Your Monday Legal IT Update

We bring you all the latest including news from Allen & Overy; Neota Logic; HBR Consulting; NetDocuments; and Tikit (Advanced), plus the two legaltech Time Magazine Best Inventions of 2020 and, in the financial sector, the hedge fund that has collapsed after a cyber-attack, drawing commentary from a global law firm tech head.

Allen & Overy launches Hong Kong Cyber Fraud First Response Tool

Allen & Overy has again turned to Neota Logic’s no-code platform to launch a client facing tool, in this case a Hong Kong Cyber Fraud First Response Tool led by the Hong Kong litigation team.

The application quickly guides the victims of cyber fraud (or their representatives) through the immediate steps that they should take following the discovery of a fraud where the funds have been remitted to an account in Hong Kong.

The tool has been launched to the market at a time when cyber fraud is a growing concern for companies and individuals worldwide, amidst the additional challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing sophistication of cyber criminals.

If the initial steps are taken swiftly, A&O says the tool could increase the prospects of the misappropriated funds being recovered, given that the first 24 to 48 hours after discovering a fraud are critical.

Allen & Overy of counsel Emily Tillett said: “Whilst corporates and individuals located anywhere in the world may fall victim to cyber fraud, Hong Kong is one of the primary destinations for the proceeds of cyber fraud to be transferred to before being dissipated to accounts elsewhere around the globe. Many victims will not be aware of the steps they need to take and often too much time passes between discovering the fraud and action being taken. The aim of the Hong Kong Cyber Fraud First Response Tool is to help such victims with those initial steps in order to maximise the chances of recovery of the stolen funds. Initial feedback regarding the tool has been very positive, with a number of (non-legal) practitioners operating in the cyber fraud and investigation space in Hong Kong praising its uniqueness and utility.”

In April, A&O launched regulatory compliance tool MarginMapp in collaboration with Neota Logic.

HBR Consulting launches workflow platform CounselGuide

HBR Consulting has launched workflow tool CounselGuide to helps law firms ensure compliance with outside counsel guidelines.

The complexity of managing outside counsel guidelines, pricing arrangements, diversity requirements and other documents is growing and CounselGuide has been designed to help navigate and mitigate these difficulties.

“CounselGuide was developed based on client feedback and needs,” said Matt Sunderman, president of the advisory business at HBR Consulting. “Clients using SpendConnect, our law firm vendor contract management solution, have been asking for a long time for a product that will help them better manage their various client obligations. HBR’s unique vantage point working with both law firms and law departments enabled us to build this truly innovative solution. We plan to continue to inject proven best practices into CounselGuide’s support model to ensure law firms and law department clients can truly collaborate in this area.”

CounselGuide reportedly includes a highly configurable set of role groups, document templates and facets that are key to compliance elements in any document, allowing firms of all sizes to distribute and collect internal feedback all in one place.

It leverages the same expertise behind HBR’s SpendConnect and CounselCommand platforms, which provide software-enabled services and analytics to both law firms and law departments.

“In the race to deliver best-in-class services and high levels of client satisfaction, many law firms will need to overhaul their billing and compliance processes to better support clients and increase revenue,” said Scott Springer, senior director and leader of software solutions at HBR Consulting. “CounselGuide does just that by providing a simple, innovative workflow that streamlines processes, resources and costs to enhance law firms’ collaboration and compliance with client requirements.”

Two legaltech startups make the Time 100 best inventions of 2020

Two legaltech startups – Upsolve and FairShake – have made Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020 list. The list highlights the achievements of inventions that make the world “better, smarter and more fun.”

Upsolve helps people to avoid the cost of filing for personal bankruptcy, allowing people to get back up on their feet without the fee that it normally costs.

“The cruel irony in America is that it can cost $1,500 in court filing and attorney fees to tell the court you have no money,” says Rohan Pavuluri, the founder of tech nonprofit Upsolve. Upsolve’s software fixes that, helping users complete the complex legal paperwork so that they can file for bankruptcy without hiring a lawyer. Since launching in 2018, the free service has helped relieve more than $250 million in total debt nationwide.

Fairshake, meanwhile, provides a free service to automate the process of filing an arbitration claim.

For many people, the process of seeking restitution is enough to deter any further action. Using FairShake, consumers fill out a questionnaire about their grievances and then track the status of their claims on FairShake’s dashboard. If the matter isn’t settled within the notice period (usually 30 days), FairShake, which has battled companies such as AT&T and PayPal and takes a 10% to 20% cut of successful claims, can initiate a legal ­complaint.

NetDocuments announces unprecedented growth in small and medium law segment in 2020

NetDocuments says that in Q1-Q3 2020, more than 300 solo and small firm practitioners, corporate law departments, and other legal entities chose the NetDocuments platform with an additional 300 existing customers expanding their cloud service. This growth represents NetDocuments ‘new deal’ records for Q2 and Q3, both in the midst of the pandemic. Within NetDocuments’ Small-Medium Law segment, Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) growth was 40% year-over-year in both Q2 and Q3. To date, 54% of new customers switched to NetDocuments from existing, competitive systems.

According to Mike West, Vice President, Small/Medium Legal Market Sales, an increasing number of smaller and medium law firms are seeing the value of leveraging native, multi-tenancy cloud solutions to address process inefficiencies. “Our solution definitely helps firms reduce duplication efforts, saves time managing emails, and accelerates meaningful searching. Now more than ever, law firms are looking for increased productivity and process improvement which NetDocuments helps them address not only via features/functions but also how the cloud platform is built.”

A noteworthy trend is the move away from internal file shares and no ‘formal’ DMS to platforms like NetDocuments. “I think COVID has actually played a decent role in the reasoning behind why so many customers are switching from no DMS,” commented Brett Burney, Principal of Burney Consultants, a legal technology consulting company. “Law firms are realizing, especially with remote work realities, that they need ways to collaborate, share and store documents securely and confidently in a central location and NetDocuments is a huge help in that sense.”

UK win for Tikit Partner for Windows

Tikit Partner for Windows (P4W), has been selected by Bristol-based law firm, Watkins Solicitors.

P4W, already used by over 600 firms in the UK, will be rolled out to 45 users at the firm and will benefit from the comprehensive Legal Aid Module built into P4W which will automate the complex administrative processes involved in Legal Aid work in order to keep their firm compliant with LAA regulations.

Beverley Watkins, Partner at Watkins Solicitors, says: “After speaking to several law firms who recommended P4W, we are really happy with our decision to partner with Advanced for our practice and case management solution. We value the opinion of other firms in the industry and were impressed with their trust in P4W. Due to the variety of legal services we offer at Watkins Solicitors, we needed a system that would be compatible with all areas of work the firm carries out. We also required a solution that would be compatible with the administrative processes and legal requirements of the extensive legal aid work we carry out.”

Watkins also opted for the full Advanced Hosted Desktop service which includes P4W hosting, Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Online e-mail services. The solution includes a full migration service from their current “on premise” systems, designed to deliver a fully managed and outsourced solution and offering a true one-stop solution for their firm.

Hedge fund collapses after cyber attack

And a cyber-attack in the financial sector has drawn comment and warning from a leading law firm tech head. The Australian Financial Review reports today (23 November) that Sydney hedge fund Levitas Capital has collapsed after a cyber-attack triggered by a fake Zoom invitation saw its trustee and administrator mistakenly approve $8.7 million in fraudulent invoices.

Commenting on the news on LinkedIn, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Sydney-based global head of tech and innovation, Nick Abrahams, said: “Terrible news for this hedge fund…make no mistake, like it or not, you are in a war.” He added: “The solution is not necessarily more tech $$. Much more work needs to be done on internal controls/processes.” Abrahams is running a data breach simulation on 26 November.