The Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) just announced that its widely anticipated draft eDiscovery/eDisclosure Core Competency (ECC) Learning Plan will be released at LegalTech New York to LTC4 members for peer group review. The launch will take place on Wednesday 3rd February, 5 – 7 PM at Le Parker Meridien 119 West 56th Street, New York.
Following a tender last April for the development of a digital conveyancing portal, The Law Society of Scotland has formed a partnership with the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC) and BDP Estate Agency Software.
The online system, Altis, which is due to go live this spring, aims to speed up the Scottish conveyancing process as well as provide a secure and transparent environment to store all the information relating to clients and their properties.
Nabarro’s director of IT Andrew Powell is to take over in April as head of IT at Macfarlanes, filling the shoes of Maurice Millen, who is retiring after almost seventeen years at the top 30 UK firm.
The appointment also follows the internal promotion by Norton Rose Fulbright of Edie Dillon as global chief information officer, taking over from Sheila Doyle, who left in December 2015 for Deloitte. Powell, who was headhunted for his latest role, has been with Nabarro for nine years, prior to which he was director of IT at Brodies between April 2001 and May 2007.
The January issue of the Legal IT Insider newsletter is out now, top stories include… Dealroom & extranet specialist HighQ receives $50 million in private equity funding – Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley among the investors + Intapp acquires Rekoop and now has 70% of UK law firm time capture market + New Heads of IT at Macfarlanes – Andrew Powell headhunted from Nabarro as Maurice Millen retires + Edie Dillion promoted to global CIO at Norton Rose Fulbright + Ediscovery – the race is on to consolidate as deals spur “feeding frenzy” among Silicon Valley investors & scrabble by vendors not to be left behind + Zoopla GC Ned Staple Talks Tech: law firms need better time & billing software – real-time billing portals would be helpful
LSB and CMA legal sector reviews: Yes to comparison sites but questions over adequacy of digital services regulation
Two high level professional legal services reviews unveiled in January will ask what barriers there are to prevent further innovation within the sector and how technology can help the consumer to better understand what is available – but also if digital services such as automation are adequately regulated.
The Legal Services Board’s (LSB’s) consultation on its draft business plan for 2016/17 was published on 20 January, just a week after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its own study into the £30bn a year legal services market, to see if it is working well for consumers and small businesses.
‘Search and discovery’ lays the foundation of many legal cases with firms often spending days manually sifting through information from multiple sources to identify companies, people, properties and other assets of interest and then mapping how these inter-relate. The facts they uncover build their understanding of the case and shape their strategy. While search and discovery is an essential process it can be complex, costly and time-consuming creating delays of serious concern for any legal practice. Being slow to the facts inevitably means being slow to respond to client requests – slow turnarounds strain client relationships.
Law firms of all shapes and sizes continue to seek greater efficiencies and improved productivity, with many recognising the benefits of outsourcing some aspects of their business processes. However, the Law Society recently released a Practice Note to highlight the potential risks of outsourcing, reminding law firms of their responsibilities.
Eclipse Legal Systems just announced that Top 200 London law firm, Seddons, is implementing the Law Society Endorsed Proclaim Practice Management Software solution. Seddons will be rolling out preconfigured Proclaim work types for all staff in a move to further increase competitive edge, and provide a core centralised productivity suite. Prior to the full Proclaim Practice Management implementation, Eclipse will conduct a complete data migration from the incumbent Elite Mattersphere system.
In our latest channel, people and product news we have updates from Tikit, NetDocuments, Eclipse Legal Systems, and many more.
Pinsent Masons has appointed a new head and expanded its contract lawyer arm Vario, saying that the venture has been an even greater success than anticipated.
Matthew Kay (pictured), Vario’s first appointment from outside Pinsent Masons, joins from recruitment, communications, advertising and resourcing company TMP Worldwide, where he was business development director. Prior to TMP, Kay led the European service delivery for HR Outsourcing at Accenture.
Billable hours have gone the way of the horse-hair wig. Corporate clients don’t understand why their counsel can’t operate with as much efficiency as any other business, and individuals prefer to buy legal services as a commodity rather than risk a bill that might snowball over months or years. The market demands change, so alternative fee arrangements are the new standard.
Mobile Helix is to enter into a formal partnership with iManage, as the Manhattan-headquartered company also launches two-factor authentication for its mobile app, LINK, which enables lawyers to access their documents, emails, calendar and other web apps from one place.
LINK, which already partners with NetDocuments and Microsoft SharePoint and has offered WorkSite (now rebranded as iManage Work) on an ad hoc basis, is now releasing a generally available iManage Work connector.
Leading European independent law firm Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira and UK top 100 law firm Sackers have swapped their on premises document management solution for NetDocuments’ cloud-based solution.
As one of Europe’s top five law firms, Cuatrecasas, which has 1600 staff across 24 offices, required a solution that would complement and integrate with the firm’s existing technology, while providing extremely high standards for security and compliance across international offices and a diverse client base.
A North East law firm formed by merger has integrated its software systems by signing up to Solicitors Own Software’s practice management and matter management solution SOS Connect.
Headquartered in Darlington, DMA Law is a full service firm with six offices across the North East that was created from the merger of McCardles and Donnelly Adamson.
With Christmas now a distant memory, we bring you a mixed bag of the first deals and product updates of 2016, kickstarted by the news that Phoenix Business Solutions has launched its second site in Europe with the opening of an office in Frankfurt.
The office – Phoenix’ sixth office after London, Abu Dhabi, Chicago, New York and Sydney – will provide full iManage and Phoenix product sales, consultancy, support, development and managed service offerings.
The news that Mishcon de Reya has appointed Axiom’s respected UK managing director Nick West as its chief strategy officer (CSO) places the firm at the forefront of a trend that began in the US in around 2014 and is expected to cross the Atlantic – a development welcomed by business transformation consultants.
Part of a wider move by law firms to become more corporate in structure, West’s appointment comes just over a year after Norton Rose Fulbright appointed former Huron Consulting Group director John Cussons as director of strategic development – a notable appointment that has so far largely gone under the radar.
Listed as one of Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500 companies, LDiscovery has been acquired by major private equity house The Carlyle Group and ‘disruptor’ investor group Revolution Growth alongside LDiscovery’s management. Financial terms have not been disclosed but the Washington Post has reported the investment to be in the region of $150m.
Carlyle is understood to have bought a majority stake in LDiscovery, which provides a full range of information discovery and governance solutions to law firms, corporations and government agencies.
Led by founder and CEO Chris Weiler, LDiscovery will now also be chaired by Daniel Akerson, the former chairman and chief executive of General Motors and former head of Carlyle’s flagship global buyout group.
An academic paper published on 30 December called ‘Can Robots be Lawyers? Computers, Lawyers and the Practice of Law’ argues that the impact of automation on the demand for lawyers’ time is far less significant than suggested to date.
Taking on arguments put forward sometimes hysterically in the media and in a measured way by the likes of Richard and Daniel Susskind, Professor Dana Remus from the University of North Carolina School of Law and Professor Frank Levy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology examine in detail the suggestion that technology will soon replace much of the work currently done by lawyers, particularly junior ones.
Andy Tipton, Product Developer at Appurity Connect, considers the implications of cloud technology within the legal profession. How can law firms maintain compliance and productivity when they’re working in the cloud?
LV = has become the latest major insurer to enter the legal services arena via a partnership with Lyons Davidson, promising upfront fixed fees through its online quotes system.
Investment in technology is a key theme for 2016 with signs that law firms are looking to increase their IT budget, as a strong first half year sees law firm fee income increase by almost 5% in the quarter ending 31 October 2015, according to the latest quarterly report by Deloitte.
“Why should clients have to pay through the nose to cover the cost of their lawyers’ swanky offices?” says Ignition Law co-founder and partner Alex McPherson. “Good relationships, first class lawyers and responsiveness are what’s really important to them.”
It’s the last product, channel and people round up of 2015 so we thought we had best make it a bumper one, with updates from Barclays, LexisNexis, HotDocs, Aderant, DocsCorp and more.