OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInnovative Australian law firm Gilbert + Tobin has increased its stake in lawtech startup LegalVision to nearly 20%, following a second round of financing.

LegalVision, founded in 2012 by CEO and former Barclays Capital associate Lachlan McKnight, gives fixed fee, high volume legal business advice that is kept at a lower cost because it and the business lawyers who work for it operate online.

It many ways it is an extension of the dispersed model first introduced by Axiom in 2000 and the UK’s Keystone Law in 2002, which reduce overheads by allowing lawyers to work in their own or a client’s office and use back-end technology to drive efficiencies. The dispersed model first hit Australia in around 2011, when Nexus Law Group was founded. In 2013 Keystone set up for business in Sydney. However, unlike the traditional dispersed model, LegalVision uses technology as the means to deliver its front-end services to the client.

G+T in November 2015 made an initial investment in LegalVision to help drive its expansion. According to G+T’s chief operating officer and LegalVision board member, Sam Nickless, the start-up is rapidly growing and successfully taking business from small and mid-sized law firms.

“Aligning the Gilbert + Tobin brand with LegalVision is a strategic move that allows us to service both ends of the market – from start-up to premium corporate brands.

“From working with LegalVision, we can deepen our relationships by serving clients across a broad range of their needs – from the bespoke, complex issues that are our heartland, through to their regular business processes that are ideal for LegalVision,” Nickless said.

“G + T is also looking to learn from LegalVision’s approach to technology, marketing and process. We will be working on joint projects to develop legal applications for machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchain in our respective markets.”