Dentons’ innovation and technology investment arm NextLaw Labs has teamed up with IBM to create a cloud-based technology platform for startups as it also signs its first portfolio deal with IBM Watson-backed digital legal research company ROSS Intelligence.
The new platform will enable startups to create and deploy legal applications more quickly, providing them access to IBM Cloud and the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups.
Startups will also have access to IBM’s platform-as-a-service, Bluemix, with NextLaw Labs taking on the role of “active technology investor, accelerator and business incubator focusing on creating new products and services that will change the practice of law, improving client service and enhancing client solutions,” a statement from Dentons said today (6 August).
Bluemix has a catalogue of more than 100 tools and services of the most prominent open-source technologies combined with IBM and third-party services to “enable these startups to focus all of their energy on creating cloud applications for the legal industry at consumer scale.”
The announcement comes as NextLaw Labs has also signed a deal with its first portfolio company, ROSS Intelligence, a startup developing online legal advisor, ‘ROSS’, which is powered by supercomputer IBM Watson.
With the support of Watson’s cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities, lawyers can ask ROSS their research question in natural language, as they would a person, then ROSS reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns an evidence-based answer.
“This is an important moment in our profession. Joining the world’s largest law firm with the world’s leading technology provider is just one of the ways that NextLaw Labs is working to transform the legal industry,” said Joe Andrew, Dentons global chairman. “By focusing on using new technology to work smarter and ultimately lower our clients’ costs, our interests and our clients’ interests are one and the same.”
Dan Jansen, CEO of NextLaw Labs added: “Technology is now and will continue to be a real differentiator in the legal profession. The potential in companies like ROSS shows how the approach to solving client challenges is going to change. NextLaw Labs wants to be a part of transforming what is possible into a tangible offering in today’s legal market.”