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Legal IT Update: All the latest wins, news and views

Here’s pretty much everything you need to be aware of in the legal IT cosmos from the past seven days including a recap of the Wilmer Cutler Pepsico SEC email leak; Bird & Bird’s move to pessimistic security; Libryo’s $1m seed funding round; LexisNexis’ latest accelerator participants; wins for LexisNexis, iTrain Direct, SOS Connect and Eclipse Proclaim; and product launches from Brainspace, Wolters Kluwer, Sandline Discovery and Aderant; our exclusive tech media partnership with Legal Week, and Sage’s recognition of Orange Rag founder Charles Christian as a UK Top 100 Business Influencer.

In some of the biggest news of the past week that will have CheckRecipient hopping up and down shouting ‘me, me, me’, it has emerged that a Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr lawyer accidentally sent a Wall Street Journal reporter privileged documents detailing ongoing whistleblower investigations at PepsiCo by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The WSJ report SEC Probes Departure of PepsiCo’s Former Top Lawyer on 27 September  reveals that in an investigation into the dismissal of former general counsel Maura Smith (pictured), a memo about her subpoena was mistakenly sent by a WilmerHale attorney to a WSJ reporter “as part of communication to other attorneys working on the matter.”

We’d love to have been a fly on the wall when that came to light.

WilmerHale said in a statement: “We deeply regret that privileged documents were inadvertently emailed to a reporter at The Wall Street Journal. WilmerHale takes full responsibility, and we apologise to our client. We promptly advised The Wall Street Journal of the error and asked the reporter to delete the material. The reporter told us he had deleted the material, but we later learned he had printed and retained hard copies.

“We are disappointed that the WSJ has decided to publish private information it knew was protected by our client’s legal privilege. We are taking additional measures designed to ensure that emails are not misaddressed to unintended recipients.”

The incident only shortly follows the revelation by the Guardian on 25 September that Deloitte has suffered a security breach that compromised confidential emails. The Big Four accountancy firm brought in Hogan Lovells in late April to review the breach – understood to date back from November.

Deloitte has reportedly told six clients that their information has been “impacted.” See here for our story on that, which includes a link to The Register’s article suggesting that Deloitte had corporate VPN passwords exposed on GitHub.

Security update

Last year many UK CIOs told us that ‘need to know’ document access would never take off in law firms, but in the Orange Rag out on 28 September we revealed that Bird & Bird has just got sign off to become one of the early adopters of the restrictive security model as the trend towards locking down data gains pace.

The UK top 20 law firm led by IT director Karen Jacks (pictured) has just achieved management approval to restrict document access to client teams, with Jacks commenting: “We’re seeing increasing expectation around data only being available to those that are working on the matter.”

Bird & Bird is working with Intapp, taking its Intapp Walls product a step further. Jacks said: “The Intapp product only does that to a matter level and we want to do it to a client level so it’s a bit of a fudge until we have that in their product.” She adds: “Going to a matter level where every time you open a matter you have to delegate a team we thought was a massive overhead for people.” To read the full story click here:

Wins, deals and launches

Libryo, which helps organisations to navigate regulatory complexities, has secured a $1m seed round funding and is one of the first companies to benefit from the Seedcamp and Nextlaw Lab partnership to invest in early-stage legal-tech startups.

The London and Cape Town headquartered startup is also the first business to receive investment from Innogy’s UK Innovation Hub. In addition, Libryo received the backing of Force Over Mass, an angel aggregation fund, and a complementary group of angel investors.

The funding will help Libryo to expand its team with critical hires to further develop its product, manage customers and grow the business into new markets.

The Libryo Platform was built to overcome regulatory complexity. Its fundamental purpose is to empower organisations globally, to know, for sure, what they are required to do by law and regulation. The team has developed cutting-edge technology to answer the question “what does the law require me to do, here and now?” The legal tech software-as-a-service is designed for compliance professionals and in-house lawyers to answer the question immediately and accurately in an automated, efficient and cost-effective manner.

In other US startup news, LexisNexis has announced the second round of participants in its Silicon Valley Legal Tech Accelerator program, which launched with five participants in April 2017.

The new companies are: Contract Wrangler, dealWIP, Lawcountability, Medilenz, ThreadKM, Vijilent and vTestify, which were selected from a long list of applicants based on “the interesting nature of their businesses and their innovative use of technology.”

The program is based in the Menlo Park, CA offices of Lex Machina and for the first time, at the Raleigh Technology Center for LexisNexis on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University.

Commenting on the story, one of our readers said: “Well looks like yanks looking after yanks again. How about some good old Brit startups, there are plenty excellent contenders. But hey what do we know.”

LexisNexis has in other news arranged for more than 220 pro bono clinics supported by legal advice charity, LawWorks, throughout England and Wales to benefit from LexisPSL suite, as part of its longstanding support of LawWorks.

Thousands of volunteer lawyers at the pro bono clinics now have access to the practical guidance tool, LexisPSL, to help them work more efficiently in supporting those that might otherwise not get access to legal advice.

Metamorph Law Limited, an alternative business structure (ABS) has adopted Lexis Visualfiles as its legal workflow and case management solution of choice provided by LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions.

Metamorph Law deployed the Visualfiles platform in four months from project initiation to go-live. The ABS chose Visualfiles for its rapid adaptability, scalability and proven reputation as being the platform of choice for any organisation that wants to maximise efficiencies through the use of workflow and automation tools.

iTrain Direct, a provider of bespoke IT Training solutions to the legal industry, has announced that Workshare has become a training partner in the UK.

iTrain Direct plans, manages and delivers training on a wide range of legal systems, including document, practice, case and matter management. This new partnership will enable Workshare to offer tailored training to clients against their entire suite of solutions using best practices from iTrain Direct.

Workshare’s VP of Sales EMEA and APAC, Keith Bell, said: “Workshare is excited because this relationship will allow us to enhance our customer experience in the UK and ensure clients get the most from their Workshare solutions. iTrain Direct training consultants all have legal IT backgrounds, which is a great fit and will help bolster our entire proposition.”

East Midlands law firm Sills & Betteridge Solicitors has signed up to integrated practice and case management with SOS Connect from Solicitors Own Software after a decade of growth.

A full-service law firm with eight offices across Lincolnshire and Nottingham, Sills & Betteridge has seen rapid expansion over the past ten years.

Martyn Hall, practice director, says the aim is to go live with SOS Connect early next year, after its integration with the firm’s new document management and existing conveyancing case management systems.

Scottish firm, DJ Alexander Legal, is implementing Proclaim Practice Management Software solution from Eclipse Legal Systems.

With over 30 years’ experience of Lettings and Estate Agency services in Edinburgh and Glasgow, providing clients with a range of legal services, particularly conveyancing, was the next logical step in order to offer a tailored and seamless service for property clients across the UK.

The pre-configured Proclaim conveyancing case management module will offer the team a core centralised productivity suite and market-leading toolsets to ensure cases are driven forward in a cost-effective, yet personalised manner.

Product launches

Brainspace has announced the release of Brainspace 6, formerly Brainspace Discovery, a significant redesign of the company’s flagship analytics solution used by law firms, enterprises, and government agencies to quickly understand large volumes of data during litigation, investigations, and regulatory requests.

Brainspace’s user interface, centered around powerful and interactive data visualizations, has been redesigned from the ground up to “offer an extraordinary user experience on top of new unsupervised learning algorithms.”

Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions has released its new Cybersecurity Risk Assessment application. The application “enables Legal, Information Technology and Security departments worldwide to automate on-line risk assessments with their law firm partners using a collaborative and secure environment for assessment survey execution and collection”. This allows them to not only reduce cybersecurity risk in working with outside counsel, but manage that risk in a more efficient, cost-effective way, the company says.

Sandline Discovery, a boutique litigation support and eDiscovery service provider serving both law firms and corporations in the United States and globally, has introduced an application to improve the overall experience for Asian language and other non-Western language speakers using the eDiscovery platform Relativity.

Sandline’s language localizer displays tabs, fields and other Relativity Objects in the user interface with native language characters, providing an easier and more personal user experience for non-English speakers.

Aderant has released KM Analytics, a new module included within Handshake which provides users and administrators a deep understanding of how a firm’s Handshake Portal, Universal Search and core SharePoint environments are being used.

By combining Aderant’s existing expertise of clients and the legal industry, KM Analytics identifies key data points such as most-used resources, time of search, and abandoned searches to give insights to adoption, relevancy tuning and content analysis.

“KM Analytics make it easy for firms to get the right content and relevancy to their users enabling them to be more efficient and profitable.” said Glenn LaForce, Vice President of Knowledge Management at Aderant. “The ability to understand how users are leveraging an intranet or universal search is critical to the success of a firm’s KM strategy.”

New partnership alert

As we revealed in the Orange Rag last week, Legal IT Insider (LITI) and Legal Week have entered into an exclusive technology media partnership that will see LITI editor Caroline Hill speak at the Legal Week Connect conference and advise on the programme. Legal Week Connect – the sister event to LegalWeek New York – is an ambitious new project and as part of the partnership, Legal IT Insider will be promoting and raising awareness of the event. We will also be sharing reciprocal speaking slots at LITI’s Legal Leaders IT Forum in Gleneagles and Legal Week’s Strategic Technology Forum.

This is a hugely exciting step that acknowledges the increasingly mainstream interest and importance of legal technology.

John Malpas, publisher of Legal Week, said: “We look forward to working with Legal IT Insider on this ambitious project and welcoming Caroline as a regular columnist for Legal Week. Her deep knowledge of the UK legal technology market will enrich our coverage of a fast-evolving market.”

Industry recognition

And last but not least, Insider founder Charles Christian was last week named by Sage UK as one of the UK’s Top 100 Business Influencers in his capacity as an individual “whose commentary and social influence help to drive ideas and change within the small business sector”. Full report here…