Legal technology associations across the globe are collaborating to conduct a worldwide research project to assess the state of the global Legal Tech industry, although the research is confined to the startup world.

The research is an initiative of the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA) and Alpha Creates, backed by research sponsors Macquarie, KPMG and the Law Society of England and Wales and Toro Digital.

Participating associations include the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), the European Legal Tech Association (ELTA), the UK Legal Tech Association (UKLTA), ASEAN Legal Tech (ALT) and Legal Tech NZ (LTNZ).

It’s great to see these organisations coming together – let’s face it, until recently ILTA stood on its own and this study is a demonstration of a) how things have moved on and b) the benefits of regional/continental representation. Our only observation is that the name of the report suggests the remit is far wider than it is – there is more to legal tech than startups. In a way it’s a shame the remit of the study isn’t wider, given the effort that will be involved.

The results should nonetheless be fascinating. “It is the first global study that directly surveys the companies behind the booming sector, and we invite every legal tech company to get behind this important initiative by completing the online survey,” Stevie Ghiassi, ALTA Director and CEO of Legaler said.

Preliminary results from the field research conducted in Australia show that:

● Founding a legal tech company is a solo endeavour. Most respondent Australian legal tech firms have one founder (50%), while 30% have two founders and 11% founded by a team of two and 11% of founding teams have three co-founders .

 ● Age is just a number when it comes to founding a legal tech company. A third of Australian founders are aged between 31 to 40, a third are over 50 and the remaining spread across age brackets.

● Law firms are the primary target market: Close to half (48%) of respondents in the Australian study have earmarked law firms as their primary target market, while 25% have developed their solutions for corporate legal departments.

● Legal tech companies are using a mixed bag of technologies: A breakdown of underlying technologies reveals 41% of the underlying technologies used are databases, 26% are pre-programmed codes, 19% are artificial intelligence, three percent are blockchain-based and 11% indicated other.

The research fieldwork will be rolled-out to New Zealand, South East Asia, UK, Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa in collaboration with participating associations from January 20 – mid April 2020 via online survey.

Participating legal technology companies will receive their regional report free and a substantial discount on the global research which will see a cross-jurisdictional comparison of the trends from each jurisdiction.

The research will uncover key insights including:

● What is the makeup of the Legal Tech start-ups’ founders?

● What is the team composition of a Legal Tech start-up?

● What are the underlying technologies that powers the solutions developed by the Legal Tech start-ups?

● What is the growth outlook for Legal Tech start-ups?

● What is the cost composition of a Legal Tech start-up?

 ● Which business models and pricing models have Legal Tech start-ups deployed to commercialise the solutions they developed?

● What major cross-jurisdictional trends could we observe in team composition, growth outlook, cost outlook, business model and pricing models?

● Where are Legal Tech start-ups looking to expand outside of their home jurisdiction?

The Australian research report will be available in March, with New Zealand and South East Asian reports to be launched at ALTACON 2020, in Sydney on 29 May, with the UK, European and US reports following. The Global Legal Tech Report will be available in October.

See www.globallegaltechreport.com for more information.

Here are other startup reports you might find interesting if you haven’t read them already:

https://blogs.thomsonreuters.com/legal-uk/2019/10/18/a-new-report-legaltech-startup-report-2019-a-maturing-market