In an inspiring personal account that touches on so many important themes – the blurring of legal and technology career paths; diversity; and most importantly, mental health – Nicola Jane Smith, business development manager at nQueue, describes her at times incredibly tough journey from LLB undergraduate to where she is today.
Almost exactly a year after the departure of ILTA programme director Peggy Weschler caused an outcry in the immediate run up to ILTACON 2017, Dan Liutikas, the CEO who has led a hugely unpopular restructure of the member-led body, has announced his resignation and will not be attending the conference this year.
Radiant Law this week published its superbly tongue-in-cheek open source glossary for the terminology in LawTech and the definitive version is now available on github. Radiant co-founder Alex Hamilton says the glossary: “may include a few useful definitions, but mostly focuses on the hype.”
Following the news yesterday (7 August) that EY is to acquire Riverview Law, views of our post exceeded 10,000 in 24 hours on LinkedIn alone and we are grateful for the many likes and comments. We put a few of your questions or comments to EY global law leader Cornelius Grossman.
Leading eDiscovery consultant Jonathan Maas takes a look at Linklaters’ recently-launched global eDiscovery service – not of particular interest in itself given that “firms are either going all in or all out”, but they are using Servient, not Relativity!
In what will almost certainly go down as one of the biggest but perhaps most inevitable “oh shit” moments for mainstream law in the expansion of the Big Four into legal services, EY has today (7 August) announced an agreement to acquire Riverview Law to support the expansion of EY legal managed services globally.
NetDocuments has hired OnePlace sales director Guy Phillips as its EMEA general manager, who will lead the London team and act as a local figurehead for NetDocuments, with plans afoot to further grow its presence in the UK.
I’m speaking at The Junior Lawyers Division forum at the Law Society in September about what legal technology means for or to junior lawyers and had a fantastic conversation this week with an incredibly bright young lawyer on that topic. Law firms are buying shiny toys and talking about training young lawyers to code despite the fact that many lawyers don’t understand how to use a fraction of the software they interact with every day.
In its third funding round The Link App led by founder and CEO Lauren Riley – one of the comparatively very few female founders in legal tech – has secured £340k in funding led by NPIF-Mercia Equity Finance as well as existing and new angel investors, bringing total investment in the business to £500k.
If you were in any doubt about the attractiveness of alternative legal suppliers to investors, this week may have set you straight, as LegalZoom announced a record $500 million secondary investment led by Francisco Partners and GPI Capital.
As part of its recently unveiled strategy to transform and streamline the contracts process, DocuSign, which floated on NASDAQ in April, is set to acquire cloud-based document generation and contract lifecycle management software company SpringCM for around $220m in cash.
Having made its contract analytics and legal document platform ContraxSuite open source and therefore free to use and modify in July 2017, LexPredict has partnered with global law firm Baker McKenzie, which, in a significant step for BigLaw, is now deploying a custom-designed version of the tool.
Updated Exclusive: HighQ doubles North American market share with acquisition of local competitor Legal Anywhere
In its first-ever acquisition, UK-headquartered collaboration platform HighQ has acquired its smaller US legal file sharing rival Legal Anywhere in a deal that sees HighQ double its market share in North America, we can reveal.
“I’m solving the one problem I have hundreds of times a year”: Eversheds Sutherland adopts SimplyAgree’s closing technology
The US arm of Eversheds Sutherland has adopted signing and closing technology SimplyAgree to support its transactional practices, with plans to roll out the tool across multiple practice groups including M&A, private equity, venture capital, banking and finance, and real estate. Conversations are also informally already underway internally regarding using the closing technology in the UK.
Having launched its legal operations health check in April, Melbourne-headquartered legal tech provider Xakia reports that in-house counsel on five continents have now completed the online assessment, with their responses providing a quantitative look at the real state of legal operations in departments of all sizes. Spoiler alert, you may not be surprised to learn that pain points include document management systems, knowledge management tools, albeit a large number still don’t have a DMS.
eDiscovery News: Linklaters launches global eDiscovery service + Active Navigation appoints Dean Gonsowski as CRO
Linklaters is gearing up to manage all aspects of the client disclosure process in-house with the launch of a new global eDiscovery service, which leverages Servient’s advanced eDiscovery platform in the cloud.
Fieldfisher has extended LexisOne to its 76 users in Brussels as part of a planned 2018 European network rollout, having gone live on the Microsoft Dynamics 365-backed enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in London, Amsterdam and Silicon Valley in June 2017. According to a statement out today (31 July) Brussels was completed “within a matter of weeks – including the data migration.”
Clifford Chance has reduced the technology toolkit that it presents fee-earners with day-to-day from around 25 different systems to three – Kira Systems; Relativity; and transaction management platform Workshare Transact – with engagement said to be “through the roof” as a result. The reduced toolkit is part of Clifford Chance’s best delivery strategy, which focuses on making sure that fee-earners are using the right tools in order to optimise value for clients.
The July/August 2018 issue of the Orange Rag – the Legal IT Insider newsletter – is out now – read it here free!
Top stories include… Whoop, whoop the new Legal IT Insider Top 200 is out now + NetDocuments on 26 June had a major peak time outage of three hours and forty-three minutes in the United States, which was caused by human error in the deployment of a new global directory. The cloud-provider has launched new live status pages for the US, Europe and Australia + Big Law firms could be years away from a full move to Microsoft Office 365 – despite the fact that much of Microsoft’s investment is focussed on its cloud-hosted suite of services and most BigLaw firms have the move on their roadmap – because Microsoft is continuing to refuse to hand over the encryption keys. We speak to Microsoft, Linklaters and Perkins Coie.
At the recent launch of the Barclays / Law Society Eagle Lab law tech incubator in London, Lord Keen of Elie (Richard Keen QC) said, “There is a lawtech revolution happening all over the world and I want to make sure the UK not only keeps pace with it but leads it.” Clearly as a law tech startup ourselves, we wholeheartedly agree. But there are also fundamental barriers to entry in some aspects of the legal industry that may have gone unnoticed. A prime example of this: access to information, says Gavin Sheridan, co-founder of Vizlegal.
Litigation law firm Stewarts has announced that their commercial disputes group will be working with litigation analytics start-up Solomonic, to pilot the release of their new platform. Stewarts are exploring how data science and litigation analytics can add to their case preparation and strategy.
“It is no secret that the legal profession is undergoing profound change,” wrote New York Law School Dean Anthony Crowell in the introduction to the recently released Market Research Study to Explore Opportunities for New York Law School Students. “More than ever, lawyers at firms and corporate legal departments must be fluent in the technical and operational needs of their clients and organizations.”
Travers Smith has decided on a replacement for retiring IT director Ann Cant, we can reveal, with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s interim chief technology officer Oliver Bethell set to join the UK top 50 firm in September as CTO.