The past week saw the inevitable raft of legal technology wins and deals, movers and shakers, and product launches from across the globe. As you dive enthusiastically into the new week (is it Christmas yet?!) we’re here to keep you up to speed with all the news in brief.
UK and EMEA
Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has rolled out Peppermint’s Case Management solution within its big ticket and mass litigation team, with the UK-headquartered firm actively looking at further use cases, we first revealed last week.
The firm selected Peppermint after a competitive process and say that they deployed the solution in six weeks.
Joanne Gillies, a partner and co-head of litigation, regulatory and tax said: “Peppermint Case Management will be key in how we manage a large and complex legal matters with our clients. We look forward to expanding our use of this platform and exploring more opportunities for digital transformation with Peppermint.”
London-headquartered global legal network Mackrell International (MI) is to offer its lawyers prompt engineering training led by US legal training provider AltaClaro.
The course, called ‘AI Prompt Engineering for Lawyers’, will be available to all of MI’s 90-plus member firms across more than 60 countries.
“Working with AltaClaro, which has an outstanding reputation in the legal training industry, to offer such a high-calibre, technologically current and relevant course to our member firms is the right move for a network with the future firmly in its sights,” said Keith Heddle, MI’s managing director.
Participants will learn the key elements of effective prompt engineering and how to apply these elements to any assignment using any generative AI platform in a way that is safe, ethical, and consistent with professional standards.
“We already have a significant number of our US firms, as well as some in Japan and Spain, signed up to participate in the training with more expected to join in the coming months,” said Heddle. “As a leading legal network, we aim to not only provide our member firms with opportunities to develop business relationships across the globe, we also share knowledge and create training and professional development opportunities.”
Al Tamimi & Company, a leading law firm in the Middle East and North Africa, has entered a strategic partnership with generative AI startup Harvey.
Al Tamimi will be working with Harvey to enhance the platform’s Arabic language proficiency.
Harvey is backed by the OpenAI Startup Fund and Sequoia Capital and develops domain-specific models and applications for the legal industry. Al Tamimi says the partnership will enable it “to tap into Harvey’s advanced AI platform, leveraging natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics for automating and enhancing legal functions like contract assessment, due diligence, document creation, research, and compliance.”
Samer Qudah, managing partner of Al Tamimi & Company, said: “This partnership reflects our commitment to embracing digital transformation and innovation, and to providing our clients with the best possible legal services in the region. We believe that AI will complement and augment our human expertise and experience, and enable us to deliver more value, quality and efficiency to our clients and stakeholders.”
eDiscovery leader Consilio last week announced the promotion of Meredith Kildow to president, effective immediately. In her new role, Kildow will oversee Consilio’s combined commercial business lines, including revenue, account management, and operational delivery.
Kildow has served as Consilio’s chief revenue officer for the past four years and prior to that various revenue and operations roles, leading Consilio through a period of exponential revenue growth. Prior to joining Consilio, Kildow was the head of global sales operations at Huron Legal and also led operations at Hitachi Consulting.
Kildow said: “The opportunity to align around an elevated client experience is exciting. I look forward to deepening my partnership with the leadership team to help build on the company’s run of strong growth and expand our market share in enterprise legal services, all while working in tandem with our technology and innovation teams to achieve these goals.”
For more information on Kildow’s new role, please visit https://www.consilio.com/about-consilio/executive-management/.
Jae Um has joined the strategic advisory board of legal technology product studio 273 Ventures, which is led by Mike Bommarito and Dan Katz, who put famously put OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 through the bar exam.
Um, who is founder and executive director of legal consultancy Six Parsecs, has held a series of advisory roles over the past few years, including at LexFusion, LegalMation, Casetext and Reynen Court. She was previously director of pricing strategy at Baker McKenzie and before that director of strategic planning and analysis at Seyfarth Shaw.
Commenting on her new role on LinkedIn, Um said: “#GenerativeAI might be the new hotness in 2023 but Daniel Katz and Michael Bommarito have been putting in the #hardyards for years on the frontier of #AI application to the #law. This is a winning team that’s walked the #startup journey before and I know they are building something great that will not only survive contact with reality but take a real swing at changing the game.”
As we first revealed in August, 273 has launched a dataset containing over 150B tokens of foundational legal, regulatory, and financial text that can be used to build or customize compliant AI models.
The co-founders include CRO Jill Bommarito, a previous co-founder of LexPredict, and VP of training Jessica Melford Katz, who hold a Ph.D in Analytic Philosophy.
Legal marketing agency, Proxy PR, last week announced that the company is expanding its leadership and welcoming legal marketing veteran, Megan Haight, as director of brand strategy. Prior to joining Proxy, Haight held that same role at Aderant.
In a glowing testament, Meredith Williams-Range, chief legal operations officer at Gibson Dunn, said: “I’ve known Megan for many years and have experienced events she has run from both a presenter and an attendee standpoint, and what has always stood out to me is the way that she treats everyone involved in her productions with the same level of care and respect.
“Whether they are attendees, colleagues, guest speakers, vendors, or venue staff, she ensures everyone receives her undivided attention. Her creativity and joy for what she does shines through in every detail of her work. Proxy PR is lucky to welcome such a genuine talent to the team!”
Patricia Nagy, founder and director of Proxy PR, said: “This is an incredible time in the legal industry, and an even more exciting time for legal marketers. There’s simply tremendous opportunity for law firms and providers to take real leadership positions and demonstrate their value to the market and gain advantage to fuel growth. We’re truly grateful to our clients and our partnerships, and over the moon that we will be delivering even more value than ever before with the addition of Megan’s expertise and experience.”
Contract lifecycle management vendor Agiloft announced on 7 November that Kroll has joined its global network of service partners. Kroll’s corporate legal solutions team has experience in legal operations, data privacy, and contract management.
Steve McKean, Agiloft’s VP of global alliances said: “Kroll’s corporate legal solutions practice has extensive experience selecting, implementing, and upgrading contract management systems across the enterprise.”
McKean singled out Mike Stevens, managing director and global head of the contract lifecycle management practice at Kroll, and his team, for their ability to support legal and contracting teams in implementing “scalable and robust” contract management and governance frameworks.
“They are also well-versed in AI and contract management automation, offering invaluable, frontline expertise to help organizations select the best solution for their organizations,” McKean said.
In product news from the US, eDiscovery vendor Disco last week announced a new licensing agreement with AI legal research provider Fastcase, which is now part of the vLex group of companies. This long-term agreement allows Disco to leverage vLex’s U.S. primary law library, which includes a comprehensive library of U.S. federal and state case law, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions.
“This is an important milestone in the execution of our long-term strategic vision and brings Disco one step closer towards a truly end-to-end technology platform that effectively handles the most important aspects of complex litigation work,” said Katie DeBord, Disco’s vice president of product strategy. “We envision a seamless integrated user experience between fact development and legal analysis where litigators can quickly identify relevant legal precedents with similar fact patterns or analyze patterns based on relevant law. It will allow lawyers to dynamically organize the facts of their case and applicable law based on what needs to be proven and disproven, and strategically interface with technology in a way that augments their prosecution of matters from start to finish.”
Disco is currently facing a class action lawsuit alleging securities violations post-IPO. Disco has so far declined to comment.
Palo Alto-founded startup Traact on 8 November officially launched its digitally native cloud platform that is billed as a modular, non-siloed solution for a vast range of operations including entity management, permits and licensing, board management, matter management, disputes & litigation, finance & taxes, contract management, and document management.
Co-founded two years ago by former Google software engineers Steven Choi and Afif Ahmed, Traact, which is SOC II type 2 compliant, VC-backed and now has 30 employees, has been working with clients in stealth mode over the past year. It counts corporates such as Texas-headquartered oil and gas services provider Timec among its early customer base.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Traact’s COO Robert Holdheim said: “Our differentiator is that you can have all of these functions run off the same data pool. A lot of them have the same or similar processes involved. And that’s actually one of the things we noticed in pulling all of these functions together and building them around a technology product and platform, is that they actually have more in common, or a lot in common – more than they don’t have in common.”
To read that interview with Holdheim and Choi in full click here: https://legaltechnology.com/2023/11/08/traact-launches-multi-operations-saas-platform-for-corporate-legal-teams-and-law-firms/
The implementation has provided the full service US law firm with visibility into work allocation, enabling Legal Administrative Assistants (LAA) to support attorneys across multiple practice areas, meaning that the number of attorneys per LAA has gone from 3.58 to 4.28.
Brenda Greenhalgh, legal administrative support manager, says: “It may seem only a marginal gain, but administrative cost-wise, it is huge.”
In October 2023, over 3,300 additional tasks had been processed year-to-date via BigHand compared to the total number of tasks completed in 2021.
You can read the full case study here.
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