Your time is short. This quick read gives you 5 things you need to know from LegalTech in the past seven days.
CLOC delivers data on legal spend
The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) aims to be data-first in reshaping the legal industry. CLOC’s 2017 State of The Industry Survey released last week (based on a survey of 158 corporations across 11 countries), does not disappoint. The treasure trove of data reveals that legal spend is between 0.55% to 1.24% as a percentage of a corporation’s revenue. When it comes to legal spend, 62 cents of every $1 goes towards external legal costs (biotech companies spend the most). There is a 27:1 attorney-to-legal-operations professional ratio in companies. In a deep dive into legal tech buying, 83% of companies use an eBilling system and five vendors dominate this market (Thomson Reuters Legal Tracker, 34%; Mitratech Collaborati TeamConnect, 13.5%; T360 TyMetrix 9%; Lexis Nexis Counsel Link,7.7%; SimpleLegal, 5.8%). Nearly half of all companies surveyed have no contract management system, but the most popular provider is Apttus (10.3%), followed by Ariba (7.7%)
Gabrielle Orum Hernandez’s take in Legaltech News Legal Ops Teams, You May Have More Power to Shape E-Billing Than You Think
Rhys Dipshan, LegalTech News: Despite Nascent Market, Need and Flexibility Drive Contract Management Adoption
Deal of the week: AbacusNext acquires HotDocs
Zach Warren in Legaltech News describes the acquisition of document automation company HotDocs by private equity-backed tech house AbacusNext. “The acquisition, for which financial details have not been announced, allows AbacusNext to integrate HotDocs’ software into its own offerings, allowing for generation of customized documents such as contracts, sales agreements, government forms and loan documentation. HotDocs currently boasts a user base of more than one million customers in 60 countries. The deal also includes HotDocs’ online marketplace for document templates, HotDocs Market.” HotDocs was chosen by GCs for inclusion in LawGeex In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyers Guide 2017 as a top software for contract drafting. Clients include HSBC Singapore who use it to generate facility letters for its corporate customers, while The U.S. Department of Justice uses HotDocs across its 94 offices primarily for litigation paperwork. Legal IT Insider says “AbacusNext, which is majority owned by Rhode Island-headquartered private equity house Providence Equity Partners, has a combined user base of 1.5m worldwide and promises a compliance-ready suite of technology solutions designed to cloud-enable desktop, mobile and SaaS applications in a single sign-on, secured and fully managed environment.” It has left legal commentators wondering whether this points to further LegalTech consolidation?
Legal tech Consolidation: Private equity-backed tech house AbacusNext acquires HotDocs@chillmediahttps://t.co/nlBxbLVdzJ
Roll ups begin?
More exit strategies for start-ups?
— ronfriedmann (@ronfriedmann) November 14, 2017
The big questions: What is a lawyer?
Never one to shy away from big questions, Mark Cohen in Forbes asks What’s A Lawyer Now? For a profession-that like to define terms – it is increasingly difficult to answer as tech and assumptions are in flux. “Just knowing the law’ does not cut it”, says Cohen, and the old-school law firm model –“brute force, labor intensive economic model, pursuit of perfection and lots of billed hours” -is giving way to “other professionals and para-professionals-not to mention machines”. The good news: lawyers sticking to empathy, persuasion and judgement are definitely part of the answer.
The big question 2: What is the future of AI and the law?
Much is written about the advance of AI and how this will affect the professions. Professor Richard Susskind, author of Tomorrow’s Lawyer, was invited last week to give evidence to the UK’s House of Lords as they debate the challenges for AI and policy makers. For a snapshot of his evidence (covering the pace of change, impact on society, and ethics of AI) see here.
I've been invited to give evidence at 3.30pm today to the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (https://t.co/xlnHaLTPtz). The paper I submitted previously ('Artificial Intelligence – Challenges for Policymakers') is available at https://t.co/HRQ3Po4VRR
— Richard Susskind (@richardsusskind) November 14, 2017
Legal innovators of the week: Microsoft, Lyft, AIG
Dervish Tayyip, assistant GC at Microsoft, provides an insight into transformative technological innovation and its impact on the in-house legal & compliance community after two major events: The Economist General Counsel 2017 and The Corporate Counsel Forum Europe 2017. Tayyip says: “I was struck by the extent to which the senior European in-house lawyers and compliance professionals in attendance were both very excited by the opportunities presented but also anxious about how they would manage the risks, not to mention the implications for their jobs.”
He argues that senior in-house lawyers are ideally positioned to influence both the direction of the strategy their business. He says: “I’m not just referring to in-house lawyers’ immense purchasing power. It’s also the fact that it is the very organizations in which their departments sit that have access to the valuable data that will power the move from traditional sustaining technologies on which lawyers have hitherto relied.”
Also for innovation, read from last week:
LawGeex Tales of LegalTech adoption: Chris Newby AIG
The Recorder: Legal Departments of the Year: Lyft
LegalTech profile of the week: meet Lara (from Legal.io)
Legal.io launches LARA, a machine-learning powered interface that pulls from millions of data-points across the entire Legal.io network. Pieter Guns, the Co-founder and President of Legal.io, founded at Stanford University, says Lara’s first legal skill is non-disclosure agreements. “Instead of Avvo telling attorneys what to charge for an NDA, our platform collects thousands of legal data points and collates that information in a single location. Further, it’s more than just another chatbot or document generator. It gives the client a direct way to connect with a trusted attorney or local bar association lawyer referral service.”
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LegalTech Diary upcoming events
29 November: Webinar: 5 Steps to Implement a Contract Triage Process (LawGeex)
29-30 November: Legal Week Connect, London (Legal Week)
21 December: Save The Date! Christmas Drinks For Legal & Tech Professionals (London)
The Blurb: A curated mix of articles worth sharing in the past week.
Tales of LegalTech adoption: Chris Newby AIG
From other sites:
Law.com: For Better Code, GitLab’s Lawyers Try Ditching the Legalese
Ross Intelligence: AI Pioneer Randy Goebel joins ROSS Intelligence
Lex Machina Adds Analytics for Product Liability Litigation
Allen & Overy Expands Legal App Subscription Business With Neota Logic