Decreasing optimism about year-end law firm profits

Yesterday's legal tech news highlighted the success of the KM&I Conference, Xperate's dedicated team launch, Helm360's new data discovery tool, and vLex's AI upgrade.

Decreasing optimism about year-end law firm profits

Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Oct 20th, covering what happened in legal tech recently.

TLDR; Listen instead:

Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday

  1. Legal technology firms should invest more in AI-driven technologies such as Digital Eye and Vincent AI to enhance data access, audit, and comprehensive legal knowledge. The use of AI can maximize efficiency and improve accuracy, providing profound insights from unstructured content.
  2. Firms should consider following Xperate's example in tapping into offshore resources to deliver innovative data services. This approach provides cost advantages in an industry with high operating costs and meets the rising demand for data services.
  3. Firms should anticipate and prepare for investments in technologies that simplify internal workflow, like Wolters Kluwer's Legal Services Portal which enhances task assignment, tracking, and internal communication. This trend can improve customer experiences and boost operational efficiency, potentially changing business dynamics within the industry.


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

The inaugural Knowledge Management & Innovation for Legal Conference (KM&I) was a bumper success, focusing on value, innovation, and knowledge management. Also drawing attention was Xperate's formation of a dedicated team, Xperate Data Services (XDS), directed toward growing data services demand in the legal sector. In AI news, Helm360 introduced Digital Eye, an advanced data discovery tool, while vLex upgraded its AI assistant, Vincent AI, to advance legal research. In other developments, HSBC paused text messaging in response to regulatory scrutiny, triggering a wider debate on unauthorized communication practices. Legal technology executive Olivia Mockel was appointed President and COO of ZenCase, and Wolters Kluwer unveiled its Legal Services Portal, designed to simplify the legal intake process for businesses.


A growing vogue in the industry is AI-driven technologies enhancing data access and audit, evident from Helm360's Digital Eye and vLex upgrading Vincent AI. The usage of AI not only maximizes efficiency but also influences accuracy and comprehensive legal knowledge. Additionally, legal tech firms are realizing the power of offshore resources, as Xperate did by relying on them to deliver innovative data services. Understanding peak productivity times and the role of the subconscious in daily tasks, as discussed by Chris Baréz-Brown at BigHand's conference, was another intriguing trend focused on promoting workplace efficiency.


The spate of developments underscored the growing reliance on AI and data analytics in legal tech. As law firms strive to get optimal results from unstructured content, augmentations such as the Digital Eye significantly enhance AI accuracy and efficiency. The boost to Vincent AI reinforces a similar narrative, enabling more profound insights. Xperate's move to tap into offshore advantages in a high-cost industry illustrates an innovative approach to meeting the surge in demand for data services. This trend could gain momentum, signaling cost advantages to players in the industry. HSBC's action under regulatory pressure and ZenCase's new leadership signify paradigm shifts and strategic instabilities, and it will be worth keeping an eye on how they unfold. Technologies simplifying legal intake processes, as demonstrated by Wolters Kluwer, indicate possible increased investments in such innovations, focusing on enhancing task assignment, tracking, and internal communication within legal departments. This trend could possibly alter the business dynamics within the legal tech industry, potentially leading to better customer experiences and operational efficiency. These developments confirm that the legal tech industry continues to innovate in the face of evolving challenges, providing significant opportunities for firms to remain competitive and improve service delivery.


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Key stories

5th Annual Law Firm Survey Finds 24% Drop in Profitability Satisfaction (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

The 5th Annual Law Firm Profitability Survey from LawVision and BigHand reveals a 24% decrease in profitability satisfaction amongst participating law firms. Steady economic growth remains elusive leading to an increase in measures to improve profits. Firms are increasing focus on billing hygiene, profit management education, and ramping up utilization levels in a bid to bolster profits. Despite a decline in profitability satisfaction, law firms continue to prioritize operational improvements and try to bridge the understanding gaps around profit growth. The report also indicates that 43% of firms are rolling out new profit metrics and slowly shifting towards a more profit-centric mindset. This intensified focus on financial hygiene and profitability is being driven by external pressures such as reduced demand and unsteady economic growth.

All stories

At the Inaugural KM and Innovation for Legal Conference, Knowledge Is Power (LawSites)

The inaugural Knowledge Management & Innovation for Legal Conference (KM&I) in New York, organized by Patrick DiDomenico and Joshua Fireman, was a success with sold-out exhibits and attendance. The event focused on value, innovation, and knowledge management for legal professionals, featuring practical sessions led by industry experts. It attracted approximately 150 attendees, primarily from larger law firms and corporate legal departments.

Xperate Responds to Growing Demand by establishing Xperate Data Services (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

Xperate has created a dedicated team, Xperate Data Services (XDS), to meet the growing demand for data services in the legal industry. Led by Hrishikesh Toro, the team will concentrate on data-related projects for law firms and legal tech suppliers, such as data migration and PowerBI initiatives. The move demonstrates Xperate's dedication to delivering innovative data solutions, while also capitalizing on the cost advantages of offshore resources.

Helm360 Launches Digital Eye Data Discovery Tool, Integrates with Termi Chatbot (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

Helm360 has introduced Digital Eye, a data discovery tool that augments the capabilities of its Termi chatbot. The tool can scan large volumes of unstructured content, such as PDFs and images, and provide accurate results, enhancing Termi's response accuracy. Digital Eye also links to a law firm's existing knowledge database to minimize AI errors. The integration aims to offer law firms dependable data access, boosting efficiency and client satisfaction.

vLex Launches Major Upgrade to Vincent AI, Creating the World’s Most Comprehensive AI Legal Research Assistant (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

vLex has enhanced its AI assistant, Vincent AI, positioning it as the most exhaustive AI legal research platform globally. The updated features enable users to ask questions, construct arguments, compare laws across jurisdictions, identify legal issues, and access related precedents and authorities. The tool, which utilizes vLex's library of over 1 billion cases, statutes, and regulations, is accessible directly from Microsoft Word. The upgrade aims to offer unparalleled insights for legal tasks, promoting efficiency, accuracy, and comprehensive legal knowledge.

HSBC disables texting on work phones: report (Legal Dive - Latest News)

HSBC has halted text messaging on company phones in response to regulatory scrutiny over unauthorised communication methods. The decision follows the imposition of fines on banks for using applications such as WhatsApp, causing recordkeeping violations. Earlier this year, HSBC received a $30 million fine from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and a $15 million fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The ban does not extend to personal devices, with a small number of employees retaining texting privileges on work phones.

Wolters Kluwer launches Legal Services Portal for corporate customers (Legal IT Insider)

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, UK has unveiled a Legal Services Portal for users of Legisway Enterprise and Legisway Essentials. The portal aims to simplify the legal intake process for businesses, enhancing task assignment and tracking within legal departments. Currently, the software is used by more than 1,000 legal departments and 130,000 users across Europe.

Productivity: Use your limited energy and time wisely (Legal IT Insider)

Chris Baréz-Brown, a renowned author and adviser, spoke at BigHand's conference about understanding peak productivity times and the role of subconscious in daily tasks. He suggested that tasks requiring deep concentration should be done during peak productivity periods and experimenting with new ideas can enhance energy and engagement. His theory has been applied successfully, like Adam Moskowitz, who transformed his family cheese business using unconventional methods.

Former PCLaw CEO Olivia Mockel Named President and COO of Practice Management Company ZenCase (LawSites)

Legal technology executive, Olivia Mockel, has been appointed as president and COO of cloud-based law practice management firm ZenCase. Mockel, who formerly served as CEO of PCLaw | Time Matters, a joint venture of LEAP Legal Software and LexisNexis, is expected to drive growth and product enhancement at ZenCase. Her appointment is anticipated to further boost ZenCase's success in the legal software industry.

2023 Technology, privacy and cybersecurity summit | 1 November 2023 (Inside Tech Law)

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada is hosting a virtual summit on technology, privacy, and cybersecurity. The event will focus on AI, company records management, privacy issues, and cybersecurity breaches. It will provide insight into minimizing legal risks, regulatory updates, and compliance practices, aiming to arm legal professionals, business leaders, and IT specialists with the knowledge to handle legal challenges and maintain compliance with evolving laws and regulations.

Leveraging Technology for Building Authentic Relationships (Attorney at Work)

The article emphasizes the importance of using technology to establish and maintain authentic professional relationships within the legal industry. It recommends using platforms such as LinkedIn, Zoom, and Slack, and strategies like video and audio communication, and CRM tools. It also highlights the need for intentionality, active listening, and vulnerability in building connections. The article warns about managing expectations to ensure the efficiency of technology does not compromise the depth of relationships.

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory UK introduces Legal Services Portal to Streamline Legal Intake, Enable Self-Service, and Track Outcomes (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory UK has introduced a new Legal Services Portal module for Legisway Enterprise and Legisway Essentials users. The portal simplifies the legal intake process using AI-driven software to streamline requests for legal support from non-legal teams, improve tracking, reporting, and internal communication. It also enables businesses to handle all legal requests through one channel, allowing legal departments to focus on more high-value tasks.