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Legal IT News: All the latest wins, deals, moves, launches and comments

Added on the 15th Jan 2018 at 8:51 am
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Before launching into the past few days’ deals, hires and comments it’s worth sharing the observations of a CIO we spoke to last week, who said: “There used to be a lull when you got back to work after Christmas, but that seems to be a thing of the past!”

While that’s not yet reflected in the number of new deals below, we feel your pain. Remember the next Orange Rag is out on 24 January – get your news in quick – and we are just about to publish the full programme for our Gleneagles CIO conference at the end of Feb, which is, quite frankly, blimin’ amazing. If you haven’t already registered, get in there quickly before the rush – you should have received an email or contact GlenLegal@liti.co.uk.

UK

Wins and deals

Top 100 law firm Russell Cooke Solicitors has signed up to SOS Connect from Solicitors Own Software after a pitch that included Thomson Reuters Elite 3E and Aderant, led by Lights-On Consulting.

The circa 200 partner and lawyer firm, which has several offices across London, carries out a wide range of commercial, private client and not-for-profit work. The practice management system (PMS) swap-out was prompted by Axxia being end-of-lifed and with a priority that the new PMS should integrate with iManage.

Potter Clarkson LLP, one of the largest full service IP practices in Europe, has selected the OnePlace Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution to boost the firm’s marketing and business development activities and deliver deep client insight for the leadership team.

Headquartered in Nottingham, UK and with further offices in Germany and Sweden, Potter Clarkson decided to introduce a CLM system to consolidate all client data in one central repository and support the marketing and BD teams’ client engagement activities. Top priorities for the firm were streamlined processes for list and events management, enabling GDPR compliance as well as delivering timely management reporting. In a focused selection process, Potter Clarkson identified the value of OnePlace’s extensive capabilities, its modern technology platform and a proven, low-risk fixed price approach to deployment.

Intelligent Office UK (IO) has been appointed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to launch and manage a centralised reprographics, mail and courier service supporting the SRA’s 600 plus employees.

The contract commenced at the end of 2017 and, as part of implementing the reprographics service, IO has been working in partnership with ITEC, market leaders in the provision of print equipment to the legal sector, to introduce a new MFD fleet at the SRA with a unique 4-tiered billing system that will deliver excellent value on best in class technology.

The SRA’s profile of work has changed over recent years with an increased requirement for digital working. This, coupled with the SRA’s commitment to continuously improve their operational performance, created a need for a modern and efficient reprographics and mail function to deliver a high-quality service to their employees.

An SRA spokesperson said: “Document management is an important aspect of the work of any major organisation. We conducted an open and competitive process and selected Intelligent Office to meet our needs. We are pleased to welcome them on board and look forward to a constructive working relationship.”

And exciting developments lie ahead in 2018 for Coltman Warner Cranston with the development and implementation of Linetime’s B2C Client Portal which allows real time access and communication with the existing Linetime Case Management system.

Coltman Warner Cranston Debt Recovery Manager said: “The development of our B2C Client Portal will provide greater efficiency and cost benefits for all of our clients and will enable them to view the progress of their cases in real time.”

Hires

Prosperoware just announced the appointment of Henry Piatek-Stewart as General Manager of the EMEA region where he will help lead and meet the surging demand for Umbria and Milan solutions. Highly regarded, Henry brings over two decades of exceptional business experience in technology, operations, and organisational change, having most recently served as Director, Global Strategic Accounts at Thomson Reuters Elite where he focused on the top 50 global law firms.

Henry’s most recent position followed five years as regional director for EMEA, where he oversaw all professional services activities for Thomson Reuters Elite in the region. Henry’s leadership was key to earning a reputation as a trusted advisor to the world’s elite law firms. Henry earned his MBA at Warwick Business School in 2004 and will be based in London.

John Kenyon, Vice President of Sales at Prosperoware, comments, “Henry is an exceptional sales leader who understands client relationship management at the highest level. His global perspective and extensive sales and implementation experience make him a valuable addition to our team and to our clients. We strive for exceptional success for our clients, and I am confident Henry’s expertise will add to that proposition.”

Incubators

On 9 January Mishcon de Reya opened a second round of applications for it technology incubator MDR LAB. Open to early stage and growth technology start-ups, applications are welcomed from companies at concept through to revenue-generating stage, as long as the product or service is applicable to the legal industry.

Last year, MDR LAB’s inaugural programme saw six companies chosen to spend 10 weeks working alongside Mishcon de Reya’s lawyers and business operations teams to develop and trial their products – giving the firm access to cutting edge technology and giving the companies access to legal and business expertise.

Business growth

Ascertus astonishingly (or not, given the volume of business flowing out from Tikit after it ended its relationship with iManage) in 2017 grew its new customer base by 50%; doubled the number of staff in the organisation; and expanded the product portfolio through new partnership agreements with technology suppliers, it announced last week.

“2017 has been a phenomenal year for us and we are well poised to grow in 2018 too,” commented Jon Wainwright, Sales and Marketing Director at Ascertus Limited, on the company’s performance. “We have truly made a mark for ourselves in the large law space. Law firms now recognise Ascertus as a reliable and viable alternative for iManage implementation, support and other complementary solutions.”

Product launches

Pulsant, a leading UK provider of hybrid cloud solutions, has announced the launch of AMP Launch Pad. AMP Launch Pad is a proof of concept device, based on the Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack and designed to offer organisations a simplified way of understanding the benefits and uses of Azure, without the associated costs.

With the launch of Microsoft Azure Stack, the advantages of hybrid cloud have become even easier for businesses to realise. This is because Azure Stack is an extension of Microsoft Azure public cloud and allows the delivery of Azure services from a private environment, on-premises or from a datacentre.

Stuart Nielsen-Marsh, Microsoft cloud strategy director, Pulsant says: “With the recent launch of Microsoft Azure Stack, the future of hybrid cloud is here. By working closely with Microsoft and Dell EMC, we have developed AMP Launch Pad, a single node appliance with the latest version of Azure Stack pre-installed on it. It is a cost-effective, low barrier of entry way of getting to grips with the technology and means business can enjoy all of the functionality at a fraction of the price.”

US

Hires

With data analytics likely to become a major differentiator in 2018, US employment and labour law giant Littler has further expanded its data analytics capabilities with the re-hire of Text IQ’s general counsel and VP of strategy, Aaron Crews, as its first chief data analytics officer.

Based in the Sacramento office, Crews (pictured), who was previously global head of eDiscovery at Walmart and before that a partner and eDiscovery counsel at Littler, will work closely with Dr. Zev Eigen, Littler’s global director of data analytics, and a team of data analysts.

Product launches

FileTrail, a leader in next-generation records management software, has announced the completion of new connectors for firms looking to integrate their records management and document management platforms. FileTrail connectors are now available for NetDocuments, iManage (versions 5 through 10) and OpenText eDOCS to allow users to access physical records without leaving their DMS.

FileTrail’s integration tools also include connectors to synchronize data from new business intake, provisioning (ethical walls), and billing systems. The connectors sync data with authority systems, eliminating redundant data entry and ensuring consistency to promote greater efficiency and improved productivity.

Forecasts

Cryptocurrencies, the ever-growing Internet of Things, smart contracts—the converging worlds of disruptive technology, social media, and the law promise to make for an eventful 2018.

Editors at law firm Morrison & Foerster’s award-winning Socially Aware blog have pulled their own predictions on the year ahead into a short piece highlighting the key topics and issues to watch, including developments in a number of closely watched lawsuits that could resolve. However it turns out, “2018 promises to be an exciting year in the world of emerging technology and Internet law,” they write.

Here’s a link to the full write-up: https://www.sociallyawareblog.com/2018/01/04/2018-predictions-from-socially-awares-editors-and-contributors/.

Singapore

In an example of an unusually high-level and joined up legal tech innovation programme, The Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) on 10 January formally launched its Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP), a two-year pilot that forms part of a wider bid for Singapore to become the tech hub of Asia.

FLIP, which was first announced last July by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, aims to bring together lawyers, technopreneurs, investors, academics and regulators, in an initiative that will support the development of the delivery of legal services in the future economy.

The programme comprises a Legal Innovation Lab located at the Collision 8 co-working space across the road from the Singapore Supreme Court (pictured); a virtual collaboration platform called LawNet Communityand South East Asia’s first legal tech accelerator to groom promising legal tech start-ups. The first two form part of today’s launch while the accelerator will be launched in April.

Comments not to miss

Effective data classification helps law firms to not only protect the integrity of client data but also demonstrate best practice in data security, says Thomas Fischer, threat researcher and global security advocate for Digital Guardian, who in a comment for Legal IT Insider sets out a five-point action plan.

Reacting to the story, Jeff Lawler, managing partner at Tricostar, says: “The article establishes exactly what any organisation needs to do where they own or handle IP or have to protect from both insider leaks or external threats I.e implement solid rights management ( different from privacy where for example you will not be GDPR compliant if you are in the habit of transmitting unencrypted emails or documents that contain for example a client name plus any other personal detail about them).

“Having done the analysis how do you manage it? Well Microsoft with 0365 and AIP have the unique offering to handle both scenarios. Not many people know this yet!”

And Fireman & Company partner and respected legal consultant Ron Friedmann analyses two recent surveys, the Altman Weil 2017 Chief Legal Officer (CLO) Survey and the 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market by The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and Peer Monitor® provide a great snapshot of the state of the legal market.

“I highlight here some findings from both, separated into law firms, law departments, and alternative legal service providers. My commentary appears intermixed with findings highlights but I also have offer two overarching comments,” he says:

“Client-Firm Missing Link. Altman Weil (AW) reports that clients find law firms wanting. Georgetown reports that law firms risk losing much if they don’t transform. We have read similar reports in the past. The missing link is what will it take to close the gap between what clients say they want and what law firms provide? One answer, in part, is changes to law firm compensation. And another answer, in part, is clients exercising buying power more clearly.

“Alternative Legal Service Providers Mystery Disconnect? Evidence exists in both reports – though it is mixed  – that alternative legal service providers are gaining share from law firms. I can cherry pick data to support or undermine this claim. Read my assessment below for more.”

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