, rural coverage, converged networks and cyber security, I’m focused on supporting that business and now have the networks & research, mobile property, Intellectual property and security legal teams working into me. Since we signed our managed services deal with DWF Dave Hart is dedicated to leading the next phase of BT Legal’s transformation as our transformation director. Dave will be responsible for the BT legal operations team which consists of finance, vendor management (led by Neil Willson) and systems and change (led by David Griffin).”
Docassemble: The open source rebel alliance
I’ve changed my mind about whether lawyers should learn to code or not, and one of the main reasons is speaking to the attorney founder of Docassemble, Jonathan Pyle, who has developed a free, open source expert system for guided interviews and document assembly that can plug in external sources such as client credit reports in bankruptcy proceedings. Oh yes, and Radiant Law has just open sourced a library that integrates Docassemble to DocuSign so that you can generate a document, including bulk generation, and send it straight out to the signatories without any additional steps.
Pyle is an attorney at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, providing free legal advice to low income people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Frustrated by the lack of affordable technology available to the not-for-profit sector, Pyle taught himself to code and tells me: “I’ve been using lots of different programming languages – once you teach yourself one you can teach yourself others.”
Docassemble allows people to create web applications incorporating decision tree and document assembly functionality and Pyle says: “It is completely extendable so if you want to add different features or have the screen look completely different or have it look up your case, you can.”
The platform was released a couple of years ago and is now used in 17 countries globally with two start-ups based on building with its code: Documate and Community.lawyer. Pyle tells me: “They are trying to serve the market for lawyers who don’t want to code but want to create apps.”
Pyle’s quiet ambition is more revolutionary, and he tells me: “I’m focussed on changing the way the law is practiced by having people on staff who aren’t afraid to code and will spend all day developing sophisticated apps. If they are doing it all day long, why wouldn’t you give them a sophisticated tool? If you’re a photographer, you don’t want a children’s camera to take photos.”
He adds: “Proprietary technology tries to make things easy but has less functionality. They don’t want to give too much leeway or users get in trouble. I come from an open source culture where you should have the power to do something advanced even though you might make an error.”
One of the ways that Docassemble is being used in the A2J space is that it is helping people in 48 US states file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for free: Upsolve automates a vast number of mandatory questions and obtains outside information such as the client’s credit report, replacing the $2,000 sum that you normally have to pay a lawyer to prepare and file the paperwork.
Pyle says: “It has more functionality because of the nature of open source – so much already exists, so if you’re making an open source product you have the advantage that you can include all that great functionality. My code can send text messages because somebody else already did that.”
From an access to justice perspective, this represents an exciting step in the right direction. Radiant Law’s founder Alex Hamilton built the DocuSign integration to encourage other industry players to back Docassemble. He tells me: “It’s important both because (a) we need as an industry to take seriously the access to justice disaster and pro bono will never be enough, so we have to look to and support scaleable open-source solutions, and (b) because there is a roll-up going on in legal tech and we need flexible, cost-effective, simple platforms to build solutions for clients that don’t require huge IT projects, massive budget and lock-in.”
This is likely to accelerate the still fairly nascent trend among law firms towards hiring legal tech engineers. And while I stick to the belief that the world has enough crappy code and that lawyers who can’t use Word shouldn’t be stuck in a mandatory Python course, I find Pyle’s argument convincing that lawyers can achieve great things if the knowledge in their head doesn’t have to go through a technical translator to become code. “Lawyers need to concentrate on how you drive down the cost of law and one of the ways they can make it more affordable is by automating whatever goes on that they can automate. They can’t stay away from the idea of reducing their knowledge to something that can be automated,” he says.
“There are a lot of advantages to the lawyer programmer brain: they can be faster and take less communication if they are willing to climb the learning curve. Although, he adds: “You need to think of all the possible things that might happen and just as some lawyers aren’t good at writing contracts or regulation from scratch, some lawyers aren’t good at that.”
While this is happening in the A2J space, it doesn’t take a genius to see that open source is becoming more mainstream in the legal sector.
With his customary grin, Hamilton tells us: “If industry players are set on building Death Stars, it’s time to start a rebel alliance.”
Later in this issue, we talk to John Tredennick, founder of the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation. It’s no coincidence that on October 17, Pyle was designated as a member of the Advisory Board of the Merlin Foundation, which is a foundation for furthering the adoption of open-source technologies in the legal sector. Docassemble was also added as a featured product on the Merlin Foundation web site: https://www.merlinfoundation.org/projects-1.
GC Privacy roundtable
Legal IT Insider is co-hosting a general counsel roundtable on privacy with Prosperoware in January.
This is going to be an extremely valuable and informative session. To register your interest and find out more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exciting legal L&D?
Crafty Counsel in October launched online subscription-based learning and development via a series of videos recorded by specialists in the area.
The new subscription content covers technical legal topics, as well as advice on transforming internal legal functions across legal operations and legal tech. To that end it has partnered with general counsel and lawyers from law firms and legal tech companies: current presenters include Linklaters, Simmons Wavelength and the in-house legal teams at RBS, Vodafone Business, Lonely Planet and The Crown Estate.
The videos are organised into boxsets (sort of like Breaking Bad) and playlists of bite-sized (<15 minute) studio-quality episodes to provide users with a curated library of content. Subscribers can access their watch history and download it into a report, with each video tagged against the competency requirements set by the SRA. One reason for bringing it to you now is that Crafty Counsel has been flagged to us recently by a couple of industry leaders who are impressed with the way the company is transforming the legal L&D experience. Crafty Counsel’s CEO and founder Ben White, a former Clifford Chance associate and latterly group corporate counsel at the Global Fashion Group, said: “The legal industry is lacking accessible and structured learning & development resources. As I found in my own legal career, training does exist, but is usually expensive, hard to find and often not putting the needs of the in-house lawyer front and centre. I left my own legal career to set-up Crafty Counsel as I believed the industry could do so much more to service lawyers in this area and in a modern way. I am delighted to be able to launch our new subscription service which will give individual lawyers and entire legal teams access to on-demand learning and development video material that is both affordable and targeted at what in-house counsel really want and need to hear about.” Tim Smith taps out of OnePlace OnePlace’s founder Tim Smith has largely exited the client lifecycle management business following its acquisition by Intapp, as Intapp formally rebrands its entire business around the OnePlace name. Smith is taking on the role of external strategic adviser but the vast majority of his focus is now directed on the launch of a non-legal Salesforce-based project lifecycle management application called HardHat. Speaking to us about the move, Smith told us: “My role is now a strategic one. I did have a sales role but I’m not a sales guy. I’m loyal to the business and the people, so I said, ‘Why don’t I take this role and give you advice on running the business and dealing with any issues.’” Smith is officially retained one day a week by Intapp. Intapp acquired OnePlace at the end of May 2019 and, at the time, it appeared from the rhetoric that the intention was very much for Smith to lead the charge in integrating OnePlace with DealCloud – the financial services-focussed client lifecycle management system acquired by Intapp in 2018. However, speaking to Legal IT Insider about the move, Intapp’s president Dan Tacone said: “To me this seems totally natural. Any time you acquire a business it’s a major shift for the CEO, who goes from owning the company and making the day-to-day decisions to a place where you sold the company and don’t make those decisions, albeit that doesn’t mean you don’t have influence. “We went in with our eyes open that Tim is a great person and contributor, but we knew about HardHat and there was always a risk that he would move on in a different timeframe than he originally thought. He has a deep passion for the business and the people and his initial thinking was that he wanted to stay on and protect that but, as he thought about the integration, he got to a level of comfort that the people, product and customers were well taken care of and he didn’t have to worry.” In terms of roadmap, the legacy OnePlace platform (based on Salesforce, with around 60 clients) is being maintained but the main focus for development is a best-of-breed DealCloud-based platform called Intapp OnePlace 2020 that integrates with other Intapp products. Within the financial services sector the name DealCloud will be retained. Smith said: “The DealCloud platform is sensational and they have incorporated all the OnePlace IP into it so it’s so much more robust. It’s really humming and gaining momentum.” Baker McKenzie was the first law firm to sign up to DealCloud but we understand that there are other big deals in the pipeline. Intapp acquired OnePlace for the name, the expertise of the team (many of whom are ex-LexisNexis InterAction) and to incorporate the OnePlace IP into DealCloud. Speaking to us at the time of the acquisition, CEO John Hall said: “OnePlace is such a great name and the name says it all. The firms recognise that we are trying to create one place for partners, so our two companies completely agree on the vision.” Perhaps it is no surprise that Intapp has now rebranded the entire company Intapp OnePlace. Intapp is led by Hall who is assisted with strategy by Mark Holman, who joined in July and is helping the company in its ambitions to integrate its products, become a single platform and further expand the business. According to his LinkedIn page Holman is there to “help Intapp become one of the largest and most successful of the next wave of ‘Industry Cloud’ companies servicing the $5 trillion professional and financial services industry.” The company is increasingly targeting the high-level C-Suite, and we admire its ambition, but it is stretched thin and, in many cases, failing to deliver on existing day-to-day services, leading to dissatisfaction among a swathe of its existing legal client base. This will hopefully be resolved by closer partner relationships with the likes of Wilson Allen, Pinnacle and Stickleback. Intapp is backed by Temasek and Great Hill Partners and it has long been rumoured to be looking to float. Integreon partners with Seal Alternative legal services provider Integreon in October announced a new partnership with Seal Software, in what will start as a LIBOR repapering offering but is expected to expand far beyond that. We spoke to Integreon’s CEO Bob Rowe and Integreon’s senior VP of contracts, compliance and commercial services, Jeff Catanzaro about their plans. Seal’s contract analytics LIBOR Insight Accelerator will immediately be a key component of Integreon’s recently launched LIBOR Transition Readiness Task Force, which is led by Catanzaro, who joined Integreon from UnitedLex in September. Incidentally he rejoins Rowe: the pair previously worked together at Huron Legal. The LIBOR Task Force assists banks and financial institutions to move away from the LIBOR Reference Rate which ends in 2021. Industry estimates suggest that phasing out the LIBOR reference rate will impact over $350 trillion worth of contracts and render obsolete LIBOR contract clauses residing in 100+ million documents. Speaking to Legal IT Insider at Legal Geek, Catanzaro said: “We looked at various tools specially for LIBOR and selected Seal as a result of both product analysis and speaking to clients in the market – the banks that we spoke to as part of our market research and exploratory meetings are picking Seal.” Rowe added: “We started with the premise that our financial services clients have a big problem, so rather than saying ‘We need to find technology’ we said, ‘How do solve LIBOR?’ That led to this partnership: a point solution that’s a starting point but that we expect to grow and be needed for problems outside of LIBOR.” Accenture recently conducted a survey which showed that organisations are not nearly as prepared as they should be for LIBOR. Rowe said: “The client doesn’t want to have to put the puzzle together, but they have a lot of people approaching them saying ‘we provide this piece’. We want to make sure that when we walk in, we provide the whole solution. Seal out of the box can get to a deep analysis where others require more effort.” LIBOR is not just a legal problem, it involves multiple stakeholders and Catanzaro told us: “The stakeholders aren’t talking to each other. There are compliance, contract and regulatory issues and each of those stakeholders is looking at how to solve LIBOR so we’re saying we take a holistic approach. It will cost you £1 to find the contracts but for £1.10 you can address all of the issues. We’re saying don’t just spend £1, be more thoughtful about it.” Integreon now has 300+ staff in the UK and says it has the ability to scale as necessary. Catanzaro said: “We have people being trained on Seal right now and it’s going to be a continuing education. Our team is building analytical models specific to LIBOR. We’re not just licensing the software, we’re truly partnering with them.” K&L: Consolidating the desktop For K&L Gates’ director of business transformation, Melissa Speidel, there are strong parallels between the legal sector now and the finance sector in 2008 and the healthcare sector before the Affordable Healthcare Act (often referred to as Obamacare): none were ready for the changes coming down the track and many people didn’t believe until the last minute that change would happen. “When the Affordable Healthcare Act came up, I was consulting with some of the biggest national insurance companies on how to become B2C – they were B2B – and the people we were meeting with said ‘we don’t have to do this’. The legislation said they had to do it, but they couldn’t fathom that change would happen,” says Speidel. “They said, ‘things won’t change that much.’ I remember thinking ‘your world will change overnight.’ “It’s funny how those companies have adjusted but they saw a lot of turmoil. And finance did the same thing with the recession. All these new regulations came in and you saw massive lay-offs and a technical shift towards ‘how to do things more effectively and efficiently using technology’. “Whether change is being thrust on you or clients are demanding it, every industry has their time.” I’m speaking to Speidel and K&L Gates’ CIO Bart Gabler about signing up to the Litera desktop earlier this year, cutting five vendors to just one, and Gabler says: “We saw the value a year ago in single source and working with one vendor. But now we appreciate the roadmap, enabling lawyers to work where they live. The less time we spend on our change effort and the more trying to meet where they are and improving their experience in their application is where we see the greatest value lies.” K&L Gates was an early adopter of Litera and had a small installation of Contract Companion and also DocXtools. Speidel says: “We had a conversation about where Litera was going and it’s on the right path. Interestingly, Litera came to our partner retreat in 2018 and we highlighted some of our ongoing efforts. There was such an interest in engaging with them and in talking to the 900+ partners and demo-ing the tool they were very open to different