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'The Orange Rag'

Issue 332, May 2020

Welcome to the new look Orange Rag!

We are developing the layout and format of the Rag to make it more easily searchable and interactive.

We are trying out different looks, so let us know what you think! Shout out on social media @chillmedia or @legalitinsider #OrangeRag.

The new format gives you the ability to jump to different sections - please click on the three lines in the top left hand corner for your navigation.

For those of you who like the traditional PDF format, you can download one at the bottom of the issue.

This is your catch up of all the month’s news so let us know if there are any other changes you want to see.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

– Caroline Hill, Editor-in-Chief

Top stories in this issue

  • Kemp Little becomes first to select Oracle's new legal PMS
  • LawTech UK sandbox will "accelerate and embed" innovation
  • All the latest wins and deals and movers and shakers!
  • Platforms and product launches
  • New partnerships
  • All the latest legal IT news in brief
  • Fundraising deals in May
  • Click on the three lines in the top left hand corner for navigation through the issue.

    Kemp Little becomes first to select Oracle's new legal PMS

    Kemp Little has become the first law firm to sign up to Oracle’s new legal global practice management system, which was unveiled at the start of 2019, albeit the roll out is being delayed thanks to COVID-19.

    The system selection was led by chief digital officer and co-founder of Kemp Little Innovation (now called Kinnara), Gerard Frith, with close involvement of chief operating officer Siddhartha Mankad. Financial accountant Emma Neary is the project lead and the firm is working with Qubix Group as its systems integration (SI) partner. Qubix provides strategy, implementation, admin and maintenance services for Oracle.

    Frith joined Kemp Little in February 2019 and has been involved since then in the selection process. He told Legal IT Insider:

    We started this process a long time ago and there are lots of reasons for that. It’s Oracles' first deal and we needed to make sure we’re getting what we need.” He adds: “Probably one of the biggest bits was going through the SI selection process. We decided on Oracle in principle a while ago and several SI options were open to us."

    Kemp Little has been looking at a new practice management system for around two years and has looked at Fulcrum Global Technologies and Thomson Reuters Elite 3E in detail. Frith said: "What I did last year was bring them all together and run against that a detailed analysis of Oracle." He adds: “It look longer than expected but you don’t do the first legal system without kicking the tyres hard.”

    Frith says that a few things stood in Oracle’s favour but says:

    I wanted to put us in a position where we have a strategic advantage and can leverage a bunch of capabilities available outside of the legal sector. Some of the best professional services firms use Oracle. The fact that they are not law firms doesn’t make a difference. Oracle is in a position to provide the things that law must have. It has forecasting and enables new kinds of fee arrangements. It has powerful data analytics and matter management capability.

    Another attraction was the anticipated speed of implementation, which Frith initially said would take six months, however that has been extended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    Frith says that Oracle has added the legal billing functionality required including providing for counsel fees and interest on client accounts. He says: “It’s a big system and there is a lot of work to configure it to what we want,” but he adds: “We're open to changing our own processes in order to make for way for better best practice. We're not sweating the detail – it’s really easy to get into an argument over what fields are called but it’s not worth getting into that nonsense.

    There's no point in buying a top-quality system road tested by thousands of organisations if you’re going to butcher it.

    Kemp Little is a tech firm and its lawyers are more tech savvy than many if not most. But this is undoubtedly a bold move and will be closely watched by the market in terms of any disruption to billing – albeit COVID-19 will make that harder to monitor.

    Frith says that the ambition is to manage the business from top to bottom with data. He says:

    We want data to drive our decision making and every aspect of our work for clients. It’s about building a different kind of engagement with fee earners. There’s a huge link with knowledge management – the stuff that goes with it is not just about the implementation of a new PMS but digital transformation and new ways of thinking. We have lots of data in the PMS to understand how a matter is done.

    Oracle looked like a potential new entrant to the legal PMS market shortly after the turn of the century when it teamed up with Keystone Solutions in a winning pitch to Clifford Chance. The system, selected by Clifford Chance in 2002 and still in use at the magic circle giant today, integrates Keystone’s time and billing and client management applications with Oracle’s database and financial applications. However, Oracle didn't enter the legal ERP market as expected and its deal with Kemp Little will be regarded as a test case for the new system.


    The legal sector has widely welcomed a new initiative between Tech Nation, the Lawtech Delivery Panel and the Ministry of Justice, to support digital transformation, including the launch of a LawTech Sandbox. 

    LawTechUK, which has been facilitated by investment from the UK Government last year of £2million, will focus on increasing awareness and understanding of lawtech and fostering transformative innovation for the legal sector. 

    The initiative includes the LawTech Sandbox, an SME Dispute Resolution platform, an online hub and training centre, and guidance and tool kits. 

    The Sandbox is inspired by the FCA’s Regulatory Sandbox, which was set up in 2016 to support innovative UK financial services firms delivering in the interests of consumers. It has been widely attributed as playing a key role in the growth of the fintech sector.  

    With the COVID-19 crisis accelerating the need for change and digitisation of the legal industry, The Sandbox will bring together technologists, the legal and business community, and public bodies, to support more innovative legal technology coming to market.  

    It will be delivered in collaboration with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, Legal Services Board, Information Commissioner’s Office, the Ministry of Justice and others.  

    Whilst the pace of technology adoption in the legal sector has been slow to date, investment in UK lawtech tripled in the last two years, with starts ups and scale ups in UK lawtech now attracting a total of £290 million in investment and employing nearly 4,500 people.  

    Stuart Whittle, business services and innovation director at Weightmans told Legal IT Insider:

    As with comedy, timing is everything. In circumstances where within a matter of weeks, if not days, law firms have embraced ways of working that previously were entirely impossible and impractical, then there is a real opportunity to promote the take up of technology to support their people and processes.

    What’s interesting if not surprising is that innovation in technology is now being seen as a potential post COVID-19 saviour. Asked for her thoughts on the launch of LawTechUK Dana Denis-Smith, founder and CEO of Obelisk told Legal IT Insider:

    This is great news and certainly in this age of disruption, it’s a great reminder that tech can come to the rescue and really embed innovation.

    She adds: “As a female founder, obviously I hope that the community that takes part will be diverse – both in terms of supplier diversity (SMEs not just the usual Big firms) but also from a pure D&I perspective with gender/ BAME.” And says: “It shows that it was felt we needed a more coordinated effort to drive and embed innovation so it’s a great endorsement that more not less innovation is needed as we enter the second decade of deregulation in the UK legal market. For those of us advocating for change – from new delivery models, new ways of thinking about where and how people work and how to reimagine a profession that hasn’t really worked for everyone – consumers and professionals alike – it is certainly a great start for a wider conversation and an opportunity.” 

    This echoes comments made in a Law Society press release in which president Simon Davis said: 

    Innovation in technology is a key driver of productivity growth in the legal sector. The adoption of new technologies could boost the sector up from 1.3% per year to 2.7% per year – and every £1 spent on legal services supports nearly £1.50 in spending across the entire UK economy. This move will provide a huge boost to innovation by enabling start-ups and law firms to test propositions without falling into regulatory breach. 

    LawTech director Chris Grant said: 

    The Legal industry has struggled with the adoption of technology, and has been somewhat resistant to change. Recent events have brought about a shift, firms are having to try new approaches and think about how to do things differently but there are still hurdles to overcome. The introduction of the Lawtech Sandbox is a huge leap over one of these hurdles; along with new levels of collaboration across the ecosystem this gives an opportunity to turbo-charge the industry and bring about real change.

    New platforms 

    The new SME dispute resolution platform will offer an alternative, elective method to resolve late payments and address the £11.6bn paid in litigation fees and the £50bn in late payments currently arising each year. 

    Plans also include building the Lawtech Online Hub and Training Centre, an online environment with free digital courses on legal technology and open access data on the lawtech sector, and releasing a series of Lawtech toolkits addressing areas of legal uncertainty or challenges around new technologies, including on any matters arising in the Lawtech Sandbox. 

    Dr Anna Donovan, Vice Dean (Innovation) for the Faculty of Laws, University College London, said:

    Knowledge is at the core of what we do and fundamental to the collaboration, curiosity and confidence that is necessary to support the digital transformation of the market. Now, more than ever, it is critical that the whole sector has access to reliable and multi-disciplinary education and training. The Lawtech Online Hub and Training Centre will meet this need by offering a single-source of authoritative information, providing substantive and skills-based training that can be accessed remotely and for free by the whole sector.

    LawtechUK is also launching a search for a technical delivery partner for the Lawtech Sandbox. Interested parties can find more information here. Plans will be confirmed over the coming months, as the Lawtech Sandbox pilot is established.  

    Additionally, applications have opened giving the opportunity to join the Lawtech Delivery Panel, to support the work of LawtechUK. Of particular interest are technologists and leaders in the field of lawtech, passionate about advancing the legal sector through technology, for the benefit of all.  



    EMEA

    In a significant win for Linetime, leading Northern Ireland commercial practice Tughans Solicitors has signed up as a client of Liberate System following a detailed analysis of the market.

    Tughans is an iManage client and uses Intapp for time recording. In addition to the requirement that its new practice and case management system improves efficiency, for Tughans it was key that Linetime integrates with those core systems. Linetime’s approach to converting data from its legacy Axxia system secured the decision.

    Tughans’ contracts and technology partner Adrian O’Connell said: “We were impressed by Linetime’s approach to data migration, taking control of the whole conversion process from start to finish rather than putting the reliance on our team or a third party to prepare the data in advance. The fact that Linetime had also converted from the Axxia system many times previously also gave us additional confidence.”

    Linetime was acquired by PracticeEvolve in February but is continuing to operate under its own brand.

    Fondia, the Nordic region’s largest non-BAR business law firm, has purchased the complete suite of DocsCorp desktop applications. This includes compareDocs for document comparison, cleanDocs for metadata management, and pdfDocs for PDF editing and bundling. The firm will incorporate the applications into its SharePoint Online environment for more streamlined document review workflows.

    “We were experiencing issues with our previous applications’ SharePoint integration,” said Outi Kalska, Digital Services Expert at Fondia. “We looked at compareDocs as an alternative, and, when we learned DocsCorp offered several core legal applications, we saw adopting it as a way to streamline our technology stack while also ensuring a consistent user experience.” The firm is planning to deploy the suite to more than 100 lawyers across offices in Finland, Sweden, and the Baltics.

    Leading Civil rights and judicial law firm, DPG Solicitors, has also purchased pdfDocs from DocsCorp for creating, collating, editing and bundling PDF documents.

    Maples Teesdale, the UK’s leading commercial real estate specialist, property legal services provider, has chosen Ascertus Limited to help the firm implement document and email management system, iManage Cloud.

    During the current COVID-19 lockdown, Ascertus is starting to deliver this project to Maples Teesdale entirely remotely, without on-site visits or face-to-face meetings.

    “While presently, our IT infrastructure is a mix of on-premises and cloud solutions, we see cloud computing as our future,” Jon Berry, IT Manager, Maples Teesdale, said. “With remote and mobile working potentially becoming more commonplace in times to come, our investment in cloud technology will facilitate continuous improvement in the way we deliver service.”

    Berry added, “With iManage, we offer our users the best document management platform to assist them in delivering the best possible service to clients. Ascertus, as our implementation partner will ensure that the solution is tailored to the needs of our firm.”

    Respected Jersey based specialist family law practice Claire Davies has chosen electronic document bundling software from leading legal software innovator Zylpha.

    The move has proved extremely timely as the island’s Royal Court (Family division) is now actively encouraging the use of electronic legal document bundles for all hearings. Ideally suited to the Court’s demands, Zylpha is winning many friends and gaining huge interest amongst other local practices.

    Davies said: “The decision to go with Zylpha is part of a broader programme of adopting innovation aimed at driving client service levels. Despite exploring a number of different digital document management solutions, Zylpha was the only document bundling system that offered the robust service levels required here.”

    Boutique London practice, Allard Bailey Family Law, has chosen online Pay-As-You-Go bundling software from Zylpha. The new software frees staff from days spent preparing document bundles at photocopiers and allows them to work efficiently from home where appropriate. Based in Holborn, in the heart of London’s legal district and close to the Central Family Court, Allard Bailey uses modern technology to deliver a truly flexible service that meets the needs of clients whilst keeping costs down. Zylpha’s bundling fits this strategy well, especially now more courts are accepting electronic files.

    North America

    Dentons is now using Litera Transact (Doxly) to streamline their transaction management processes.

    Litera’s platform converts the manual process of closing complex transactions by enabling Dentons legal teams to manage, track, and review every step of the deal within a secure, collaborative workspace.

    According to a managing associate in Dentons’ real estate practice, Litera Transact made it easy to manage the complex financing and lending deals for one of the largest bank-based financial services companies in the U.S. Dentons reports that their real estate team has been able to reshape the closing process with Litera Transact, giving them and their clients a clear picture into the deals they are managing and saving them time.

    Avaneesh Marwaha, Litera CEO said, "Dentons is one of many top global law firms using our solutions to provide a simpler, more collaborative process for lawyers and their clients at every step of the deal. We’re seeing various practice groups use Litera Transact to provide a consistent, collaborative and repeatable experience for their client.  We continue to invest in broadening the reach and applicability of Litera Transact and this is a perfect example of the software’s flexibility.”

    Litera has also partnered with DocuSign to support law firms through their automated and paperless closing processes.

    Litera Transact’s (Doxly) integration with DocuSign allows legal teams to create and package documents in Litera Transact for execution through DocuSign eSignature, which allows signers to sign from practically anywhere. This is particularly important as it means no face-to-face contact, no paper, no couriers, no mailing, and no trips into the office for printers and scanners.

    Litera is continuing to offer a lite version of Litera Transact free for six months. This version allows lawyers to keep their clients’ deals on track by creating checklists, obtaining signatures digitally and assembling closing books.

    Haley Altman, General Manager of Transaction Management at Litera said, “We’ve worked with DocuSign for several years to create a seamless closing process. We are thrilled to continue to deepen this partnership as we look to serve the needs of law firms to complete critical transactions remotely.”

    Epona has announced that Culhane Meadows is in full production with Epona DMS Solutions – Matter Center, DMSforLegal and Office 365.

    The Dallas firm has been utilizing Epona solutions of the Epona Matter Center and DMSforLegal to make their recent investment into Microsoft’s platform-as-a-service with Microsoft 365 Business a seamless document and email management solution.  The Epona solution set went fully live in November of 2019, and the firm has been in full production for over six months.

    Heather Clauson Haughian, CTO and managing partner said: “Culhane Meadows was already using a cloud based DMS provider, but email management, and integration with Microsoft 365 Business was non-existent.  When I found Epona, I was delighted to see that we could now take full advantage of the platform we were already invested heavily in (Microsoft 365 Business) and expand our use of SharePoint, Outlook and Teams to include DMS integration with all of these applications, as well as email management directly from within Outlook. It also provided a great platform for our users who prefer to work in a more traditional network-shared environment, a matter based solution that integrates with OneDrive for Business – allowing all our users to work in the environment best suited for their needs while still maintaining security and integrity of our client documents.  We are very pleased that we were able to find a better way to both serve our clients’ needs in the most efficient manner while still allowing our attorneys autonomy over how they like to interact with our technology platforms.  Epona was there for us every step of the way, during this challenging time for everyone.”

    APAC

    Barry Nilsson has chosen legal business intelligence solution, BigHand Quantum, to underpin financial visibility and reporting excellence in the firm. Having dramatically expanded its national footprint in recent years to incorporate six offices, the Brisbane-headquartered firm was in need of a robust, accurate and easy-to-use financial reporting solution with real-time data analytics into key financial metrics including profitability.  

    After a period of sustained growth, it became apparent that the firm’s current financial reporting solution was not fit for purpose, with various challenges around accurate financial reporting, especially on profitability.  

    Andrew Price, chief operating officer at Barry Nilsson explains, “We changed our PMS provider recently and needed a way to surface the data for accurate financial reporting, and to help us make informed, data-driven business decisions. Having reliable, timely financial data is now vitally important, not only for the finance teams, but also for lawyers, and to better understand and engage with clients.”  

    “We chose to swap our current reporting tool for BigHand Quantum as we could see the time savings it would bring to our finance teams by reducing manual tasks. It was clear that the solution was an easy way to provide our lawyers with the key financial data they need. The winning factor was how quick the implementation process is, and that the solution is fully scalable for future growth of the firm.”

    Neota Logic, international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, and its taxation affiliate Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, have launched the JobKeeper Navigation Application, built in Neota’s no-code platform.

    The JobKeeper Navigation App helps businesses understand the new Australian JobKeeper payment scheme. It indicates whether the user’s business is eligible to receive any payments, and provides tailored suggestions as to next steps in claiming those payments.

    The Federal Government's A$130 billion JobKeeper payment is a scheme designed to support individuals and businesses affected by the significant impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this scheme, eligible entities will be reimbursed a fixed amount of A$1,500 per fortnight (before tax), for each eligible employee, for up to six months.

    Susanna Kipping, head of legal operations, process & automation at Herbert Smith Freehills, commented: “We recognise that it’s a challenging time for businesses and we are working hard to find new ways to look after their interests.”

    And last but not least, albeit not a legal IT deal, let’s give a mention to legal and consulting firm MinterEllison, which in May closed Australia’s largest property deal of 2019 over a telephone call. The $2bn real estate deal was between Urbanest and Scape Australia.

    Wissam Abwi, M&A partner at MinterEllison, and co-lead on the deal said: “Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 in the closing weeks of the deal, the acquisition of Urbanest’s large student accommodation portfolio successfully closed last Friday.”

    The deal completion was run electronically over a call, which is highly unusual for a deal of this size.

    Leah Wright, property partner at MinterEllison and co-lead on the transaction, praised her team for adapting quickly to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions: “As the deal came to a close, there were logistical challenges involved in preparing documents for signing while in lockdown. All parties had to be accommodating under the circumstances, including a reliance on confirmations and undertakings.”

    EMEA

    Luminance’s CEO Emily Foges is joining Deloitte Legal to head its growing legal managed services business. Her hire follows the recent arrival of former TalkTalk Technology general counsel and Riverview Law head of managed services and projects, Sonia Williamson, who joined in March as a director to build Deloitte Legal’s contract management capability. Foges will be replaced at Luminance by acting CEO Jason Brennan, who joined last June from Epiq as president of the Americas.

    Foges is joining the Deloitte Legal team to expand its existing LMS capabilities. It currently offers a range of services across all stages of the contract lifecycle, from negotiation and data extraction to scale remediation. As one of the Big Four advisers, Deloitte’s strategy is to provide a multi-disciplinary offering for clients that are seeking tax, financial, risk and cyber security advice.

    Michael Castle, managing partner for Deloitte Legal in the UK & North South Europe commented: “Emily is a proven leader and business builder with more than 20 years’ experience developing and growing technology-led businesses for well-known brands. Emily has a wealth of knowledge about how to transform the ways in which lawyers work and the ways in which legal services are delivered. This combination of experience and knowledge will be instrumental as we take our Legal Managed Services offering to the next level. Her desire to create new services that the market has never seen before goes hand-in-hand with Deloitte Legal’s ambition to provide clients with new solutions to legal problems.

    Insurance risk and commercial law firm BLM has appointed Chris Jekiel as IT Director. Previously Director of IT at Horwich Farrelly, Jekiel has over 20 years’ experience in IT general management, having worked within legal, financial, banking and global corporate firms. He was recognised within the 2019 CIO 100 as one of the most transformational and disruptive CIOs in the UK.

    His appointment follows a period of sustained investment in BLM’s technology offering, particularly the development of BLM Innovations, which the firm announced in July 2019. 

    Jekiel will oversee the firm’s investment and growth of its analytics offering, which is now led by the firm’s new head of analytics, David Elliott, who assumed the role this month. David joined the firm in 2017 as a data scientist.

    Matthew Harrington, senior partner at BLM, said: “The legal sector has been undergoing rapid digitalisation in recent years, even prior to the circumstances we currently face. We have embraced these changes having introduced technology to assist case management and streamline processes in and outside the court system. The appointments of Chris and David have come at a great time of opportunity for the firm; their experience will be invaluable, with IT operations and innovation, now more than ever, vital to ensuring the smooth continuation of our services.”

    Jekiel commented: “It is a good time to be joining BLM at a time of monumental change in not only the legal sector, but for business as we currently know it. There’s a great team already in place at the firm, and I very much look forward to working with them on implementing a number of new strategies and strengthening our existing offering."

    Edward Wilson has been appointed as CEO of digital operations platform Autologyx. He takes over from founder and now chief technology officer Ben Stoneham.

    Wilson has for the last two years been an independent legal consultant focused on management consultancy to corporates and legal tech startups. Prior to that he was a director at Elevate Services.

    Autologyx provides the no-code platform to automate processes or workflow, integrating with almost any native database, CRM, ERP, payroll or analytics platform. It is a core part of the tech stack for Eversheds Sutherlands’ managed service offering Konexo and underpins its MLS arrangement with T-Mobile. Speaking recently to Legal IT Insider, head of Konexo, Graham Richardson said: “We’ve seen a lot of solutions and Autologyx is really interesting. It’s truly taking that platform approach and has a really good API set that allows you to integrate with other systems.”

    CTS, the cloud provider to the legal sector, has appointed Ed Smyth to its board of directors as the company’s chief operating officer and chief finance officer.

    After training as a chartered accountant with PwC, Smyth spent twenty years in key roles within senior management teams of high quality, high growth, highly regulated entrepreneur led/private equity backed businesses. He joined CTS in 2020 after helping lead a second successful shareholder transition with KKR backed LGC Science Group.

    Nigel Wright, CEO of CTS, says, “Firms are facing unprecedented challenges and business models will undoubtedly change. We feel we are uniquely positioned to help firms transition to maximise the benefits of agile working and Ed will take a central role in helping our clients maximise these new world opportunities.”

    Quill has grown its headcount by three employees in the past month. In March, Quill welcomed Harry McHarry (Product Development Director), Pete Richards (Development Team Manager) and Robert Graham (Lead UI Developer) into its development team, primarily based in Brighton.

    The new recruits are instrumental in its long-term commitment to software development. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Quill says it is dedicated to keeping the momentum going by continually enhancing its software and service portfolio.

    Supplementary to these appointments, Quill has promoted Kim Whitley from Legal Cashier to Client Account Manager within its sales team.

    Julian Bryan, managing director, said: “Whilst recognising the challenges faced by every business during the coronavirus pandemic, at Quill we’re doing our utmost to maintain business as usual wherever possible. Of course, our entire staff is now remote working and we’ve introduced steps to safeguard their health and wellbeing, but one thing remains constant and that’s our absolute focus on clients’ needs.”

    BusyLamp, the legal operations software provider that helps in-house legal departments reduce their legal costs and operate more efficiently, has announced six new hires to its customer success and sales teams.

    Daniel Lafrentz has been appointed as sales director, while seasoned sales professionals Marcus Voss and Andreas Pichlkostner join his team as senior sales managers, having both previously worked in sales at Thomson Reuters Legal. They join Noel Lembke, sales manager, and Nadine Pauers, sales development manager, who started in April 2020. Lembke comes from Axiom and brings extensive expertise in sales, business development and client management from multiple industries around the world. Pauers has many years of experience in sales and operations management, including four years with an international bank.

    Lafrentz also joins from Axiom, bringing outstanding expertise to BusyLamp, with many years of management experience in sales, as well as in product management and marketing at Deutsche Telekom, among others.

    Lia Christmann is the newly appointed customer success & communication manager. Having gathered extensive expertise in legal spend management administration at Lufthansa, she was most recently communications executive with an international law firm.

    Dr Michael Tal, co-founder and joint CEO of BusyLamp commented, “Despite this difficult time, we are preparing to be as strong as possible coming out the other side. These appointments reflect the investment we are making to strengthen our teams and the support we provide to our clients and the wider legal community. We believe that legal digitalisation and SaaS systems like ours will be increasingly important in the new ways of doing business, and it is a real pleasure to welcome such experienced talent to the BusyLamp team.”

    Zylpha has appointed Ryan Thomas as its Senior .Net developer. Ryan joins from information services company Open GI where has was a senior software developer, working on predominantly insurance client websites.

    In his new role, he will spearhead the company’s significant investment in .Net technology.

    Thomas will be working on the company’s electronic document bundling platform. The product has seen what Zylpha describes as “unparalleled levels of demand” in recent times and the bundling team is looking to drive innovation and product enhancements throughout 2020.

    North America

    Eigen Technologies, a global provider of natural language processing (NLP) technology, has appointed David Brooks as its first chief customer officer.

    Brooks joins Eigen from Symphony AyasdiAI, where he was global vice president of customer success. He brings with him over 30 years’ experience working in financial services at companies such as Capgemini and Merrill Lynch. He also has considerable experience managing the professional services arms of solutions providers, including stints at NICE Actimize, Fortent, and Oracle Mantas. Brooks will sit in Eigen’s New York office, maintaining the company’s transatlantic leadership structure.

    Dr Lewis Liu, co-founder & CEO of Eigen Technologies said: “Customer success is a critical function for any business like ours that sells cutting-edge machine learning technology to sophisticated enterprise buyers. Serving our clients is central to everything we do at Eigen, so I am delighted to welcome David to the Eigen family. His 30 years of experience will be invaluable to us as we continue to build a best-in-class team that will deliver for our clients. The ongoing COVID crisis means it is more important than ever that we are there for our clients and I’m looking forward to working with David to ensure that is always the case.”

    Foundation Software Group has hired law firm knowledge management and marketing technology veteran Kate Cain as director of innovation and design. Cain joins from Sidley Austin, where she was director of practice information and marketing technology. The announcement comes on the heels of the arrival of VP of business development, Hans Haglund, who was previously chief commercial officer at Eversheds Sutherland.

    A recipient of the Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award and the ILTA Distinguished Peer Leadership Award, Cain served six years on the ILTA Board of Directors and is a frequent speaker and writer for ILTA, Legal Marketing Association, ARK, and others.

    “Having worked with Kate in both law firm and volunteer settings, I know that she will add tremendous value to the Foundation team,” said Joy Heath Rush, Chief Executive Officer of ILTA and former Sidley colleague. “Along with her dedication to our law firm community, she brings a deep understanding of what firms need from a process and technology perspective, as well as the ability to translate that understanding into solutions that move the needle for her constituents.”

    Cain said: “From the very start, it was clear to me that the Foundation team understood the complexities of law firms and their data and how to leverage that data across the entire client life cycle. I am excited to apply what I have learned from practicing lawyers, firm leaders, and business professionals to Foundation’s 360° approach to clients and matters and, ultimately, to contribute to the success of our customers.”

    Women in eDiscovery, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization that brings together women interested in technology related to the legal profession, announced at the start of May the expansion of its leadership team with the addition of Amy Juers as international director of new chapters and Laura Danielson and Lisa Waldin as co-directors of new chapters, North America.

    The directors of new chapters, North America and international, are responsible for the development and management of new chapter requirements and standardizing the process across the WiE organization.

    Amy Juers is the founder and CEO of Edge Legal Marketing. With knowledge built on 23 years of legal marketing experience and global practice, she offers a consultative voice that drives her team and clients to the next level. Juers launched the Minneapolis–St. Paul chapter of Women in eDiscovery in 2007 and since then has served as a national and executive board member. She was also instrumental in the development of WiE’s 2019 inaugural conference. Juers volunteers on the ILTA’s Partner Advisory Council and EDRM’s Global Advisory Council.

    Laura Danielson is NightOwl Global’s director of client services and brings over two decades of experience to the eDiscovery/data management technology arena. She has substantial experience working in all areas of litigation, specializing in consulting, best practices in litigation technology and workflows, project management and trial advocacy for corporations and law firms. Danielson’s certifications include a PMP and CRM. She has been a WiE member since 2007 and helped launch the Minneapolis–St. Paul chapter. In addition to being chapter director, she also served as central regional director and chaired the marketing committee for the WiE 2019 and 2020 conferences.

    And with 23 years of experience in the eDiscovery industry, Lisa Waldin is the director of eDiscovery with Ryley Carlock & Applewhite’s eDiscovery and managed review practice in Phoenix where she consults with clients, coordinates legal projects and oversees all aspects of review projects. Waldin is a Catalyst Insight Certified Administrator. As an active member of Women in eDiscovery since 2016, Waldin has served as WiE’s Phoenix chapter director since February 2018. Waldin was a 2019 finalist for Relativity Fest’s Stellar Women in eDiscovery.



    Among the success stories of law firms that have adapted to remote working, one of the biggest ongoing problems is billing, and the absence in many cases of an online, paperless process.

    Firms are continuing in many cases to send staff into the office because they are unable to bill remotely.

    Today at 4pm BST Legal IT Insider will speak to Shishir Shetty, vice president of technology services at Wilson Allen, and Nick Hodgson, finance director at Bevan Brittan - a client of Wilson Allen's Proforma Tracker - about the challenges that law firms are facing; managing year end; and what firms can do now, given that the recovery from COVID-19 is expected to be a long and bumpy road.

    Sign up here


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    #TalkingTech - Maintaining security and compliance in a remote working world

    UK businesses spend £1.59m and 14 years annually on DSARs

    An independent survey amongst 100 Data Protection Officers (DPOs) has exposed the significant burden placed on UK businesses of complying with Article 15 of the GDPR. The research, commissioned by British data privacy experts Guardum, revealed in May that UK businesses are spending £1.59 millioni  and 14 person years annually on completing Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs), which requires data controllers to provide data subjects with a copy of their personal data within 30 days, or risk a fine of €20 million or 4% of turnover from the ICO.

    The independent research, conducted by Sapio Research among 100 DPOs from companies with 250 or more employees between 29th April and 5th May 2020, also highlights the challenges of maintaining compliance during lockdown. Seventy-five percent of DPOs polled admit struggling to meet data compliance obligations while working remotely and 30% fear they will be overwhelmed by a post-pandemic DSAR storm fuelled by requests from furloughed or sacked employees. Three in five DPOs are fearful that they will not have the resources to deal with an uptick in requests following the return to work. 

    Rob Westmacott, co-founder of Guardum said: “This research graphically illustrates the huge burden that data privacy professionals are shouldering to maintain data compliance. The Covid-19 pandemic has tipped an already dire situation into a potential melting pot of requests, with fears that the return to work and the ensuing post-mortem by furloughed and sacked workers will overwhelm data compliance teams.”

    Settlement reached in first ever English Technology and Construction Court Zoom trial

    The first ever entirely remote Technology and Construction Court trial in English legal history has reached a conclusion, having been conducted across video-conferencing platform Zoom.

    The settlement resulted in liability for Barnet Council of over £3m following the repeated flooding of a family home. The case was brought by the construction law specialist Barton Legal, alongside Peters & Peters and two members of 39 Essex Chambers. Having taken four years to reach trial, the Honourable Mrs Justice Jefford, DBE, rejected the defendant’s application to adjourn the case, in favour of Zoom.

    With evidence supplied to the court virtually, and with Paul Darling OBE QC’s cross examination conducted by video, the cyber-secure video stream was open for public viewing, with up to 40 people, including journalists and members of the public, watching at a time – an unusually high number for a case of this kind.

    Where Skype for Business has previously been used, this is not only the first time a complex construction case has been conducted entirely remotely, but is also amongst the first where Zoom has been used for a trial of this nature.

    Bill Barton, Director of Barton Legal, commented:

    The significance of the case is huge. Technology is powering what could be one of the biggest shifts in English courtroom history. This is about more than how the trial was conducted: empowering people around the world to view cyber-secure, open trials, cuts to the very core of the principle that justice should be seen to be done. The law is amongst the world’s oldest professions; of course it is time it embraced change.
    Every aspect of the case went off without a hitch. Screen sharing allowed evidence to be viewed easily; the defendant saw its main witness repeatedly challenged over video; and even the intimacy of the traditional courtroom remained. Hopefully, even after the lockdown is lifted, we return to a new, digital normal.

    Paul Darling OBE QC, Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, commented:

    Amongst the principal concerns when it comes to remote trials is the loss of visual cues. Any barrister will tell you that body language is invaluable in cross examination. What the trial has proved beyond reasonable doubt, however, is that none of the intimacy of the physical courtroom is in fact lost with a remote trial. Rather, video sharing can in fact heighten our ability to dissect testimony, whilst opening up proceedings to the public



    Workers need more support at home

    A survey of British working habits since the coronavirus lockdown began has found that more than three quarters (77%) of workers in the legal profession believe the lockdown has proven they can work effectively from home but over half say their company ought to be doing more to help.

    In the survey by Atlas Cloud, 56% of respondents said they believe their company should be doing more to help them work productively from home. The study looked into the working habits of more than 3,000 office workers of which just over 100 were legal sector workers.

    More than a sixth of legal workers (17%) are using a personal laptop for homeworking and almost two thirds of those (63%) are storing work files on their personal device, raising concerns about the security of business information.

    Atlas Cloud says that the legal sector is now facing a “trilemma” of homeworking problems – a global shortage of laptops; poor home broadband connection; and cyber security issues.

    Legal mental health charity releases latest COVID data

    Legal mental health charity LawCare has released data on all COVID-19 related contacts it has received to date for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May).  Forty-eight legal professionals have contacted the charity with issues related to COVID-19 since 10th March, making up over a third (37%) of all contacts to their support service.

    The top three issues concerning legal professionals are not being permitted to work from home, financial issues due to furlough/pay cuts or lack of work, and worsening of existing mental health conditions. Other problems have included relationship strain, childcare issues and being asked to work whilst on furlough.

    Chief Executive Elizabeth Rimmer said:

    We feel this is very much the tip of the iceberg and anticipate in the coming weeks more and more legal professionals will contact us as the emotional and financial impact of the pandemic begins to really hit home. We would like to remind all legal professionals, including support staff, they can contact us for free, in confidence, to discuss anything that is bothering them. Talkingthrough your problems with one of our trained staff and volunteers, who have all worked in the law themselves, can really help.

    In response to the pandemic LawCare has developed a COVID-19 hub full of information and resources at www.lawcare.org.uk, where you can also access emotional support via email, webchat and LawCare’s peer support service. The helpline number is 0800 279 6888 (1800 991 801 in Ireland).


    Lupl launches

    You may have read our coverage to date but if not you need to know that a platform claiming to be the first open industry platform for lawyers has launched and it’s all anyone is talking about right now.

    Lupl calls itself matter synchronisation software and is the result of collaboration among a group of leading law firms and corporations, the platform pulls together all modes of communication in one place, be it Slack or Zoom or email, or Google docs, or document management, the proliferation of which is a growing headache in terms of efficiency and governance.

    It is being incubated through its development by a trio of international law firms, CMS, Cooley and Rajah & Tann Asia, working with input from an advisory board of 16 leading in-house lawyers from blue chip multinationals through to the world’s fastest growing tech companies. The wider law firm testing group includes Slaughter and May, Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Australia, Khaitan & Co in India and One Essex Court, a leading barristers’ chambers in London.

    An open approach means any legal department and law firm will be able to use Lupl, and any technology provider will be able to integrate with it via open APIs.

    Matt Pollins, chief commercial officer of Lupl, added:“When we began work on Lupl, our goal was to give lawyers real-time, 360 visibility across their matters, whether they’re at their desk, at home, or on the go. We knew the demand for a tool like this was coming because of the shift towards distributed teams and mobile working but the crisis has accelerated that shift far quicker than we could ever have imagined.”

    Caselines announces patent application for redaction tool

    CaseLines has filed a patent application for a tool that enables differential redaction by sub-bundle for the legal industry. The redaction tool is included within the CaseLines cloud-based collaborative case document and multimedia management system.

    This feature means that specified redaction categories can be applied to different sub-bundles within a case, depending on who is invited to read those sub-bundles. The redaction capabilities can be applied in two ways: single click-and-drag redactions; and automatic redaction of specified information made through document searches. This includes redacting anything that matches specified keywords, pages, patterns and fuzzy searches – such as phone numbers and social security numbers. Once these redaction rules are applied to sub-bundles, they are automatically applied to new documents uploaded to the sub-bundles.

    “I truly believe this tool will change the lives of lawyers and paralegals. The tool delivers immense efficiency gains and a huge reduction in time-consuming legal administrative work. The complex issue of differential redaction is one we have been hearing about from the legal fraternity for some time. This patent application shows that CaseLines is unique in being able to deliver redaction in this flexible, productive and progressive way,” explains Paul Sachs, CTO and founder of CaseLines.

    Wilson Allen launches CRM Toolkit

    Wilson Allen has launched a CRM Toolkit, designed to help professional service firms manage data more effectively by automating data segmentation and data quality tasks.

    “One of the challenges firms face is increased pressure on data management resources; firms need to raise the bar in terms of advanced data strategies but with fewer resources,” says Michael Warren, VP, CRM Practice at Wilson Allen. “Our CRM Toolkit provides firms with the ability to automate many data management functions, which can reduce data stewarding costs and free marketing and business development professionals to focus on providing more value-added and proactive support for the firm’s business strategy. It also enables firms to deploy more effective sales and marketing activities by being able to target contacts more accurately.”

    In addition to automating core data quality and validation tasks, the CRM Toolkit’s data segmentation tools make it easier for firms to ensure their marketing lists comply with email marketing whitelist rules and various data privacy obligations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    iManage launches IRM 10.1

    iManage has announced the immediate availability of iManage Records Manager (IRM) 10.1, the newest version of its information governance and records management product.

    Central to the IRM update is a highly configurable dashboard that provides a ‘single pane of glass’ oversight into records operations, empowering users in varying roles to create customised views of key metrics critical to their functions.

    Role-specific dashboards can be finely tuned for users’ needs. This eliminates having to search across different repositories or run disparate reports for information integral to maintaining digital and paper records. Metrics charts allow for click-through, ensuring that the detail behind charts can be inspected and action taken where needed.

    “There’s a lot of excitement around the IRM dashboard,” said Jim Merrifield, director of information governance and business intake at Robinson & Cole. “Upgrading to the latest version will be a real game changer for traditional Records Managers. Immediate, at-a-glance data access across office locations will allow my team to make timely decisions based on key metrics, without needing an IT background to run queries and generate reports. The insight we gain will also be a key factor in informing decisions about where to place resources.”

    Eclipse launches Proclaim Go

    Eclipse Legal Systems has announced the launch of Proclaim Go - a mobile and tablet friendly application powered by Proclaim.

    Proclaim Go is designed especially for fee earners who are often travelling or in client meetings, with a need to access accurate live information on their cases. With Proclaim Go, users can record meetings and update information, such as logging phone calls, creating memos, recording time and viewing future tasks – all on the go.

    The new secure environment with optional two-factor authentication increases the accessibility of the Proclaim case management solution. As well as access via traditional desktop or cloud channels, fee earners can now access case history details (including documents and previous correspondence) while away from their PC or laptop. All they need is an internet connection, and login details to their own personal Proclaim Go application.

    Darren Gower, sales & marketing director at Eclipse, said: “Our latest innovation gives users of the Proclaim case management solution the extra flexibility they need to continue providing an exceptional service away from a traditional desktop or cloud environment. Fee earners can stay up to speed with the latest live information whenever and wherever they take their smartphone, making it even easier to adopt more flexible ways of working."

    CloudNine launches Data Wrangler

    eDiscovery technology company CloudNine has launched CloudNine Data Wrangler, a new software solution to inventory and prioritize collected data for enhanced processing decisions and throughput.

    Data Wrangler is a small footprint, on-premise application revealing detailed, actionable insight on PSTs, forensic images, directories, filetypes and data sizes. The software promises to shorten project delivery time by reducing and prioritizing data transferred to processing engines and review platforms.

    To prevent workflow interruption and expedite processing, Data Wrangler will quickly detect and automate the repair of corrupt containers, split large PSTs into smaller, manageable sizes and create new PSTs without Microsoft® Outlook dependencies.

    CloudNine customer, Robert Conley, VP Forensics and Strategic Operations with Rational Enterprise said, “The Rational eDiscovery team has had the privilege of previewing the Data Wrangler application and we look forward to using it to enhance our service. With a fast and complete inventory of collected data, we will be able to quickly promote the most time sensitive mailboxes and folders to processing and review. We have already identified a set of projects and clients who will benefit by adding Data Wrangler to the Rational eDiscovery workflow.”

    Relativity announces two new datacentres

    Relativity announced at Relativity Fest London that it is opening two new datacentres in Europe in Q3 2020 as it invests in expanding RelativityOne and Relativity Trace in EMEA.

    The new datacentres in Germany and Switzerland bring Relativity up to a total of 10 datacentres across nine countries. 

    “EMEA is currently Relativity’s fastest growing region at scale and we are making significant investments across the business to ensure all of our global customers have the resources they need,” said Mike Gamson, Chief Executive Officer at Relativity. “Opening these new datacentres and making investments in security, operations, and product development—like Aero UI—reinforces our commitment to expanding globally and that we truly value our EMEA customers and partners.” 

    Tikit partners with viu

    Tikit has announces a new partnership with client engagement platform provider, viu, to offer improved client relations to law and accountancy firms.

    viu facilitates client engagement by capturing client sentiment through feedback at key points of interaction, specifically focusing on what the client wants to say, rather than what the firm wants to hear. Feedback is delivered directly to those most involved in the transaction to allow action to be taken by those most appropriate to do so. During the process metrics are calculated and stored giving insight into variations in client experience delivered by different areas of the firm and allowing the client journey to be fully understood.

    Now more than ever, a firm’s relationship with its clients’ needs to be strengthened and developed. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ask the client about their experience and, if there were negative aspects to it, deal with it in a way that enhances the relationship. viu targets this issue precisely and automatically. 

    Tikit have used the viu platform since 2014 to engage with clients based on feedback through our support system. Last year, viu usage was extended to include Tikit’s professional services teams.

    Simon Elven, Commercial and Marketing Director at Tikit states, “The viu platform will form a key component of our Marketing and BD ecosystem. It gives firms the ability to better understand their client’s experience and to identify those clients who are risk of going elsewhere as well as those who are likely referrers or case studies. More importantly though, it provides individuals within firm the ability to further develop their relationship through a proactive response to feedback. We think this is a must have ability for firms of all sizes.”

    Mario Dolcezza, CEO of viu commented “I’m absolutely delighted that after many years of R&D working towards this point that we’re able to formally announce our partnership. We have a great working relationship with Tikit underpinned by their forward thinking and innovative approach, the benefits of which we are excited to share with the legal community to see how positively this will impact their client relationships”. 

    NetDocuments joins Onit’s Strategic Alliance Program

    NetDocuments has joined Onit's strategic alliance programme. The integration allows for automated creation of a NetDocuments workspace, storage and access of relevant documents directly within the Onit matter record.

    Equally, Onit is an existing partner within the NetDocuments partner ecosystem resulting in a collaborative working relationship focused on delivering customer solutions meeting the highest usability, compliance and security standards.

    “I was excited to learn that NetDocuments would be partnering with us through our strategic alliances program,” said Onit’s CEO Eric M. Elfman. “I’ve gotten to know their team and have to say that their track record is impressive. With a 98.5% customer retention rate, managing over 10 billion files daily, and an uptime of 99.9%, these are statistics a lot of companies can only dream of. This sort of strategic alignment doesn’t come along every day, and I envision that this partnership will further strengthen the Alliance Program while at the same time create considerable value for both our companies.”

    Matters.Cloud partners with FreeAgent

    Matters.Cloud, a provider of cloud-based practice management software to the legal industry, in May announced a new integration partnership with FreeAgent to provide small and mid size law firms with cloud based accounting and matter management.

    Matters.Cloud enables legal professionals to track time and expenses, manage clients and matters, raise invoices, develop opportunities and keep up to date with tasks all within a single cloud based platform.

    Details of clients, matters, invoices, credit notes, receipts and write offs will automatically synchronise with FreeAgent’s online accounting software.

    This approach allows small and mid sized law firms to take advantage of FreeAgent’s cloud based accounting capabilities including integration with online banking platforms, payroll, VAT and corporation tax.

    “FreeAgent is great for small to mid sized law firms, simplifying the accounting process by providing access to an award winning cloud based solution”, said Donna Flanagan, Customer Experience Manager at Matters.Cloud.

    Neota Logic forms APAC client advisory board

    Neota Logic announced on 18 May a new APAC client advisory board comprising of leaders from across the Asia Pacific region.

    Last year, Neota Logic announced the launch of their North American Client Advisory Board & EMEA Client Advisory Board (CAB) with the aim of putting their clients at the heart of their product design thinking.

    They have now launched their APAC Client Advisory Board comprising of:

  • Susanna Kipping, Head of Legal Operations, Process & Automation at Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Michelle Mahoney, Executive Director, Innovation at King & Wood Mallesons
  • Sheldon Renkema, General Manager – Legal (Corporate) at Wesfarmers
  • The newly announced advisory board brings together a multi-disciplinary group of respected industry experts who will provide advice and support to help drive forward Neota’s ambitious growth plans.

    The board will meet in person quarterly to provide in-depth feedback on the development of Neota’s products and services, the overall customer experience and strategic market opportunities.

    Kim Massana, CEO at Neota Logic said: “The knowledge and experience these industry leaders bring will ensure that we have a thorough understanding of the requirements of our customers so that we can provide the technology that best supports them.   We are also looking forward to further announcements, thereby adding greater diversity to inform our strategic direction.”


    While many big law firm AI projects have been put on hold, a raft of funding round announcements this week go to show that private equity money is flowing for the right investments. This is where they think you will be spending your cash.

    SirionLabs Raises $44M Series C for CLM Platform

    AI-powered contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform SirionLabs has raised a $44M Series C Round led by Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital. The round brings SirionLabs’ total capital raised to $66M to date, with earlier rounds led by Sequoia Capital India.

    With this funding round, SirionLabs says it will continue to strengthen its leadership in the CLM category: with 4x customer growth in the past 18 months; doubling its revenue YOY for the past 3 years; being recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s 2020 CLM Magic Quadrant and the top-ranked CLM in Spend Matters’ SolutionMap six times in a row.

    The company also announced the launch of its new Seattle-based Technology Center and the growth of its leadership team with the appointment of Amol Joshi as Chief Revenue Officer, Anu Engineer as Chief Technology Officer, Mahesh Unnikrishnan as Chief Product Officer and Vijay Khera as Chief Customer Officer.

    The Sirion Network hosts contracts in over 40 languages for more than 200 of the world’s largest companies including Vodafone, Unilever, BP, EY, Fujitsu, Credit Suisse and Abbvie.

    “SirionCLM’s permissioned ledger architecture does away with analog contracting processes which are adversarial in nature and instead creates a level playing field that gives all companies, whether buyers or sellers, an opportunity to collaborate and leverage a single-source of truth in realizing the business outcomes embedded in contracts,” said Ajay Agrawal, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of SirionLabs. “I am delighted to welcome Tiger Global and Avatar Growth Capital as our latest investors. It is a strong vote of confidence in our vision to revolutionize contracting.”

    “Complex services represent a multi-trillion global market but contracting and governance continue to be cumbersome manual processes. SirionLabs has spent several years in developing proprietary AI-enabled performance and invoice reconciliation capabilities to address these inefficiencies head-on,” said Vishal Bakshi, Founder and Managing Partner at Avatar Growth Capital. “Pioneering a two-sided, international marketplace creates benefits for both enterprise clients and service providers, and with it the potential for SirionLabs to capture massive network effects as the platform continues to scale. It’s exciting to support Ajay and his team on this journey.”

    LawGeex closes $20m funding round

    LawGeex this week closed a $20 million round of financing. LawGeex is a pioneer in automating the review of contracts to accelerate deal closure.

    Corner Ventures, a Palo Alto, CA based venture capital fund focused on investments in leading growth stage technology companies led the round, with participation from La Maison and the continued support of existing investors Aleph, lool Ventures and former Thomson Reuters CEO, Tom Glocer.

    “We saw in LawGeex a rare opportunity to invest in a company with an exceptional customer roster at the cusp of stellar growth,” said Marvin Tien, Managing Director at Corner Ventures. “LawGeex is seeing high demand for its solution and even further acceleration due to the flexibility, cost efficiencies, and safety-net afforded by digital automation during this challenging time.”

    “Contract Review Automation is fundamentally changing how we work, helping us be more impactful,” said Cory Sumsion, Director, Commercial Counsel at eBay.

    LawGeex tripled its growth in the last year and counts over forty Global 2000 companies as customers, including HP and GE, as well as leading law firms such as White & Case. Many Fortune 500 companies, including three of the top five insurance companies, have standardized on LawGeex for pre-signature contract review.

    This round of funding will be used to support the strong demand for the LawGeex solution by increasing its customer success team. In addition, LawGeex plans to grow its product offering via additional use cases, accelerate growth in various markets by widening the company’s sales footprint, and identify potential partnership opportunities.

    LawGeex has now raised a total of $45 million in funding, making it one of the most well-funded Legal AI companies in the world.

    Qorus raises $5m led by WestRiver

    Qorus, one of the world’s premier sales enablement and proposal management platforms for remotely based proposal management teams recently announced it has completed a $5 million round of financing led by WestRiver Group as it increases its focus on the legal industry.

    In the technology sector, more than 4,000 users within the Microsoft Partner Network leverage Qorus to accelerate sales efforts. In addition to technology, another growth market is Legal, with Qorus delivering its Qorus Content Hub sales enablement platform to 10 of the 2019 Am Law 100 firms including Alston & Bird, Baker McKenzie, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, Littler and Seyfarth Shaw.

    “Having the financial support and expertise of WestRiver Group accelerates the execution of our legal market strategy,” said Qorus Chief Executive Officer Ray Meiring. “By adding industry expertise to our legal team and aggressively pursuing legal technology partnerships uniquely focused on benefiting our impressive Am Law client base, we can insure long term viability.”

    According to a Marketing Technology Mini White Paper published by ILTA in 2019, 60+ percent of member law firms surveyed on their use of marketing technology do not currently use a proposal automation system.

    Malbek closes $3m funding round

    And it’s another CLM funding round story as Malbek, a cloud-based provider of contract lifecycle management (CLM) software, announced this week that it has closed $3 million in funding led by Philadelphia-area venture capital firm, Osage Venture Partners. The company claims that a staggering 85 percent of enterprises lack an effective contract lifecycle management solution. And says that for the typical organization, contract management pitfalls, like missed contract milestones, erode 9.2 percent of revenue annually.

    “The Malbek solution solves the real-world contract management problems of organizations of all sizes,” says Nate Lentz, Managing Partner at Osage Venture Partners. “One of the things that attracted us to them was how the Malbek team has evolved the company in such a short time through amazing partnerships and strong customer relationships.”

    “It’s a true honor to be part of the Osage Venture Partners family,” says Hemanth Puttaswamy, Co-founder and CEO of Malbek. “The emphasis they place on collaborative company culture resonated profoundly with us. We have been a very disciplined team, innovating at a breakneck pace and signing numerous customers in the last few months alone. This capital will help us accelerate to the next level of growth.”

    With the additional capital Malbek plans to continue to invest in product innovation, including AI and advanced technologies; grow sales and marketing to reach an even larger market; and invest in the customer experience team to meet the growing needs of its customer base.

    LexCheck raises $3m in seed funding

    LexCheck, an artificial intelligence (AI) contracting platform based in New York City, has completed a $3 million Series Seed round of financing. Bootstrapped since its founding in 2015, this is LexCheck’s first venture round. The round was led by Kli Capital (formerly known as BNSG Capital) and included Howard Morgan (retired co-founder of First Round Capital) and Vivek Garipalli (co-founder and CEO of Clover Health), among other distinguished investors.

    “Despite the instability of the current economic climate, LexCheck continues to grow and solidify itself as a force in the legal technology sector and the enterprise software space generally,” said Shmuel Gniwisch, co-founder of Kli Capital. “Kli Capital believes that LexCheck’s growth will accelerate rapidly due to the changing needs of large enterprises attempting to overcome the obstacles presented by this global health crisis.”

    Led by serial entrepreneur Gurinder “Gary” Sangha (founder and CEO), who also participated in the round, LexCheck applies AI technology to help their customers, including leading Fortune 500 companies, accelerate and automate contract negotiations.

    “Successfully challenging the status quo and creating legal technologies that transform organizations have been the driving principles over the course of my career and remain our core tenets at LexCheck,” said Sangha. “With the help of our investors, we can accelerate our work and transform this sector even more swiftly and comprehensively.”

    The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) has announced the opening of the ILTA Distinguished Peer Awards.

    This program recognizes ILTA peers who have delivered great business value and transformational impact through their innovations and implementations or have been champions in specific areas of focus for their organizations.

    “While the awards have always shone a light on the extraordinary work and dedication of our ILTA community, the program has special meaning this year,” noted ILTA CEO Joy Heath Rush. “In this time of rapid change and uncertainty, the ILTA Peer Awards give us a moment to pause and show our appreciation for the efforts and accomplishments of our peers who are rising to meet emerging opportunities and challenges.”

    2020 brings new and returning award categories, including:

    Individual Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Innovative Leader of the Year
  • ILTA Contributor of the Year 
  • Business Partner Awards

  • Solution Provider of the Year
  • Consultant of the Year
  • Business Partner of the Year
  • Legal Organization Awards

  • Transformative Project of the Year (100+ attorneys)
  • Transformative Project of the Year (<100 attorneys)
  • Innovator of the Year 
  • Recognition Lists

  • Young Professionals to Watch
  • Legal Organization of the Year
  • Business Partners to Watch
  • Applications close June 12, 2020. For more information about the awards and to submit a nomination, please visit www.iltanet.org/peerawards

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