Latest Shake-Up in Legal Tech: AI on the Rise & Notable Talent Shifts

Recent legal tech news underscored AI’s pivotal role in the sector; major stories included Novaplex's new COO, Allen & Overy's AI adoption, and Harbor's strategic acquisitions. Legal tech's growth signals increased tech-related legal issues.

Latest Shake-Up in Legal Tech: AI on the Rise & Notable Talent Shifts

Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Oct 18, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.

TLDR; Listen instead:

Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday

  1. Embrace AI for Competitive Edge: The growing use of AI in legal tech, as highlighted by Allen & Overy's adoption of Athena and Linklaters' testing of GenAI, indicates its crucial role in enhancing efficiency and addressing complex issues. However, a strategic approach to AI application is necessary, with careful monitoring of its effectiveness.
  2. Invest in Tech-Savvy Talent: As illustrated by the robust talent acquisitions by Atticus and Harbor's takeover of Stout's legal consulting business, building sophisticated legal tech teams has become paramount in this era. It's a clear indication of the growth trajectory of legal tech in mainstream corporate strategy.
  3. Prioritize Data Privacy: With the increase in AI adoption, law firms are dealing with increasing privacy concerns, especially as companies seek alternatives to cookies. This underlines the importance of constant vigilance around data privacy, signaling a potential surge in tech-related legal issues in the future.


Here's what happened in legal tech recently...

Novaplex announced Ben Mitchell, the ex-head of DocsCorp, as their new COO, aiming to reintroduce choice in the consolidating market. Allen & Overy chose Zero Systems' Athena to improve their billing accuracy, while Linklaters is refining tasks using generative AI (GenAI). Vincent AI's upgraded version was launched by vLex, leveraging OpenAI's technology for legal research. Legal tech service provider Harbor acquired Stout's legal consulting business, expanding their eDiscovery capabilities. Australian firm Atticus brought in two executives from Bryter to drive growth in Europe and the corporate legal sector. Clio Cloud Conference emphasized the essential role of tech in the legal sector, and Filevine introduced LeadsAI, an AI-powered feature for managing incoming leads. Finally, vLex and Fastcase launched a beta version of Vincent AI, marking a significant advancement in AI-powered legal analysis.


AI's increasing role in legal tech dominated yesterday's developments. From Allen & Overy adopting Athena to capture unbilled work, Linklaters testing GenAI for streamlining tasks, to vLex and Fastcase beta-testing Vincent AI, these trends underline the growing reliance on AI in the legal industry. A strategic and validated approach to AI's application is suggested, with the measure of AI's effectiveness via gamification, process mining software, and managing expectations due to its probabilistic nature. The focus on building sophisticated legal tech teams was another trend seen in robust talent acquisitions by Atticus and Harbor's takeover of Stout's legal consulting business.


AI adoption is no longer optional for law firms aiming for a competitive advantage. The Athena and GenAI use highlight how AI can address complex issues like cross-jurisdictional billing and labor-intensive tasks like due diligence respectively. However, AI's implementation should be judicious, with careful monitoring of its effectiveness. The incoming talent in legal tech also underlines the sector's growth trajectory in mainstream corporate strategy. However, privacy concerns are rising, with companies replacing cookies with alternative tracking technologies that may expose them to legal risks. As AI and data privacy become increasingly intertwined, law firms can expect a surge in tech-related legal issues in the near future. Overall, the developments indicate a promising road ahead for AI in legal tech while underscoring the importance of strategic talent acquisition and the constant need for data privacy vigilance.


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Key stories

3 ways to test your AI’s effectiveness (Legal Dive - Latest News)

In his role as Ops Decision Science director at Wolters Kluwer, Jitendra Gupta suggests three effective strategies to test AI deployment in corporate legal departments. Firstly, encouraging adoption through gamification can stimulate engagement and enhance utilization. Secondly, running AI 'behind the scenes' can help to build confidence in the technology by demonstrating its effectiveness and increasing accuracy. Lastly, the use of process mining software to analyze workflows and productivity improvements can provide a detailed insight into the practical benefits of AI implementation. It's crucial, however, to manage expectations and be open about the inevitable learning curve associated with new technology. For AI to truly flourish, it needs both enthusiastic adoption and a culture of transparency within the organization.

Exclusive: Harbor acquires Stout’s Legal Management Consulting Practice (Legal IT Insider)

Global legal technology services provider Harbor has acquired the legal management consulting (LMC) business of investment bank Stout, bringing the entire Stout LMC team on board. The move is Harbor's first deal since combining HBR Consulting, LAC Group, and Wilson Allen. Led by managing directors Jim Mitchell and Stacie Neeter, the acquired business operates in the energy, healthcare and, pharmaceuticals, financial services sectors. Harbor CEO Matt Sunderman highlighted the firm is aiming to grow its new business areas, such as legal hold, data preservation, and eDiscovery technology, adding more depth to existing work around contract lifecycle management and general corporate strategy. He emphasized the role of the acquired team in helping corporate law departments upgrade and implement new technology.

All stories

Ben Mitchell returns to the document production space with move to Novaplex (Legal IT Insider)

Ben Mitchell, former head of DocsCorp, has been named the new Chief Operating Officer of UK software vendor, Novaplex. With previous experience at Tessaract and DocsCorp, Mitchell will manage sales and product management at Novaplex, which specializes in document production tools. His goal is to reintroduce choice in a market that has experienced substantial consolidation recently.

ICYMI: Allen & Overy to capture “millions of dollars in additional revenue” with Zero email filing tool (Legal IT Insider)

International law firm Allen & Overy is adopting Zero Systems' automated email filing tool, Athena, to improve billing accuracy across jurisdictions. The AI-powered tool identifies and shares key data such as client and matter numbers, author data, and document types, addressing the issue of unbilled work due to inaccurate time tracking. This technology aims to capture additional revenue for the firm.

Linklaters on GenAI: ‘When It Works, It’s Amazing’ (Artificial Lawyer)

Linklaters, a global law firm, is using generative AI (GenAI) to streamline tasks like document review, due diligence, and content drafting. The initiative, led by the firm's legal tech group, CreateiQ, aims to enhance efficiency and provide economic benefits to the firm and its clients. Despite some technological challenges, the firm is testing GenAI in different applications due to its potential benefits.

Lawsuits show GCs must understand the privacy risk of pixels (Legal Dive - Latest News)

As internet browsers eliminate cookies, companies are adopting alternative tracking technologies like pixels, potentially exposing them to privacy risks. Legal experts advise companies to clearly disclose their data collection and usage practices, including pixel use, in their privacy policies to avoid potential lawsuits. This advice comes in light of The Boston Globe's recent $4 million settlement over unauthorized use of Meta pixels.

vLex releases suite of global LLM legal research tools in beta (Legal IT Insider)

vLex, a legal intelligence firm, has launched an advanced version of its AI legal research assistant, Vincent AI. The tool uses OpenAI’s GPT-4, 3.5, and vLex's proprietary technology to conduct legal research, build cases, summarise documents, and compare laws across jurisdictions. Vincent AI pulls data from vLex’s database that includes laws from over 100 countries and a billion cases. It is currently accessible in the UK, US, Ireland, and Spain, with plans for further expansion.

Atticus hires Sam Spivack and James Quaile to accelerate growth in the UK and Europe (Legal IT Insider)

Australian software firm Atticus, which aids law firms and corporate legal teams in fact-checking official documents, has hired Sam Spivack and James Quaile from Bryter to boost its growth in the UK, Europe, and the corporate legal sector. Spivack will guide the company's next growth stage, while Quaile will focus on expanding its corporate legal market. The company has gained new corporate clients including John Lewis, Kingfisher, and Rentokil.

LawNext Podcast: Clio CEO Jack Newton On Why It’s More Important Than Ever for Lawyers to Leverage Tech (LawSites)

At the 2023 Clio Cloud Conference, CEO Jack Newton underlined the critical role of technology in the legal sector. He stated that technology empowers lawyers to significantly enhance their impact. The conference celebrated Clio's 15th business anniversary, a leading company in legal tech. Newton also presented the latest Clio Legal Trends Report, offering insights into the legal profession's current landscape.

New Filevine Feature Uses AI to Summarize Incoming Leads and Predict the Best Matches for A Firm (LawSites)

Filevine, a legal practice management platform, has introduced LeadsAI, an AI-powered addition to its Lead Docket tool. The feature uses AI to summarize important information from incoming leads and assess their suitability for a law firm. Initially focused on motor vehicle accident cases, the tool will be expanded to include personal injury, mass tort, and class action litigation. LeadsAI is a paid add-on for Lead Docket customers.

vLex (Fastcase) Unveils Beta Version Of Its Global, Multi-Language Generative AI Legal Research Tool (LawSites)

Legal research firms vLex and Fastcase have launched the beta version of Vincent AI, a generative AI-powered legal research platform. The platform, built on an enhanced version of vLex's Vincent AI, extends the use of generative AI across different jurisdictions and languages. Leveraging one of the world's largest online law libraries, the new Vincent AI can answer legal questions, build arguments, compare jurisdictions, and analyze documents, marking a significant advancement in AI-powered legal analysis.