Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for June 28th, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
Yesterday, Thompson Reuters announced the acquisition of Casetext for a cool $650m 🤑. This was a fascinating event, and therefore we will cover this in deeper detail in this issue.
We will provide highlights of other interesting stories on Friday, 30th June. Subscribe to get it delivered to your inbox.
TLDR; Listen instead:
AI's Growing Influence in Legal Tech: A Deep Dive into the Thomson Reuters-Casetext Acquisition
Thomson Reuters Corporation, a multinational media conglomerate, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Casetext, a legal tech startup, for $650 million in cash. Casetext, founded in 2013, uses AI and machine learning to help legal professionals conduct research and compose legal documents more quickly. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals.
Impact and Implications
A New Era for Thomson Reuters: Strategic AI Investment
This acquisition is a strategic move that aligns with Thomson Reuters' larger initiative to integrate generative AI into various verticals, including legal, tax, accounting, and news. The company has earmarked $100 million to invest in AI and generative AI platforms in the second half of this year. This comes in addition to the partnership with Microsoft to surface TR drafting within Microsoft's 365 Copilot. These investments demonstrate Thomson Reuters' commitment to staying at the forefront of technological innovation and maintaining its competitive edge in the industry.
The Power of AI in Legal Practice: Enhanced Legal Research
Casetext's product, CoCounsel (launched earlier this year), uses AI to review documents, help with legal research memos, prepare depositions, and analyze contracts. The acquisition of Casetext will significantly enhance Thomson Reuters' legal research capabilities, providing a more efficient and effective solution for legal professionals. This has the potential to transform the approach to conducting legal research by enhancing its speed, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Revolutionizing Professional Work: Market Expansion
The acquisition of Casetext is expected to accelerate and expand Thomson Reuters' market potential for AI offerings. This could revolutionize the way professionals work and the work they do. By integrating AI into its services, Thomson Reuters can provide more innovative and efficient solutions, potentially attracting a wider customer base and opening up new markets.
Shaping the Future of Legal Practice: AI and Legal Industry
The acquisition underscores the increasing importance of AI in the legal profession. AI has the potential to transform legal practice, making it more efficient and effective. However, it also raises questions about the future of the profession. Will AI replace certain legal jobs, or will it simply change the nature of legal work? How can legal professionals adapt to this changing landscape?
Advancing or Hindering the Mission? Impact on Access to Justice
Casetext's mission has been to use AI to help more attorneys do more and better work for more clients, thereby increasing access to justice. The acquisition by Thomson Reuters could either advance or hinder this mission. On one hand, Thomson Reuters' resources and reach could help scale Casetext's solutions, potentially increasing access to justice. On the other hand, there may be concerns about whether the mission will remain a priority under the new ownership. How will this acquisition impact the broader goal of increasing access to justice?
The Role of Regulation: Balancing Innovation and Oversight
As AI continues to permeate the legal industry, the role of regulation becomes increasingly important. While AI can drive efficiency and innovation, it also presents new challenges in terms of privacy, data security, and ethical use. How will regulatory bodies balance the need for innovation with the necessity of oversight? How might existing laws and regulations need to evolve to accommodate these new technologies?
The Skill Shift: Preparing the Legal Workforce for AI
The integration of AI into legal practice will inevitably change the nature of work for legal professionals. Routine tasks may be automated, and the focus may shift more towards strategic and advisory roles. This shift will require a new set of skills, including a basic understanding of AI and data analysis. How can law schools and continuing education programs prepare the legal workforce for this shift? What new opportunities might emerge for legal professionals in an AI-driven industry?
The Global Perspective: AI and Legal Tech Beyond Borders
While this acquisition is a significant event in the U.S. legal tech industry, it's also important to consider the global implications. AI and legal tech are not confined by national borders, and the solutions developed by companies like Casetext and Thomson Reuters can have a global impact. How might this acquisition influence the legal tech industry in other countries? Could it inspire similar investments and innovations worldwide, and how might it shape the global legal landscape?
Broader questions to ponder
- How might the integration of AI in legal tech redefine the role of legal professionals in the next 2, 5, and 7 years?
- As AI continues to permeate the legal industry, what new ethical dilemmas might arise, and how should they be addressed?
- How will the global legal tech landscape evolve in response to major acquisitions like that of Casetext by Thomson Reuters?
- What strategies should legal education institutions employ to prepare future legal professionals for an AI-driven industry?
- How might the balance between AI-driven efficiency and human judgment shape the future of legal practice and the delivery of legal services?
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The Florida Bar has partnered with legal financial management firm Nota to offer its 110,000 members free access to legal trust accounting software. The aim of the move is to help attorneys comply with trust accounting requirements and better protect the public from trust violations. The software includes features such as client sub-accounts, transaction notes, check printing and three-way reconciliation, and will integrate with major practice management, legal payment, and accounting platforms. The software will be available to members from September.
Legal IT specialists Tiger Eye have highlighted the top eight legal technology trends for 2023, including artificial intelligence, knowledge management, cloud technology, and contract management. The company has suggested that law firms can utilize knowledge management software to maximize existing collective information and experiences, while cloud technology will continue to be an essential part of many firms' digital transformation journeys. Additionally, merger management technology will be critical as firms consider pre-packaged services to migrate critical sensitive documents seamlessly and effectively with minimal disruption.
USF Holland, a trucking firm, has agreed to pay $490,000 and establish a $120,000 scholarship fund to settle a claim by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it has refused to hire qualified female applicants since its opening in 1986. The EEOC claimed that the firm’s Olive Branch, Mississippi terminal had only ever employed one woman, who was subsequently fired. The scholarship fund will be used to award scholarships to women seeking truck driver certification through Holland’s apprenticeship program.
Thomson Reuters has agreed to acquire legal tech research firm Casetext for $650m in cash. Casetext uses AI and machine learning to speed up legal research and document composition. The acquisition is expected to complement Thomson Reuters' existing AI roadmap and builds on recent initiatives, including a commitment to invest more than $100m annually in AI capabilities. The deal is expected to close in H2 2023, subject to regulatory approvals.
Thomson Reuters has acquired legal research platform Casetext for a record $650m in cash. The acquisition is part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development of generative AI solutions for the legal market and beyond. Casetext's early access to OpenAI's GPT-4 model and its experience in working with legal data gave it a head start in developing generative AI products. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
LexisNexis has launched a new tool, Lexis+ Agreement Analysis, to help transactional attorneys research, negotiating, and closing agreements. The AI-powered tool extracts and suggests alternative clauses from a database of 6.7 million clauses from public EDGAR filings and 300,000 clauses from LexisNexis's Practical Guidance documents. The product currently supports M&A transactions, with future releases adding other transaction types. Access to the tool requires a subscription to Lexis+ and M&A content within Practical Guidance.
Thomson Reuters is set to acquire legal tech firm Casetext for $650m in cash, building on its recent initiatives, including a $100m annual investment in AI. Casetext, founded in 2013, has been a trailblazer in legal tech, launching products such as Compose, AllSearch, and CARA, which was the first product to use AI to analyze briefs. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
As law firms look to grow while maintaining profitability, implementing systems and scaling is key. Technology tools that support growth are essential, including practice management software, intake and CRM, document automation, asynchronous communications, process documentation, and delegation. These tools can reduce friction, create standards, and delight potential clients while maintaining a scalable client acquisition strategy and managing the team.
Thomson Reuters has acquired Casetext, the company behind Co-Counsel, an AI-driven legal research tool, for $650m. The acquisition will enable Thomson Reuters to enhance its existing research capabilities with a turnkey solution from a company that has around 10,000 clients among law firms and corporate legal departments. Casetext CEO Jake Heller said the acquisition would help to advance the company's mission and the field of generative AI solutions, not just for lawyers but for other professions as well.
LexisNexis is set to launch an AI-powered tool called Agreement Analysis, which will enable lawyers to customize clauses for transactions. The tool uses extractive AI to find alternate clause language from SEC EDGAR filings and Practical Guidance sample clauses. It will focus on M&A, stock purchase agreements, and asset agreements. The AI-driven tool will search for alternatives to existing clauses and provide diverse options to allow the lawyer to see true variations. The tool is set to launch in July.
Thomson Reuters is set to acquire legal tech firm Casetext for over $650m in cash. Casetext utilizes AI and machine learning to help legal professionals work more efficiently and provide higher-quality representation to clients. Its flagship product, CoCounsel, is an AI legal assistant that delivers document reviews, legal research memos, deposition preparation, and contract analysis in minutes. The acquisition will complement Thomson Reuters' existing AI roadmap and builds on its recent initiatives, including a commitment to invest more than $100m annually on AI capabilities.
LexisNexis has introduced a new tool called "Agreement Analysis" that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to extract and suggest alternate clause language from SEC EDGAR documents and sample clauses, templates, and agreements from Practical Guidance. The tool aims to simplify the manual tasks involved in researching, negotiating, and finalizing transactional agreements. Lawyers can upload their documents into the tool, which compares and provides an alternate language for clauses in the document. The feature currently supports M&A transactions, with more transactions to be added in future releases.
LexisNexis has launched Agreement Analysis, an AI-powered tool that helps transactional lawyers research, negotiate and finalize agreements. The tool extracts and recommends alternative clause language from publicly filed SEC EDGAR documents and Practical Guidance sample clauses, templates, and agreements. It also provides drafting guidance and benchmarking data points from Market Standards to customize clauses for a transaction. The solution aims to reduce manual tasks and improve the transactional drafting and review process for all parties involved.
Thomson Reuters is set to acquire California-based legal technology provider Casetext for $650 million in cash. Casetext uses advanced AI and machine learning to create technology solutions that help legal professionals work more efficiently and provide higher-quality representation to clients. The acquisition will complement Thomson Reuters' existing AI roadmap and builds on its recent commitment to invest over $100 million annually in AI capabilities. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Legal.io has appointed Tom Stephenson as its vice president of community and legal operations. The online platform connects legal professionals with corporate clients, and Stephenson will be responsible for growing the platform's talent network and strengthening ties between legal professionals. Legal.io has already visited New York City and Chicago as part of a roadshow tour, with Los Angeles and Dallas among other planned stops. The platform recently released a salary tool for legal professionals to promote equity and inclusion in the industry. Stephenson has experience in legal ops leadership positions at Teladoc Health and Credit Karma.
RAVEL founder and legal AI expert Daniel Lewis will be discussing the impact of AI on the legal industry in a webinar with Richard Tromans from Artificial Lawyer on July 11th. The session will explore the potential benefits and challenges of AI in law firms and in-house legal teams, as well as its impact on lawyers' careers. The topics will include current and future use cases for AI, the potential for in-house teams to bring more work and value in-house, and the impact of the traditional billable hour model on AI adoption. The session will end with a live Q&A.