Comment, Opinion & Guest Articles
Wait… a UK government minister goes all the way to Tel Aviv to praise the Israeli legal tech startup scene?
Earlier this week the UK Minister of State for Digital & Culture Matt Hancock, said Israel was ripe for creating disruption in the global law profession at an inaugural legal tech event held in Tel Aviv. Well good news for LawGeex but hello minister, shouldn’t you be promoting the UK legal tech startup scene?
2016 has been something of a coming of age story for legal technology. The slightly irritating teenager that hung around waiting for an invite to the party has got rid of their spots and is starting to feel pretty damn cool. And hey, guess what, not only are they being invited to parties, but they are having to turn some down.
The past year has been a great number of things – frothy, over-excited, and a period when everything, but everything was labelled AI – but beneath the hyperbole, leading law firms have been making meaningful and in some cases systemic changes that are here to stay.
As King & Wood Mallesons’ pioneering global verein unravels, leading legal IT consultant Neil Cameron puts the verein structure under a microscope. He outlines what a verein is, who first used it (the accountants – but not any more) and its benefits, before casting a more critical eye over the issue of liability sharing and conflicts of interest, and inevitably the KWM lesson. Clients need cohesion and Cameron concludes that it is becoming apparent that the verein structure is not sufficient to ‘cement’ firms with different cultures and motivations, or encourage discrete law firms to ‘semi-merge.’ Unless vereins make key changes they are, he says, “doomed to failure.”
Grab a coffee – this is not a two-minute skim – but if you read nothing else on vereins this year, read this.
Moving from a long-established, traditional work culture, in which staff are employed for a fixed number of hours in a workplace that might be the same building for years or decades, to a mobile paradigm of employment, might appear daunting. The reality is different for the adaptable and prepared.
If data is the new oil, then cybersecurity is the new burglar alarm. Here’s a roundup of the latest developments…
The latest issue of the Legal IT Insider newsletter is out now – read it here free – we’re loving this quote by Daniel Pollick of DLA Piper “2016 was the year Legal AI went from bleeding edge novelty to me-too mimicry but without a clear direction.”
Mike Lynch has been described as Britain’s Bill Gates, having in 1996 co-founded global software giant Autonomy, a spin off from computer finger print recognition firm Cambridge Neurodynamics. Lynch has more recently founded and is CEO of machine learning and AI investment company Invoke Capital Partners, which investments include due diligence tool Luminance, created in partnership with Slaughter and May. Legal IT Insider caught up with Lynch, a keynote speaker at Legal Leaders IT Forum in Gleneagles in March 2017, to hear his reflections on how technology is changing the legal landscape.
Guest cybersecurity post by Tim Hyman: GDPR and why the Data Protection Officer should be your new BFF
GDPR is only 18 months away and any firm that has already started an Impact Assessment will know that they need all the time available to prepare. This a business project, owned at board room level but best managed and delivered by the IT/Risk team.
An increased appetite for online services, smarter use of technology, and the entrenchment of digital research, are just some of the continuing shifts among the attorneys’ profession in South Africa. This is according to a new survey of close to 750 South African attorney firms, conducted by LexisNexis South Africa content and technology solutions provider in partnership with Law Society of South Africa.
In this compelling guest post for Legal IT Insider, John Alber, respected former strategic innovation partner at Bryan Cave and now ILTA futurist, asks, why should BigLaw be immune from the granular, regular feedback we’ve come to expect from modern businesses in other service sectors?
Privacy is the new black but with the EU’s incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force, businesses need to understand the high level requirements and not leave it to the legal department to ensure compliance. There’s too much at stake.
November 2016 marks one year since legal content and technology solutions provider LexisNexis South Africa (LNSA) acquired Korbitec, a leading provider of content-enabled workflow solutions for South African property professionals. The successful acquisition has significantly extended LexisNexis’ reach into the conveyancing field, which is a critical component of the South African legal market where conveyancing firms represent 25% of the landscape. According to Billy Last, CEO of LNSA, the timing last year was perfect to close a deal his firm had been chasing for 13 years.
Agile working, as it is known in legal circles, has become standard practice for several categories of employer: particularly those which fully appreciate that it can help to make their organisation more efficient and effective, delivering improved business performance together with greater customer satisfaction. But although it is now more than two years since legislation was introduced which extended the right to request agile working, recent research from Timewise revealed that only 6% of jobs advertised in the UK mentioned agile working.
With the extension of costs budgeting to all multi-track claims with a value of less than £10 million and the May 2016 decision of the English High Court in Brown v BCA Trading Limited  EWHC 1464 (Ch), in which it permitted a party to use predictive coding technology in a contested application, it goes without saying that knowing how and when to use predictive coding will provide both lawyers and their clients with a clear tactical advantage. Morgan Lewis partner Tess Blair and associate Afzalah Sarwar look at the benefits of the technology and say parties can no longer afford to ignore it.
Welcome to the latest issue of the Legal IT Insider newsletter – October/November 2016 #297 – TOP STORIES INCLUDE:
• Law firms courting FinTech startups – Slaughter and May + Addleshaw Goddard already in – who’s next – and for how much?
• So sad about hacking: Pessimistic cybersecurity – a necessary evil? The Insider talks to Mike Lynch + Howard Russell + Marcel Henri + Dan Carmel
• Neota Logic partners with Clifford Chance + BLP offering bespoke document automation + RPC providing in-house litigation support
• NetDocuments & iManage continue to duke it out in the DMS market as more firms abandon OpenText & SharePoint sinking ships + Have we seen the high-tide of InterAction in the CRM sector as OnePlace wins another deal + momentum building for Elite 3E as firms switch from TRE Enterprise & Envision