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Blue-sky thinking: Thomson Reuters enters collaboration with Toronto’s MaRS Discovery innovation hub

Thomson Reuters is continuing in its bid to forge alliances with tech innovators around the world by entering into a collaborative agreement with MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs.

The new alliance aims to create bridges between the start-up community, legal practitioners and the business world to foster innovations that advance the legal industry.

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HSBC’s head of professional services Simon Adcock talks legal IT to City A.M.

In City A.M. today HSBC’s head of professional services Simon Adcock talks about how IT can help lawyers provide a ‘gold-plated service at bronze level prices.’ Simon is speaking at Legal Leaders IT in Gleneagles about law firm investment in technology. To apply to attend Legal Leaders IT – which is open to IT Directors and CIOs at leading international law firms, independents and high profile new entrants – visit the TavistockMedia website here.

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Throw Back Thursday: iManage – or who needs Mystic Meg when you can have the Orange Rag?

From the archives: August 2011… As for the iManage Worksite etc DMS part of the equation, given the ruthless way HP is spinning off businesses it no longer regards as core, we wouldn’t be surprised if iManage is also spun off in the near future. Given some of the grumblings we are hearing from US law firms about the attitude of Autonomy – and its pricing policy – a ‘let go’ iManage might actually represent a better deal for law firms.

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2016 Forecasts: Cybersecurity, digitisation and agility will be key tech concerns for law firms

With the seasonal inevitability of mince pies and tinsel, forecasts for the technology landscape in 2016 are flooding in and over the next few days we will bring you some of the best of them (in between eating mince pies and putting up tinsel.)

First up, with some great supporting observations from clients and leading figures in the industry, cloud services supplier Converge Technology Specialists and electronic document bundling provider Zylpha predict that cybersecurity, agility and digitisation of the courts will be the top IT concerns for law firms in 2016.

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FordHarrison selects iManage Share to collaborate with clients

FordHarrison, one of the US’s largest management-side labour and employment law firms, has selected iManage Share in order to better collaborate with its clients and avoid the temptation among its lawyers to use consumer-grade Dropbox.

FordHarrison faced the familiar challenge of its clients and lawyers wanting faster collaboration and Scott Shaw, chief technology officer at FordHarrison said: “We found that attorneys wanted to use Dropbox because of its ease-of-use, but were unaware of the security and other governance implications that introduced.”

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eDiscovery consolidation: Inventus Solutions to be acquired by RPX Corporation

Leading eDiscovery provider Inventus Solutions has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by RPX Corporation from Santa Monica-based private equity house Clearlake Capital Group in a deal that is expected to close in January 2016.

Inventus provides eDiscovery services to Fortune 1000 corporations, global law firms and government agencies and the deal will see it become a subsidiary of RPX, which provides patent risk management solutions.

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Innovative Computing Systems teams up with next gen video conferencing provider Blue Jeans Network

Used by law firms including Edwards Wildman Palmer, Fenwick & West and Dentons, Silicon Valley cloud-based video conferencing company Blue Jeans Network has just partnered with Innovative Computing Systems.

Blue Jeans enables fee-earners to engage in conferences from any video-enabled device, extending high quality video collaboration outside of the specialised conference rooms that have often been used to date.

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BLM selects Intapp Flow to integrate with Guidewire platform

Intapp today (15 December) announced that BLM, a leading insurance and risk law specialist with over 800 lawyers in the UK and Ireland, has selected Intapp Flow software to enable BLM to receive instructions electronically via Guidewire.

Guidewire is a California-based software company that offers solutions across the insurance life cycle used by more than 200 property and casualty insurers around the world.

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RAVN Systems expands into the US with ex-DocAuto hire

In response to growing client demand RAVN Systems has made its first appointment in the US with the hire of former DocAuto account director Kenneth Block as sales manager, North America to increase its international presence.

Block has held a number of other roles within the legal technology sector including at Copitrak, Billback and Thomson Reuters Elite.

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Upgrades and deals from Aderant, Thomson Reuters, DocsCorp and more

As the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest, here are some of the biggest wins and deals within the legal IT sector in the last few weeks of 2015.

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Huron Consulting Group sells Huron Legal to Consilio as eDiscovery consolidation gathers pace

Huron Consulting Group has divested Huron Legal to eDiscovery and document review provider Consilio, as the trend towards consolidation within the eDiscovery market gathers pace in the face of client demand for a more globalised offering.

Consilio, which in August announced a new partnership with Los Angeles-based private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisers, has offices throughout Europe and in Hong Kong and Tokyo, with a far more limited reach in the US, albeit it has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, where it is headquartered.

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Hill Dickinson to conduct IT strategy review

Hill Dickinson, led by director of IT and operations Keith Feeny, will shortly begin a three-to-five-year IT strategy review that is expected to see a significant further shift towards the cloud as the firm also looks towards a digital mailroom and more choice over its mobile devices.

Feeny and his team at the top 40 firm will start to look at a new strategy at the end of Q1 in 2016 and are already in discussion with a number of suppliers to work out how to move forward.

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Peppermint secures over £10m in VC funding and appoints ex-Tikit new Chairman and CFO – UPDATED

In a move that will come as a major rebuff to its doubters, Peppermint Technology has secured over £10m of funding from leading venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and hired former BigHand and Tikit CFO Mike Kent and former Tikit non-executive director Neville Davis to its board.

The cloud-based legal and dispute management technology provider, which was launched in 2010 with the backing of OLM Systems, said the investment and hires would be used to accelerate its growth and strengthen its bid to become the dominant IT player within the sector.

OLM Systems will remain as a shareholder in Peppermint, which currently has more than 5,000 users across 30 legal and dispute management firms, including the likes of Blake Morgan, Penningtons Manches and Ombudsman Services.

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The December issue of the Legal IT Insider newsletter is out now – read it here free!

The latest issue (December 2015) of the Legal IT Insider is out now. Top stories include: Hill Dickinson to conduct IT strategy review – looking at cloud, mobility and breaking away from the “capital expenditure cycle” + First interview with Dentons’ new global CIO Marcel Henri on going global and the Dacheng merger + Quote of the Month: “You only have two phones if you are a drug dealer, having an affair, or are a lawyer.”

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Riverview Law announces virtual legal assistants powered by ‘Kim’

Riverview Law has today announced that as of Q1 in 2016 it will be launching a series of legal virtual assistants powered by ‘Kim’ technology – short for knowledge, intelligence and meaning.

Kim is based on the platform of New Jersey-based document automation business CliXLEX, which Riverview acquired in August 2015. Kim is also based on output from Riverview’s R&D unit and builds on its partnership with the University of Liverpool, which it entered into in January of this year to leverage the University’s artificial intelligence capability within the legal sector.

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‘Paper to Digital’ to become high priority in 2016, driven by compliance, collaboration and productivity business imperatives

Here Roy Russell, CEO of Ascertus, offers his views on the role that information and document lifecycle management will play in the legal sector in 2016, based on customer and market insight:

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Intapp latest vendor to launch its own user conference

Intapp today announced Inception 2016 – its inaugural global user conference which will take place in San Francisco, California. The three-day event will be held April 24-27, 2016, and is open to the Intapp customer and partner community.

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Law Society disbands Veyo after spending north of £3m

The Law Society of England and Wales’ technology partner in online conveyancing portal Veyo may temporarily be regretting adopting the catchphrase on its website: “In the news: for all the right reasons.”

The Law Society and Mastek both announced yesterday (3 December) that, following a review of Veyo by Legal Practice Technologies (LPT) – the vehicle set up to deliver the online portal – both parties to the venture have decided against any further investment.

The full scale of the monies spent to date on the failed project are still being calculated but, according to the Law Society’s annual report for 2014, the body invested £600,000 in LPT in May 2014 in consideration for a 60% shareholding in the newly-formed company, with the minority shareholding being held by Mastek (UK) Limited.

However, the accounts for that year also show that during 2014, The Law Society made “purchases” of £2,667,650 from Mastek, bringing the total money spent to date on the project to well over £3m.

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Law Society pulls the plug on the Veyo conveyancing portal – shocked to discover no demand for a product when there is a free alternative

The Veyo hare has run into the Monty Python parrot. The English Law Society has just announced that its Veyo conveyancing portal is being closed down. We’ll be following up with our own coverage but in the meantime we’re linking to the Law Society Gazette article so you can also see the readers’ comment, particularly those of Ian Newbery. One particular point is that at the time the project was announced, it was said £10 million had already been spent on product development and that the Law Society had a 60% stake, whereas the Gazette article suggests only £600,000 of members money has been wasted. So has Mastek, the other partner in Veyo, lost £10m or is the full financial picture still to emerge?

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Further consolidation in UK ediscovery market as Consilio buy Proven Legal

Consilio, a global provider of ediscovery and document review services, has just acquired UK based Proven Legal Technologies, an edisclosure and forensic consulting services provider and Relativity premium-hosting partner. This acquisition will strengthen Consilio’s growth in Europe and enable it to offer Relativity hosting services to its global clients. Proven Legal Technologies was founded in 2006 as Palmer Legal Technologies.