A year after DLA Piper rolled out its own firm chat site Grapevine, rival legal goliath Dentons has furthered the ‘what comes after email’ debate by announcing that it is trialling collaboration platform ThreadKM.
ThreadKM, which formally launched its legal knowledge management platform in August 2015, is being piloted by Dentons’ six Canadian offices, to help streamline team communication and collaboration on matters and projects.
Lawyers can enter discussions within groups limited to, for example, matters or practices, rather than sifting through hundreds of generic emails. Once a document has been created in iManage Work, a notification is pushed into the thread and participants are able to access the document and have discussions about it within the group.
ThreadKM also features a “kanban” board for each matter that allows legal teams to view and visually organise tasks without requiring complex project management software for every matter.
The development comes a year after Legal IT Insider revealed that DLA is rolling out team chat site and information feed Grapevine, to achieve a similar alternative to email for its lawyers.
Grapevine also integrates with iManage Work, Thomson Reuters Elite and other DLA systems to enable matter-centric collaboration.
Director of business transformation and CIO Daniel Pollick told the Insider last year: “I’m convinced that the newsfeed model is partly the successor to email; a lot should happen in the Twitter way where you are consuming optional news and can go on when you feel like it.
“Either [Grapevine] will fade and die and we’ll have to give up and try something else, or it will be a success, but I’m convinced that we have to look for what comes after email.”
Team chat has to date had little penetration in the legal sector but according to Dan Hauck, a former litigation lawyer at Bryan Cave and co-founder and CEO of ThreadKM, that is changing.
“Law firms are starting to hear about team chat from everywhere: in the news, from their clients, even from their own lawyers,” said Hauck. “Now they want to bring the technology into their own organisations because they recognise how it can be used to help with email exhaustion. ThreadKM offers a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive solution for law firms.” Law firms using Slack include technology and outsourcing boutique Radiant Law.
ThreadKM could have a worse early adopter than the Canadian offices of the largest firm in the world. A release from Dentons said: “Dentons believes ThreadKM can help solve the legal profession’s email overload problem.”
“Lawyers send and receive massive amounts of email and are looking for better ways to manage communication, documents and tasks,” said Ginevra Saylor, national director of knowledge management with Dentons Canada. “ThreadKM fits into legal professionals’ natural workflow, while delivering the security and information governance requirements expected of law firms and departments. So, we see great potential with this collaboration platform.”
Moving forward, Dentons will also explore how ThreadKM’s open API can be used to message lawyers with information found in systems beyond document management. “We’ll work closely with Dentons to build integrations that make sense and maximise the value of their existing tools,” said Dedrick Duckett, ThreadKM’s CTO. “Our platform is designed from the ground up to be open for firms that desire additional customisation.”