Legal IT News Update: All the latest wins, deals, law firm news and product updates
Wins and deals
In a significant win for Intapp, Baker McKenzie is implementing Intapp Open Experience to augment its marketing and business development initiatives and has engaged its new advisory arm, Intapp Consulting, to advise on its data strategy. Baker McKenzie currently uses Intapp software for new business intake, conflicts management, time recording, confidentiality management, workflow, and data integration.
“One of the keys to innovation in marketing and business development is developing a sophisticated understanding of our clients’ requirements, and being able to identify key areas where we can deliver unique value,” said Will White, director of global marketing and communications at Baker McKenzie. “Our clients appreciate our knowledge of their business and the markets they operate in – and Intapp is enhancing the way we use data to provide our clients with the insights they need to succeed.”
“As the world’s most international law firm, we manage an incredible volume of data, and have worked with Intapp over the years to centralize, integrate and secure access to information on client matters. We’re now working together to take innovation in data management to the next level, leveraging the collective knowledge, expertise and experience that Baker McKenzie has to offer to make us even more agile and competitive in delivering the best legal services,” said Dan Surowiec, chief information officer, Baker McKenzie.
In another win for Intapp, City law firm Fox Williams has selected Intapp Time as its new time management system, with plans to roll it out to nearly 70 fee earners in place of its current time recording process, which is based on Thomson Reuters Elite’s sunsetted Envision practice management system.
“Intapp Time will introduce a step change to how our fee earners keep track of their time. The user experience and support for offline mobile time recording made it a popular choice for our lawyers,” said Jeremy Gubbay, COO of Fox Williams. “Over time, we expect Intapp Time to have a positive impact on the firm’s financial performance, as we capture a more accurate picture of hours worked on client matters and develop a baseline for better analysis of revenue, costs and profitability.”
With flexible support for mobile time recording – including offline support for iOS devices – Intapp Time will also make it possible for Fox Williams fee earners to capture and record time while working on the move. Once timesheets are submitted, Intapp Time will automatically transfer timesheets to the firm’s matter management system. Like all Intapp software, Intapp Time is designed to integrate well with core applications typically used in law firm environments.
Top 100 law practice Birketts has replaced Litera Change-Pro with compareDocs from DocsCorp for document comparison. Birketts was already a DocsCorp customer, having previously purchased pdfDocs for PDF creation, editing, and bundling.
Birketts trialed compareDocs seizing an opportunity to reduce the number of vendors they work with and to standardise on a common user interface across multiple applications. Since the firm’s users were already familiar with pdfDocs, minimal training was required to get users up to speed on compareDocs.
The move enabled the firm to improve the end-user experience by deploying a modern document comparison UI and improve productivity since the underlying comparison technology is the fastest and most accurate available. The fact compareDocs provides a fully featured Track Changes mark-up capability was also an advantage.
Birketts is the fifth Litera client to switch to DocsCorp in recent months, a list that includes several larger European customers. Product performance, ease of deployment, user interface design and quality of support are often mentioned as reasons for the move.
Stone King – a full practice law firm specializing in the education and charity sectors and one of the UK’s top 200 law firms – has selected iManage for its document and email management system to deliver the industry’s leading Work Product Management capabilities to its professionals, all in the iManage Cloud.
The firm saw an investment in iManage Cloud as a way to ensure it had a world-class document and email management system that aligned with the firm’s cloud-first IT strategy. Previously, the firm had been using a matter management system that had limitations around managing emails and sharing documents.
“Having efficient systems for managing emails and documents and for securely sharing our documents with clients is extremely important for our people, so having the appropriate core IT systems in place is critical,” said Tim Roche, Head of IT, Stone King. “
iManage partner Phoenix Business Solutions is assisting Stone King with its implementation with plans to roll out the solution across the entire firm in early 2018.
The firm, based in Hammersmith, west London, is a boutique provider of legal advice for the music industry in particular, and has adopted SOS Connect for its matter management.
Jonathan Warr, practice consultant, said the move would “create administrative gold from base metals. Due to the nature of the law we practice, there was a strong desire within the firm to ensure we have a well-built ‘chassis’ in place that can keep everything in order,” he said. “The problem was that our previous system was not performing and so people had essentially closed their minds to the whole idea of practice management software. However, we began speaking to IT directors at several law firms about ‘best of breed’ and SOS’s name kept coming up. We have really enjoyed working with the team at SOS. Nothing is too much trouble and we are looking forward to a more streamlined and efficient way of working. I anticipate that SOS Connect will help us to create administrative gold from base metals.”
Thomson Reuters Elite has launched a new Services partnership with Gap Consulting, a highly experienced Microsoft Gold Cloud CRM partner specializing in full life cycle Dynamics 365 customer engagement deployments.
Gap Consulting will be providing services to clients of 3E Business Development (formerly Business Development Premier), part of the 3E Enterprise Business Management Solution, which is built on Dynamics 365.
As we reported in 2016, three years after the launch of Business Development Premier, Brodies was the first client to go live on the CRM solution.
Patrick Hurley, VP of customer advocacy at Elite, tells us that Gap will bring greater resource and experience of both the legal and non-legal sector – useful as law firms increasingly take notes from outside of the sector.
And Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller has signed up with Luminance to streamline and speed up its due diligence processes for M&A transactions in a significant US win for the Cambridge-headquartered company, which only recently opened its first US headquarters in Chicago.
Luminance uses machine learning technology to improve contract review processes, such as M&A due diligence. The system sorts, clusters and classifies an entire data room, presenting it in an intuitive visualisation dashboard, giving lawyers immediate insight and prioritising their review.
“Luminance allows our team to provide our clients with the high-quality service they expect and demand from us through a more efficient platform,” said Richard Barnhart, a managing partner at Ice Miller, which has offices in Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus; DuPage County, New York; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Barnhart added: “We now find things far more quickly than using manual review alone.”
The announcement follows the April 2017 formation of DXC, which brought together Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) and the Enterprise Services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPES). Under the five-year agreement, the industry’s largest-ever managed-services legal transaction, UnitedLex will help create one unified, strategic team to support DXC, the world’s leading independent, end-to-end IT services and solutions provider, and its nearly 6,000 clients.
Working closely with DXC’s General Counsel Bill Deckelman and other key executives, UnitedLex has established a unique platform of proven technologies, highly skilled attorneys, contract and commercial professionals, and subject matter experts to support DXC’s business strategy and provide greater measurability and accountability across the entire legal ecosystem. Primary focus areas for the engagement include client transactions of all sizes, litigation, immigration, and legal operations. The UnitedLex team supporting DXC is comprised of more than 250 senior professional resources.
Law firm news
In two notably business driven initiatives, Clyde & Co has launched an in-house data analytics lab in partnership with University College London as Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May acquires software licenses of Blackdot Solutions intelligence and research platform, Videris.
The lab, which was launched off the back of work that Clyde & Co has been doing with UCL students over the past year or so, is intended to help Clyde & Co accelerate exploration of product development in 2018. It is an initiative led by partner Mark Wing (pictured top right) and the firm’s innovation board and Clyde’s global CIO Chris White told us: “We firmly believe these types of initiatives should be business driven not IT,” adding, “I am clearly very close to this initiative and IT are supporting it.”
Meanwhile, Slaughter and May’s investment in Videris, which enables users to collect, analyse and visualise unstructured data available on the internet, follows Videris’ integration with kCura’s Relativity in April. The integration means that user can analyse internal data alongside social media data and corporate records to see the bigger picture during an investigation, meaning it has value across both transactional and disputes practices.
Mishcon de Reya has created an International Advisory Board to help develop its tech startup programme MDR LAB, which it recently announced would run for a second year in 2018.
Members of the new board will become ambassadors for the programme in key markets across the globe – with current members based in the UK, US, Canada, Asia Pacific and Israel. Names confirmed so far are:
– Liam Brown, Founder and Executive Chairman of Elevate, a legal tech consultancy business
– Daniel van Binsbergen, CEO at Lexoo, a digital marketplace for legal services
– Kenneth Grady, Adjunct Professor and Member, LegalRnD Faculty Michigan State University College of Law
– Amy ter Haar, President at Integra Canada, “blockchain for law”
– Noa Mayer, Head of Business Development and Innovation at law firm Yigal Arnon & Co.
– Titus Rahiri, Founder & Director, KorumLegal, legal solutions firm
– Noah Waisberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Kira Systems, AI solutions company
Last month the firm revealed that it has made financial investments in two of the 2017 programme’s participating companies: Everchron, developers of collaborative litigation management software; and Ping, whose product automates timekeeping for lawyers and provides data analysis for law firms.
Nick West, Chief Strategy Officer at Mishcon de Reya, said: “We’ve put together an International Advisory Board for our MDR LAB programme to enable us to know more about what’s happening on the ground in these key tech hubs, and better understand how to attract the most innovative companies to come and work with us.”
In other news from Mishcon, in what may come to be viewed as the start of a new generation of IT leader, Mishcon de Reya’s chief strategy officer Nick West is set to take over the role of chief technology officer, we can reveal, replacing outgoing CIO Simon Kosminsky, who is retiring at the end of the year.
West – an ex-Linklaters lawyer who before joining Mishcon was UK managing director at Axiom – will take over from Kosminsky in the new year. He will straddle a strategic and technology role: the four senior managers who report to Kosminsky will now report to West as well as a further senior manager on the strategy side.
Kosminsky tells us that the change is one of new guard replacing old. He said: “Following my decision to retire, I’m delighted that Nick will be taking over responsibility for the whole IT function at Mishcon De Reya. He’s a lawyer with a deep understanding of both technology and the running of a successful modern law firm.”
Dentons has named Marie Bernard as the new CEO of Nextlaw Labs, an accelerator of early-stage technology startups focused on the legal industry.
Dan Jansen, who currently serves as the CEO of both Nextlaw Labs and Nextlaw Ventures, effective immediately will focus on Nextlaw Ventures as CEO. Ventures had a successful first investment round in which it invested in ten legal tech companies located in the US and abroad. Seeking to build on that success, Jansen will spend his time preparing for a second round of investment so Dentons can continue to support its brand for innovation.
In her new role, Bernard, who will be based in Berlin, will work closely with Dentons’ leaders across the globe to develop Nextlaw Labs 2.0, helping to bring competitive advantage to Dentons, as well as design, develop and deliver “innovations as a service” to Dentons’ clients.
Jansen will remain very closely involved with Nextlaw Labs, as a strategic advisor, and continue to manage relationships with Nextlaw portfolio companies.
Bernard was most recently Europe Director of Innovation at Dentons, has served as Strategic Advisor to Nextlaw Labs, and she has been recognized in the Fastcase 50 as one of the world’s leading innovators in law. She will work closely with Dentons, clients and industry leaders to help shape the future of the legal industry.
London law firm Anthony Gold is the latest to be hit by a phishing attack, resulting in its clients being sent emails purporting to be on its behalf, which asked recipients to enter personal Microsoft login details. According to an apology letter by the firm, it was subject to a phishing attack on a handful of its email addresses.
At IT Lab, Dootson was responsible for looking after around 70 strategic clients and advising on areas including Microsoft licensing, network deployment, virtualisation, cloud hosting and MS Office 365. Before IT Lab he was a software consultant at JMC IT.
Dootson will be joining as a sales consultant and will be working with Tikit’s mid-sized law firm clients in the northern region of the UK. His focus will be helping clients derive more value from Partner for Windows (P4W), Tikit’s flagship practice and case management product while encouraging new client firms to join.
Over the last year Carlton-Blake has worked closely with the LOD business to design and migrate its systems to a modern, high performing hybrid cloud IT infrastructure and is now on-board to lead its internal IT programme.
Carlton-Blake said: “LOD now has offices in 5 countries, with over 600 lawyers and consultants across the globe working for clients in numerous jurisdictions. With ever increasing IT systems complexity the time is right to have a dedicated CIO and I am excited by the challenges this role faces.”
He will concentrate on continuing to improve the existing global infrastructure, looking at best practice IT solutions for CRM, collaboration, document management and workflow tools, as well as continuing to develop external market facing technologies to enhance both the lawyer and client experience.
Ascertus Limited has appointed Karen Hogan as senior account manager to support the function across the company’s corporate legal customer base.
Hogan was most recently senior account manager at managed service provider Modrus.
“Karen brings with her a huge amount of varied experience in the legal industry and even has existing relationships with a number of our customers and partners. She is a great fit for the business,” Roy Russell, CEO of Ascertus, said. “As we continue to expand our business offering across the EMEA region, Karen’s extensive international experience will be very valuable to the company.”
Hogan started life in legal, holding sales manager roles in both Hummingbird and Recommind – now both part of OpenText – as well as Ochresoft.
“It is wonderful to come back to the legal industry where I ‘cut my teeth’, so to speak, at the start of my career,” Hogan said.
Three of the leading names in legal software consultancy are to merge, with Pinnacle International Consulting, Opes Consulting and Athenian IT Developments combining forces as POA International Consulting, in a move that clients are welcoming for bringing far greater strength in depth.
POA, which will consist of 30 practice management system specialists, is set to build on its core partnerships with Elite and Intapp while also expanding out to a fuller service offering. Athenian brings to the mix software development applied across the POA offering, with the ambition to build tools to make conversions easier.
There will be six directors at POA. Neil Renfrew, co-founder of Athenian, has been appointed as chairman, while Mike Bailey, founder and director of professional services at Pinnacle, is chief executive. Giles Coates, co-founder and currently finance director at Athenian is finance director at POA. Kevin Smith (pictured), co-founder and managing director at Opes, is the new POA operations director, while his fellow co-founder Sue Emirali is s clients services director/head of customer success. Christopher Young, head of new business intake and risk management at Pinnacle is to hold an equivalent director role at POA.
Data loss prevention is at the heart of the latest product release by DocsCorp, which has expanded the functionality of its metadata cleaning tool cleanDocs to help users prevent accidental leaks of sensitive information via email.
cleanDocs 2.0 combines metadata cleaning and email recipient checking in a single product, meaning users can now ensure that private information is going to the right person and that it contains no harmful metadata.
The latest version integrates with Microsoft Outlook to check emails before they are sent externally, identifying potential issues within the list of recipients such as public and generic domains, and colour-coding them according to risk level.
CaseLines has announced the first fruits of its new artificial intelligence research programme, with lawyers now able to use the digital courts platform to automatically detect duplicate documents in an evidence bundle, saving up to 95% of the effort needed to remove duplicates.
As lawyers with experience in civil or family litigation know well, duplicate documents can be the bane of evidence bundling. Historically, countless hours are spent manually checking documents to remove unnecessary duplicates. This wasteful practice increases file preparation time and absorbs work hours that could be usefully employed elsewhere.
CaseLines’ AI programme uses fuzzy matching algorithms to identify likely duplicates within each case file. CaseLines duplication detection is powerful enough to recognise copies of documents that have been annotated by hand, poorly scanned or even damaged. At a glance, users see a match percentage between documents and compare them side by side before choosing to include or reject them from the bundle. Unlike some deduplication solutions, CaseLines directly compares the contents of each document ensuring a high success rate in identifying duplicates. CaseLines says its users are already reporting up to 95% time savings using CaseLines deduplication which means less wasted effort and more time to focus on the important work for a case.
Alphaserve Technologies, a global provider of managed IT, cloud and cybersecurity services, has launched its newest offering for law firm clients: CISO as a service. While the term is often used in specific reference to the role of chief information security officers, Alphaserve’s latest service goes beyond support at the executive leadership level. The company consults with law firms to provide bespoke solutions starting with a needs assessment based on firm size and maturity that helps define the optimal level of support for each client.
With the rapid emphasis in recent years on security within all organizations, there is more demand than supply of resources with meaningful expertise in this area. This is particularly true for law firms, which must prove compliance and control with respect to a cyber strategy to their diverse clients representing any number of industries, each of which may be subject to their own unique regulations. Securing resources with cybersecurity expertise in all relevant industries is nearly impossible, as is keeping up with constant regulatory changes as well as the latest technology and threats.
Alphaserve’s CISO as a service offering covers all aspects of data security from policy creation and developing custom frameworks to implementation of compliance and technical protocols to education and continued monitoring of security systems. The company has created its own security operations center to use for client support and has assembled a team of veteran security experts from multiple industries. Leveraging their combined knowledge and best practices, Alphaserve can help clients drive regulatory compliance across the diverse industries comprising each law firm’s client portfolio.
And Wilson Legal Solutions has announced the general availability of the Wilson Proforma Tracker application. This software enables firms to manage the entire proforma and invoice distribution process with a firmwide-compliant and effective workflow. It allows for advanced front-office editing capabilities and provides valuable insight into the billing process.
Notably five firms, including Bates White LLC, Paul Hastings LLP, and Fish & Richardson P.C.., have already selected Wilson Proforma Tracker since the software’s initial introduction in June 2017, with one NYC-based global law firm in a live pilot stage and others in implementation.
“What caught our eye about Wilson Proforma Tracker is the visibility it provides into the entire process, enabling users to track proformas from generation to invoice completion,” says Sandy Tolson, controller at Bates White LLC. “It also allows us to decentralize and automate parts of the process, such as routing proformas to other team members and presetting permissions and caps for processing discounts and write-offs.