Catch up on the latest law firm legal IT ventures, as in the UK, Eversheds Sutherland launches Techtober and its first legal technology graduate scheme; Burges Salmon launches BScale for startups; and Konexo partners with LIKEZERO to better handle derivatives data. In the United States, Morgan Lewis has launched AdviserDash to replace the cumbersome 15c annual advisory agreement process.
First up, Eversheds Sutherland this week launched Techtober – a series of training modules, demos, client interactions and a global hackathon to provide lawyers across the global law firm with the opportunity to learn about client-facing legal technology and legal service design.
In addition, Eversheds Sutherland (International) is also launching its first Legal Technology Graduate Scheme. The two-year scheme will offer six graduates the chance to work within the firm’s legal service design team and on its legal tech applications, as well as rotating between the legal technology teams in two of the firm’s five practice groups during the second year of training.
By the end of year two, the graduates can apply for a permanent position with the firm. The first cohort of three graduates will start in March 2022, followed by a second cohort in March 2023.
Rachel Broquard, service excellence partner at Eversheds Sutherland (International), said:“Knowledge of legal technology solutions is fast becoming an essential part of providing service excellence to our clients. Our people will finish Techtober with newfound confidence, skills and knowledge of our firmwide tech offerings, while our hackathon participants will get the opportunity to showcase what they’ve learnt, acquire additional design thinking experience and shine in front of expert judges with their unique solutions.
“Clients tell us that technology is of huge importance and so we’ve made it part of the key development of our people to ensure that they can listen to client challenges, have smarter technology conversations and offer enhanced technology solutions. Our Legal Technology graduate scheme will also see us recruit and train junior talent to continue this work in generations to come.”
This year’s Techtober initiative follows the success of Techtember, a similar programme held in 2019, which saw people across the firm’s UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia offices educated on the technology solutions offered to clients by the firm.
Candidates can register their interest in the Legal Technology Graduate Scheme here.
Elsewhere, UK law firm Burges Salmon has launched BScale, which provides free online documents for start-ups, scale-ups, founders and investors. Burges Salmon says clients can also access legal advice ‘at a price point that is realistic for early stage businesses.’
Documents are provided free of charge legal documentation through the BScale Document Generator, which is based on the Mendix low-code platform.
Alex Lloyd, a director in the firm’s corporate finance team, says: “There is real value in high-growth businesses forming a long-term relationship with their lawyers. We recognise that we need to flex our pricing and invest our time, expertise and contacts on those early projects. We understand that is how we will build relationships with the most promising and exciting scale-ups in our core sectors. This is why we’re launching the BScale platform.”
David Varney, director in the technology and communications team, said: “We are thrilled to launch BScale and continue to strengthen our relationship with emerging technology companies and their investors. BScale will enable us to grow with our technology clients as they scale and we are looking forward to forming strategic and long-term partnerships with some of the UK’s most innovative and progressive companies.”
For full details of BScale, please visit the BScale webpage.
Meanwhile, a strategic partnership established between Evershed Sutherland’s alternative legal services arm Konexo and LIKEZERO is said to increase the accuracy of derivatives data used by financial institutions to decrease the risk of global economic and market collapse.
The partnership, which brings together the legal operational capability of Konexo with the contract analysis software of LIKEZERO, has Konexo says, reduced costs and time taken to complete data extraction by up to 40%.
A key part of Konexo’s role in this partnership is to review and capture data on bespoke or nonstandard clauses that LIKEZERO’s software surfaces from complex legal agreements. These clauses are vital to extracting invaluable derivatives data used to reduce risk of poor investments that contribute to future economic and market collapse.
Imogen Philp, director of client services delivery at LIKEZERO,says: “As a technology company dealing in some of the most valued data for global financial markets, we want to leverage human expertise to interpret data, rather than a machine. Our proprietary data mining and matching techniques mean that where data has been captured programmatically it does not need to be checked by a human. We apply human interpretation on those clauses that have not matched, and this ‘intelligence’ is then stored in the system for re-use. That’s why we needed Konexo’s legal operational know-how to be able to continue to refine and grow the breadth of the bespoke clauses we surface for in contracts, providing clients with improved value and trusted data sets.
“Getting accurate derivatives data is vital to reducing risk for banks, private equity firms and investors across markets. At this time, when the globe is tipping towards different and various economic concerns, a partnership such as this can provide those who have their hands on the steering wheel of global economies with better navigational tools to negotiate themselves out of trouble.”
The derivatives data created by this partnership is already being used by clients from the likes of Acadia (formerly AcadiaSoft), a market leading risk management platform for the derivatives industry, enabling over $1 trillion in collateral exchanges daily for over 1,600 firms.
And last but not least, top Am Law 100 firm Morgan Lewis has launched AdviserDash, a ‘first-to-market’ cloud-based application to report on investment adviser information. The OutSystems-based app replaces the manual, cumbersome 15(c) annual advisory agreement renewal process with an automated system for distributing, monitoring, and publishing of the many fund documents required for reporting. AdviserDash is the most recent tool of the firm’s ML Fund Studio portfolio.
“We are driven to use innovation and automation to enhance client service,” firm chair Jami McKeon said. “Our commitment to quality drives our approach to rethink processes or apply a technology solution that improves efficiency and the client experience.”
AdviserDash provides a modern web interface to make it clearer for the board to quickly identify year-over-year changes that could impact an adviser’s renewal, make it easier for the advisers to gather information from multiple sources and input information, and make it straightforward for the funds to recall and analyze the data.
“The annual advisory agreement renewal process is generally regarded as among the most significant fund board responsibilities, and with the upcoming board meeting season, we understand it’s imperative to provide complete and accurate information,” said Timothy W. Levin, leader of the firm’s investment management practice. “Although there are services on the market to support the 15(c) process such as providing benchmarking, none of those services address the distribution and collection of the requisite responses from investment advisers. To update a manual process with a flexible automated solution provides consistency of product and process, at the same time mitigating risk and being more cost-effective. So it’s really a win-win for everyone.”