This week we bring you news of a new partnership for HotDocs as UK top 100 law firm Keoghs deploys Skype for Business. Other wins and deals see Xact Data Discovery acquire F1 Discovery; costs lawyers Lawlords select SimpliVity Omnicube as its next-generation data centre; Uptime Legal acquire law firm website designer JurisPage; and WordRake Holdings enter into partnership with LexisNexis. There’s also news of the latest product launches and another hire for acquisitive U.S. legal consultancy startup Morae Legal.

Wins and deals

HotDocs has announced a new partnership with Intuate Group, a privately owned ICT company that focuses on providing integrated technology and people resource solutions for the South African and African markets.

This new partnership and distribution agreement will provide Intuate Group’s clients with HotDocs’ document automation software, enabling enhanced compliance, minimised risk and operational efficiency in the production of business-critical documentation.

Steve Spratt, SVP & general manager of HotDocs International, said:  “Adding Intuate Group as a partner is an important step in our international growth strategy. Intuate Group has an excellent track record of bringing world leading solutions into the South African market and the combination of working with a well-respected distributor such as Intuate Group, coupled with some exciting HotDocs product launches scheduled in the coming months, will allow us to deliver our on premise and cloud solutions effectively across Africa.

Xact Data Discovery (XDD) has acquired F1 Discovery in the latest acquisition in the eDiscovery sector. Based in San Francisco, F1 is a specialised provider of eDiscovery services to law firms and corporate clients. The transaction closed April 25, 2016.

The purchase of F1 is the latest move by XDD to execute its aggressive growth strategy. “F1 has an excellent reputation for delivering high-quality services to clients in the Northern California market, leveraging leading technology with a highly experienced support team. F1’s culture is centred around providing exceptional service and expert project management, making it a natural fit with our organisation,” said XDD CEO Robert Polus.

Keoghs, a UK top 100 law firm, is to deploy Skype for Business from Outsourcery. The Bolton headquartered firm is a UK leader in providing defendant legal and claims-related services to the insurance industry.  They have served insurers, public sector and corporate organisations for over 45 years with rapid growth in recent years to over 1,200 staff.

The dramatic increase in call volumes was putting a growing strain on their inflexible and ageing Private Branch Exchange (PBX) based telephony system. Darrell Burnell, IT Programme manager at Keoghs, said: “With an immediate telephony capacity challenge and the on-premises PBX nearing the end of its contract, we required a replacement that could be deployed quickly. We were eager to move to a cloud-based solution that would also have the potential to embrace Microsoft’s Cloud PBX with PSTN calling when it is available.”

Lawlords, a leading full-service firm of costs lawyers, with offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Carlisle, has selected SimpliVity Omnicube as its next-generation data centre.

Lawlords’ aging IT infrastructure was becoming increasingly risky and costly to maintain. With concerns surrounding equipment failures, which would have the potential to impair critical IT services, and constraints surrounding inefficient tape-based backup procedures, Lawlords turned to SimpliVity.

“If a firm has a physical server and offsite backup, then often the door to the tender process is closed and this is particularly true of the public sector,” said Stuart Taylor, IT manager for Lawlords. “We selected SimpliVity OmniCube to be our next-generation datacentre because of its all-encompassing feature set. With SimpliVity’s built-in data protection capability, we can backup and restore all our applications across our various sites in just seconds.”

Uptime Legal, a provider of law practice as a service (LPaaS) to small and mid-sized law firms, just announced it has acquired JurisPage, a law firm website design, internet marketing, and lawyer SEO company. The acquisition expands the products Uptime Legal can offer to its clients throughout North America.

JurisPage is a New York based internet marketing company that helps law firms market themselves effectively online.

“We are excited to welcome JurisPage into the Uptime Legal family,” said Dennis Dimka, Uptime Legal’s founder and CEO. “Uptime has always focused on hosting and supporting our client’s law practices. By adding JurisPage to our product portfolio, we are able to help them grow their practices.”

WordRake has announced a partnership with LexisNexis Legal & Professional to bring WordRake professional editing software into the newly-released Lexis Draft Pro legal drafting and review software suite.

Scott Johns, chief operating officer of WordRake, said: “Designed by lawyer and writing expert Gary Kinder, WordRake provides helpful editing suggestions to give lawyers more confidence as they write and proofread briefs, memoranda, contracts, and emails.”

Product launches

The Conveyancing Association (CA) has launched its Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol, which seeks to provide CA member firms with practical information on how criminals operate and the measures they, and their staff, can take to avoid being victims of fraud and cyber-crime.

Firms will be asked to work towards a Cyber Safe Standard whereby they adopt, and adhere to, the Protocol and demonstrate they have been certified under the Cyber Essentials Scheme for IT security – or its equivalent.

“The CA is urging its member firms to follow the Protocol and achieve accreditation as soon as possible. By achieving this, and adopting the Cyber Safe Standard, it believes members can mitigate much of the risk that criminals using unsophisticated techniques present,” the CA said in a press release.

Thomson CompuMark has expanded its trademark searching and protection offering with the launch of TM go365.

The cloud-based solution incorporates a host of features to allow professionals to carry out quick and cost-effective clearance searches and mitigate risk for brands, without reverting to simple knock-out screening or web searches that force users to compromise on quality.

Anil Gupta, Thomson CompuMark said: “With the steady rise in trademark litigation costs, some brand owners can be unsure of the degree of risk they should take. This new solution is ideal for brand assets that require more than a screening search, such as secondary and seasonal brands and slogans, but may not typically be considered for a classic full availability search due to cost or time restrictions.”

EDRM, the standards organization for the e-discovery market, announced today the release of a downloadable PDF version of its EDRM Glossary, a comprehensive glossary of e-discovery terms.

At more than 330 pages, the download is the industry’s most comprehensive listing of electronic discovery terms. The glossary, in searchable PDF format, lists terms in alphabetical order with definitions and includes attributions where available.

“Experienced legal and e-discovery professionals have developed a fairly broad understanding of the processes and terms related to our craft,” says George Socha, EDRM co-founder, “but none of us knows it all, and the technologies and language surrounding e-discovery continue to advance. Our goal with the glossary is to provide a tool that will enhance e-discovery knowledge and understanding, and evolve with the industry.”

Wolters Kluwer’s U.S. legal & regulatory division has unveiled a new online tax law service out of its legal research platform Cheetah, which was launched in July 2015.

Cheetah for Tax Law, which is powered by Wolters Kluwer’s tax resources including CCH, Aspen Publishers, and Kluwer International products, combines content, expert analysis, practice tools, and current awareness for legal tax professionals. The new tax law capability follows the addition of securities law and intellectual property law to the Cheetah platform over the past year.

Ben Snipes, product line director for taxation at the information services giant, said: “Given the rapidly evolving business and tax environments, there’s increased pressure on the tax attorney to deliver deeper and more actionable insights on the impact of the changing tax laws, quickly.

“Cheetah for Tax Law is designed to enable tax attorneys to get to the information and insights they need immediately, thereby dramatically increasing their effectiveness and enabling them to deliver the highest value per hour to clients.”

The SDLT.co.uk team, who brought the first Stamp Duty Land Tax online return solution to the legal profession, can now reuse data entered in the SDLT return (often via its generic case management integration) for a variety of other legal eforms that are required in the process of residential and commercial conveyancing.

This new “dataflow” feature was asked for by a number of customers who also use SDLT.co.uk’s sister product FormEvo (a direct competitor to Laserforms or Oyez forms) and wanted to share information between the SDLT return and common Land Registry forms such as the AP1 and FR1.

Who’s in, who’s out?

U.S. legal consulting and solutions provider Morae Legal has made another senior hire to its executive team. Todd Tennell, who was previously vice president of operations at Huron Legal, will serve as chief financial officer and report directly to the company’s president & chief executive officer Shahzad Bashir. Tennell will be based at Morae Legal’s Houston headquarters.

Other recent hires for Morae, which launched in September 2015 and is backed by a group of U.S. investors, include Huron Legal’s former managing director Robert Haskin as managing director and Mori Kabiri from Kiersted Systems as senior director.

Tennell said: “Not only has Morae built a great reputation in just a few months, they are focused on true problem solving and results through innovation and flexibility.”