Your time is short. This quick read gives you 5 things you need to know from LegalTech in the past seven days.
LegalTech funding grew in 2017+Apttus raises $75M
LegalTech in 2017 saw $233M investment in companies across 61 deals, edging ahead 2016’s $224M investment over 79 deals. The figures from a new report by Tracxn also claims there are four unicorns (startups worth more than $1billion) in the LegalTech sector: DocuSign, Relativity Technologies, Lexis Nexis, and Wolters Kluwer.
Meanwhile, Apttus (which includes a contract lifecycle management solution) raised $75M via Golub Capital‘s Late Stage Lending team. “Partnering with Golub Capital provides us with scalable, flexible debt solutions that are uniquely structured for companies of our size,” said Terry Schmid, CFO at Apttus.
LegalTech Hiring Heats Up
It is not just funding, but hiring in the sector that has gone up a notch. The scale of growth in LegalTech jobs has been laid bare as Artificial Lawyer published a unique jobs site. Roles include LegalTech Project Manager at Linklaters to Developers” at Legal Tech companies. In a sign of movement in the LegalTech world, LawGeex was extremely proud to announce the appointment of Lucy Bassli, formerly Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft, as LawGeex Chief Legal Strategist.
Meanwhile, Norton Rose Fulbright’s global innovation chief Mike Rebeiro joined Macfarlanes. Showing a new skill set, Macfarlanes say Rebeiro “has distinguished himself as a thought leader on emerging technologies, regularly speaking on AI, digital disruption, and transformation.”
The rise of LegalTech Incubators
LegalTech incubators are becoming the Starbucks of the legal industry—”there’s one popping up on almost every corner,” says Mark Cohen in Forbes. Law firms, law schools, corporates, and State Bars are launching them.
Discussing Allen & Overy’s Fuse incubator, Cohen says the innovation “is not a stand-alone initiative but part of a comprehensive plan by A&O to reconfigure the way the firm pairs its ‘practice’ and ‘delivery’ capabilities.” Meanwhile, Artificial Lawyer has been following the development of UK law firm Mishcon de Reya’s start-up incubator, MDR LAB, since its inception. Victoria Pigott, Partner in Mishcon Private, a commercial litigator and MDR LAB Mentor, says: “We can mold the technology to exactly our specifications rather than adapting technology from other industries or jurisdictions”
The 60-best TED-STYLE Talks on Legal Innovation
Those thirsting for TED-style professional talks on tech innovation and the law are in luck. Sixty talks from the best and brightest legal minds talking about the future of law have been released by Chicago Kent College of Law. Topics include Why Lawyers Must Demand Law Schools Innovate or Die (Marcia Narine Weldon, University of Miami) to Blockchain Innovation in Law and Corporate Governance (Professor Wulf Kaal). In another talk, Kristen Sonday, Co-founder of Paladin, talks about leveraging technology for pro bono work.
How AI is Changing The Law
In a Harvard Business Review piece, “How AI is Changing Contracts”, Beverly Rich of the University of Southern California focuses on how organizations use legal strategies (particularly contracts and technology) to gain competitive advantages. She writes that the “The use of AI contracting software has the potential to improve how all firms contract, and it will do so in three ways: by changing the tools firms use to contract, influencing the content of contracts, and affecting the processes by which firms contract.” Professor Gillian K. Hadfield, a law professor at the University of Southern California and specialist in contract law, believes that AI in contracting will lead to a better use of legal talent: “Lawyers will shift their focus from routine activities to much more high-value work involved in shaping strategies and navigating complex legal problems.”
Meanwhile, in ACC Docket (“Making AI A Reality“), Bjarne P. Tellmann (Pearson General Counsel) and Prashant Dubney (President and CEO of AI company Sumati) explain how AI is “most effective when it is used to augment human input, not replace it.”
The Blurb: A curated mix of articles worth sharing in the past week.
For this Unicorn, It was a No-Brainer! Lucy Bassli, former Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft, on why she has left the “best company in the world” to join LawGeex as Chief Legal Strategist
From Other Sites
Big Law Business: Legal Operations Growing as Industry Changes: NetApp’s Brenton