It has been a news packed few legal tech days, so to save you some time and energy as you watch the US elections and struggle to tear yourself away from social media, we’ve collated the latest stories and wins here. For any stories you don’t find here, there is a good chance they are reported elsewhere on legaltechnology.com. 

KPMG undertakes major tech refresh 
KPMG Spain has undertaken a technology refresh and now is on the latest versions of Lexsoft T3, iManage Insight and iManage Work. This allows them to embark on the next phase of the firm’s knowledge management programme, which will combine the knowledge residing in iManage Work +  with external information sources. This will be enabled by the advanced data classification and modelling methodologies offered by T3, alongside T3’s  ability to communicate with the numerous third-party legal web and content services. All of this, coupled with the sophisticated search capability provided by RAVN Insight, will deliver compelling insight and knowledge to KPMG Abogados’ professionals. 

A spokesperson at KPMG Abogados Spain said: “Clients come to KPMG for the expertise of our excellent individual professionals and practice area teams, but more crucially for the ‘knowledge’ and ‘power’ of this global firm as a whole. This power only comes from the collective experience and expertise of the entire firm. It’s like going to a hospital – you want a doctor with the right experience to treat you, but the technology, expertise and services that the hospital offers, has a bearing on the quality of the overall care and treatment you receive. So, the objective of our Knowledge Management strategy is to harness and leverage the dynamic expertise, experience, and knowledge of the entire firm to help address the business problems our clients face. 

“This technology refresh is a major milestone, and gives us the advanced technical capability, including artificial intelligence, to deliver sophisticated knowledge management competence to the firm in the near future.” 

“KPMG Abogados is very clear about the route the firm wants to take for knowledge management in the firm,” Carlos García-Egocheaga, CEO of Lexsoft Systems, commented. “They recognise the importance that technology plays in creating a meaningful solution for its professionals. Over the last five years that we have worked with the firm, facilitating quick access to relevant information intuitively for the busy professionals has been among our top focus areas. It is key to knowledge management success in any organisation.” 

Taylor Rose TTKW selects CTS’ Managed Cloud Solution 
CTS has been selected by Taylor Rose TTKW to provide a Managed Cloud solution. 

Murray Fraser, Chief Information Officer at Taylor Rose TTKW, comments, “Our firm’s history is packed with change and growth, and over the past three years, we have acquired several law firms, including CTS client, MW Solicitors. Our headcount continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down, which has highlighted the need for a larger, scalable infrastructure as we continue to on-board new law firms and their existing environments. 

“We chose to work with CTS due to their experience within the legal sector and understanding of our specific requirements and applications, as well as their close relationship with leading technology provider, Thomson Reuters.”  

Working closely with the leading legal software vendors means that CTS’ expertise covers the complete range of legal software applications – from dictation to case and practice management. They will support Taylor Rose TTKW to gain greater efficiency, productivity and flexibility, and will guarantee that their critical applications and data are protected, eliminating downtime and freeing up the firm’s in-house IT department to work on value-adding projects. 

NetDocuments Joins SALI Alliance, Advocates Legal Classification Standards 
NetDocuments has announced its support of and membership in the Standards Advancement for the Legal Industry (SALI) Alliance program. SALI, which encompasses law firms, clients, legal organizations, and legal technology and service providers, originated to ensure all industry stakeholders have a voice to shape the most useful and relevant standards to foster transparency and innovation.  

As a supporter and adopter of SALI, NetDocuments will incorporate the alliance’s Legal Matter Specification Standard (LMMS) framework into its solutions, including Tasks as part of the PLAN solution as well as document classifications within the NetDocuments ORGANIZATION solution. 

“Adding critical providers like NetDocuments to SALI and seeing how the LMMS framework is incorporated into the NetDocuments DMS platform is exciting and demonstrates the evolution of the SALI Alliance,” said Toby Brown, SALI President of the Board, and Chief Practice Management Officer at Perkins Coie LLP. 

SALI and the topic of standards was front and center at Elevate 2020, NetDocuments’ virtual customer, partner, and industry leader conference. The event included a platforms and standards-themed industry video chat featuring SALI Alliance leaders Toby Brown, Chief Practice Management Officer, Perkins Coie; Jim Hannigan, Director of Legal Project Management, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass; and Kelly Harbour, Director of Client Relations & Innovations, Goulston & Storrs. In addition to discussing the evolution of SALI and its industry-wide support, Kelly Harbour provided a use case of how Goulston & Storrs, a NetDocuments customer, is adopting the SALI standard. 

Research shows law firms lack vital visibility into matter budgeting and profitability  
The latest legal pricing and profitability research, released from BigHand, has revealed that legal matter pricing and budgeting processes are flawed for the majority of law firms.  

A startling low percentage of firms have access to up-to-date budgeting information, and an even smaller amount provides regular updates on budget overruns to its partners – the very people responsible for updating clients.  

The global pricing and profitability survey was launched by BigHand, in conjunction with TVPI and ALPMA, and ran between September and October 2020. It gathered 250 responses from senior legal financial professionals across North America, APAC, the UK and Europe.  

The results raise many questions about the state of law firm pricing, the impact that COVID-19 has had, and more long-term trends that need to be addressed for firms to simultaneously provide client transparency around legal pricing, and maintain profitability. 

The findings include many revelations such as: 

  • A large amount of firms using inadequate legal pricing tools such as Excel for matter budgeting 
  • A severe lack of visibility into individual matter profitability
  • An absence of visibility over matter budgets or profitability for law firm partners  

The findings report provides an accurate view of the state of legal pricing and profitability in law firms today, and addresses the fundamental needs for better people, processes and legal budgeting technology for firms to survive in the current economic uncertainty.   

To find out more or to read the full report, visit the BigHand website here

DocGovern partners with Doc2 
Document automation consultancy company DocGovern, has entered into a new partnership with document creation company Doc2. 

Doc2 is a cloud-based document creation automation platform which allows companies to create, send and eSign their contracts. UK based their clients range from SME’s to large businesses across a variety of industry sectors.  

Gary Lessels, managing director at DocGovern said: “[Doc2] very much see the value in Document Automation and the benefits it can bring to any business, specifically those looking to initially adopt Document Automation, without the typical costly overheads or protracted setup. 

There is a great deal of synergy between DocGovern and Doc2’s aims and values, and it made sense for both companies to work together to deliver an optimum service and provide support for our Clients looking to maximise their use of Document Automation.”  

Reynen Court secures $4.5m further funding 
Reynen Court has secured $4.5 million of further funding to accelerate its growth. Global venture capital firm Ventech led the round which included Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins, who together led the company’s initial $10 million financing, as well as Prins H LLC, an investment vehicle controlled by Reynen Court’s founder and CEO Andrew D. Klein. 

Founded in 2018 with wide support from a consortium of nineteen leading global law firms, Reynen Court has built and launched a platform – akin to an app store for legal technology – that makes it fast, easy and secure for law firms and in-house legal departments to discover, test, adopt and manage Artificial Intelligence, Smart Contracts and other new technologies.  Latham & Watkins and Clifford Chance serve as co-chairs of the consortium. Nearly two hundred third-party application vendors are actively engaged with Reynen Court, with more than a hundred already under contract and currently present or working towards participation in the Reynen Court solution store. 

“We are extremely proud to announce our new funding which will support the expansion of our team and thus the speed at which we can further develop our platform and business,” said Mr. Klein, a serial technology entrepreneur who started his career as a securities lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.  “We are very grateful for the continued confidence expressed by Ventech, Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins.” 

“Ever since our early involvement co-chairing the law firms supporting Reynen Court’s development, we have believed it could unlock the potential of legal technology for our clients, for us, and the industry as a whole,” said Paul Greenwood, the Clifford Chance Chief Information Officer. “We believe this now more than ever in light of the rapid acceleration in adoption of new technology in the legal sector catalysed by the outbreak of COVID-19.” 

“Reynen Court has made great strides to enhance its platform and significantly expand the vendor pipeline,” added Ken Heaps, Chief Information Officer at Latham & Watkins. “The team is building a powerful platform that is not only well-positioned to increase the uptake of new technologies, but in fact to foster innovations that can scale to firms’ needs. We are delighted to be part of Reynen Court’s continued growth and long-term success.” 

Product updates 

BigHand releases latest version of Quantum 
BigHand has announced the release of its latest version of legal business intelligence technology, BigHand Quantum. BigHand Quantum translates key financial data from any legal system into easily accessible dashboards and reports that are tailored based on needs of individual roles to varying data. 

The flexible and source-agnostic solution replaces time-consuming manual reporting with a real-time web-based overview of a law firm’s financial performance. 

Based on increased client demand and feedback, developments to the latest version of the legal business intelligence tool has significantly reduced the implementation time needed to roll out the solution, which enables a much faster return on investment with users accessing previously unobtainable data in a matter of days. 

Other key enhancements include a complete UI refresh, an upgraded management database for monitoring performance data, and an upgraded usage report that is designed to aid in the adoption of BigHand Quantum across a firm. 

Power users within legal finance teams will also benefit from an enhanced cube-based self-serve analytics tool that allows for visualization of any BigHand Quantum data through any tool of choice. 

Rob Stote, Director for BigHand North America comments, “Our recent market research tells us there is a severe lack of financial data visibility in law firms globally. This research is supported by the recent surge of interest and demand from our clients for legal business intelligence data.” 

Movers and shakers 

SYKE appoints Thomas Mellor as programme director   
SYKE has appointed Thomas Mellor to the role of programme delivery director. He joins SYKE from Yoti Sign, an eSigning business, where he led e-signature adoption across multiple enterprise clients.  

Mellor said: “I’m excited to join SYKE at the apex of accelerating legal tech adoption. For the last few years legal tech has been interesting but it is now getting to the point where if your business is not embracing it then it is behind the curve.   

“I’m passionate about helping companies implement relatively simple but high impact products such as contract automation software for low value repetitive contracts, but I also love delivering results with existing tools like Microsoft 365. Choosing the right tech and embedding it with operational excellence is the key to success.”  

Alistair Maiden added: “Thomas joins with a wealth of experience of project delivery within the financial services sector including heading up the PMO for a sector wide transformation programme. He’ll be a real asset to the team as we go through our next stage of development and growth.”   

ICYMI 

Gartner Says High Levels of Change for Employees Has Created Compliance Risk 
A 2020 Gartner, Inc. survey of 1,000 employees in March revealed that they are facing a greatly increased frequency of “career moments”, resulting in increased incidences of employee misconduct and more negative perceptions of corporate integrity. 

“A ‘career moment’ is a significant workplace occurrence for an employee,” said Chris Audet, research senior director with the Gartner Legal and Compliance practice. “They can take many forms, and examples include layoffs, organizational restructuring changes in leadership, or changes in job responsibility.” 

Gartner analysis has shown that a higher frequency of career moments (not including promotions) is correlated to rates of observed misconduct and negative views of corporate integrity. The average employee who has experienced five to 10 career moments in the last year is more than 10 percentage points more likely to report having observed misconduct recently.  

Gartner’s latest research demonstrates that the frequency of career moments has increased significantly since 2012, with dramatic implications for observations of misconduct and negative perceptions of corporate integrity. 

“This information should be ringing alarm bells for compliance leaders,” said Mr. Audet. “The COVID-19 pandemic has redirected a lot of focus to addressing urgent tactical issues, but the high levels of change and disruption have created a precarious situation for the ongoing fight against misconduct in many organizations.” 

Gartner experts recommend three approaches to address this: 

  1. Integrate Compliance Messaging at Key Moments 
    Because moments tend to drive down integrity, early intervention is crucial. Addressing low employee perceptions of corporate integrity before key moments, such as corporate, role or team changes, doubles the mitigation rate from approximately 50% to near 100% when compared to intervention after the moment has passed. 
  2. Equip Managers to Lead Through Moments 
    Employees who feel they get the right amount of support from their managers during a career moment are 62% more likely to report misconduct than those who are neutral. To boost managers’ ability to handle these conversations compliance leaders need to create tools and frameworks that enable them to make ethical decisions in the workplace and route concerns appropriately for compliance visibility. 
  3. Create Moment-Relevant Messages 
    Employees who believed they received the right amount of information following a career moment were 62% more likely to report misconduct than those who were neutral. An increasingly remote workforce can impact employees’ perceptions of climate and culture; it is harder to maintain team connections in this setting, and employees can’t see what their peers are doing. Creating the right messaging around compliance issues is essential at this time. 

Gartner for Legal & Compliance Leaders clients can access the full research, first published in August, in The Importance of Interventions at Key Career Moments.