Updated: LawAdvisor raises $5m seed funding from heavyweight investors

Melbourne-founded legaltech startup LawAdvisor Ventures has raised USD$5m of investment in a seed round involving heavyweight investors from the likes of Microsoft and Gilead Sciences, as well as Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen.

The capital injection includes investment from Ralph Baxter,  former chairman and CEO of Orrick; Ben Davey, former CEO of Barclays Ventures; Jason Barnwell, general manager and associate general counsel at Microsoft; and Gary Tully, head of legal operations at Gilead, and Rasmussen. The full list is below.

LawAdvisor was founded in 2015 by CEO Brennan Ong, with investment from Rasmussen. It started out with the aim to provide access to high-quality, affordable lawyers online, but has subsequently launched SaaS collaboration and practice management solutions LegalEye and Fibonacci. These solutions – whose development was informed by a steering group of leading legal teams – are designed to  transform how law firms work with corporate in-house legal departments and the way legal matters are managed.

It launched in the UK in 2017 and secured financial backing from legal management consultancy Janders Dean, taking investment at that time to just over AUS$1m.

Developed by remote teams and launched during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, LegalEye and Fibonacci are already gaining significant market traction – with the company achieving annual recurring license revenues in excess of $2 million on their release, and early multinational clients including Bird & Bird, Simmons & Simmons, Paul Hastings, Clifford Chance, Shearman & Sterling, and Barclays.

As a result of this early traction, LawAdvisor opened up a strategic investment round to accelerate efforts to use its technology to solve the challenges the legal profession is facing.

Baxter,who since leaving his role as chairman and CEO of Orrick has engaged with a number of successful legal technology companies, sitting on boards of Intapp, Lex Machina, and LegalZoom, said: “We’re at a pivotal moment for legal technology. To make a difference, legal tech companies must understand the pain points facing lawyers and their clients, and fashion solutions that meaningfully address them; LawAdvisor does just that, making it an exceptional new contributor to the legal services ecosystem.  Led by a remarkable team, LawAdvisor has the potential to change the way legal service is delivered, for the benefit of everyone.”

The investors in full are:

  • Ralph Baxter – Former chairman and CEO of Orrick, Founder of the Law Firm Leaders Forum, and named by the American Lawyer as one of the ‘Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Last 50 Years’
  • Jason Barnwell – General Manager and Associate General Counsel at Microsoft
  • Ben Davey –  CSO of Azerion Group N.V. Previously Chief Investment Officer at EFIC1 and former CEO and Founder of Barclays Ventures.
  • Gary Tully – Head of Legal Operations at Gilead Sciences  (Winner of Corporate Counsel’s 2021 LegalOps team of the Year)
  • Lars Rasmussen – Founder of Google Maps and former Engineering Director at Facebook

The investors will form a new advisory panel aimed at helping LawAdvisor further develop its technology and expand its market, from the small in-house legal team to the multinational law firm.

The advisory panel is being joined by Steve Albrecht, general counsel at Barclays Execution Services, Christopher Grant, consultant and LawTech UK Panel member, Stephanie Hamon, head of legal operations consulting, Norton Rose Fulbright, and David Kerr, former CEO, Bird & Bird.

Davey, said: “The LawAdvisor team has built something that has huge potential to transform the legal profession. In an industry that has traditionally been reluctant to embrace new technology and ways of working, the collaborative approach taken to developing solutions to the industry’s trickiest issues has seen the team create something that in a short space of time could become industry standard. Combine that with the outcomes LawAdvisor’s customers see using the technology, and it’s easy to get very excited about where this business is headed. The calibre of the investors and advisors joining me in supporting this venture is testament to just how transformative it could be. I’m very much looking forward to being part of that journey as LawAdvisor continues to go from strength to strength.”

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