Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Sep 20, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
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Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday
- Embrace Cloud-Based Technology: Law firms have started to adopt cloud-based solutions for more efficient workflow and improved document accessibility, as evidenced by DLA Piper's announced transition to the iManage Cloud. Legal knowledge workers should keep abreast of this trend and get familiar with cloud-based software and practices.
- Prioritize Privacy and Security: With Legal tech startup Kim achieving SOC 2 Type 1 compliance certification, there is an evident spotlight on security standards and privacy concerns. Actors in the legal ecosystem should consider compliance certification to ensure they meet high standards of data security and privacy.
3. Be Aware of AI Limitations: The rising use of generative AI in consulting tasks indicates a potential transformative shift in the legal profession. It is crucial to not only adapt to these advancements but also to use them judiciously. Users should consider the limitations and potential oversights of AI solutions while leveraging them for maximum benefit.
Here's what happened in legal tech recently...
Leading global law firm, DLA Piper, announced a major transition to the iManage Cloud across the UK and EMEA by 2024. This move is part of a larger strategic shift to embrace cloud technology, with benefits such as enhanced document accessibility expected. Elsewhere, Legal Tech startup Kim achieved SOC 2 Type 1 compliance certification, further affirming its commitment to data security and customer privacy. Legal technology consultancy firm Pinnacle also extended its operations into the APAC region. In other news, Louise Pentland, formerly of PayPal, has been named chief counsel for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products by The Walt Disney Company.
Several key trends emerged within the legal tech space, highlighting the growing emphasis on cloud-based solutions and stringent privacy standards. As firms like DLA Piper and SaaS platforms like Kim increasingly adopt these technologies, they could set a precedent for others in the industry. In addition, the rise of generative AI in consulting tasks suggests that the legal profession may be on the cusp of a transformative shift. However, caution is advised over their limitations. The role of legal tech consultancies in providing global and regional support also appears to be gaining importance, as evidenced by Pinnacle's expansion.
The transition to cloud-based systems, such as DLA Piper's move, suggests the legal industry's exploration of more efficient and secure ways to manage workflow and document accessibility. Kim's SOC 2 Type 1 certification signals a growing recognition of privacy concerns as legal SaaS providers strive to uphold high-security standards. However, as artificial intelligence proliferates in the industry, questions surrounding over-reliance and limitations of such technology arise. Firms should maintain a judicious approach towards implementing AI to leverage its full advantages. Pinnacle's APAC expansion demonstrates an appreciation for localized, in-time-zone support in response to increasingly globalized clientele. Lastly, the appointment of Louise Pentland at Disney reinforces the growing role of counsel in advising on legal and regulatory issues for large corporations navigating various business aspects. It also represents a substantial legal recruitment move within the entertainment industry. Overall, these developments highlight the legal tech industry's shift towards advanced technology adoption, heightened security, and regional support for a globally active clientele.
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A recent study from Harvard Business School showed consultants using generative AI were more productive and generated superior results than those operating without. In a series of realistic consulting tasks, those utilizing GPT-4, a large language model, completed 12.2% more tasks and 25.1% faster. Quality of work was also over 40% higher than the non-AI control group. However, for tasks outside the AI capabilities, AI users were less successful than the control group. This comes at a time of increased interest in generative AI in legal departments and law firms, who hope AI technology can enhance efficiency and quality in their work. This study may encourage the legal industry to implement AI, dispelling skepticism around its usefulness in high-level legal work.
DLA Piper's CIO, Paul Gilford, confirmed the law firm's transition to the iManage Cloud across the UK and EMEA, which is expected to be completed by 2024. This decision, made in June, is part of a strategic shift to move all possible systems to the cloud. The transition, led by iManage, followed a lengthy due diligence process and aims to enhance performance, especially in document accessibility.
UK-based no-code SaaS platform, Kim, has achieved SOC 2 Type 1 compliance certification for its cloud-hosted platform, reflecting its commitment to data security and customer privacy. This certification is a high standard in the SaaS industry and complements Kim's existing IS27001 accreditation, further demonstrating the company's dedication to secure and efficient service delivery.
The California Legislature has approved SB 553, a bill requiring companies to develop workplace violence prevention plans, effective from January 2025. The legislation mandates employers to keep records of violent incidents and train employees on reporting such events. It also grants union representatives the right to seek temporary restraining orders for workers subjected to violence. The bill was prompted by a 2021 shooting at a Santa Clara Valley railyard and is currently awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom's approval.
Legal technology consultancy Pinnacle is extending its reach to the APAC region, appointing former Ashurst executive Scott Sonter as principal consultant. The expansion aims to offer in-time-zone support to its global clients and regional firms, who previously relied on out-of-time-zone assistance. This move follows Pinnacle's successful growth in the US, UK, and Europe.
The article highlights the significance of networking for lawyers and offers strategies to build a professional network. It suggests lawyers should focus on personal interests, professional organizations, and community involvement to form genuine connections. The author warns against participating in activities that don't align with personal interests, as it may appear inauthentic. The article also stresses the importance of being strategic about networking locations and that lawyers can start building their network at any stage of their career.
UnternehmerTUM is holding a conference, "How to Build a Legal Tech Unicorn", on 27th September in Munich. The event will focus on the development of disruptive businesses, featuring speakers from Celonis, Siemens Healthineers, and Henchman. The conference will also mark the first anniversary of the Legal Tech Colab, a hub for law-related start-ups, and will highlight the start-ups that the Colab has supported in the past year.
U.S. sale leaseback transactions dropped by 49% to $5.125 billion, down from $10.4 billion the previous year, as reported by SLB Capital Advisors. This decrease is partially attributed to a decrease in mergers and acquisitions activity, which often utilize sale leasebacks for financing. The most significant transaction of the quarter was Realty Income's acquisition of up to 415 single-tenant convenience store properties from the U.K.'s EG Group, valued at $1.5 billion.
Louise Pentland, previously chief business affairs and legal officer at PayPal, has been named chief counsel for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products at The Walt Disney Company. She will handle all legal and regulatory issues for the segment, including theme parks, cruise lines, and e-commerce platforms. The appointment comes as Disney plans a $60 billion investment in the segment over the next ten years and amidst a legal dispute with Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis.
McCarter & English Partner, Steven Weisman, advises companies to review their cyber insurance policies to confirm coverage of liabilities resulting from generative AI use. General liability policies may also cover copyright infringement issues, especially as AI tools such as ChatGPT are being utilized more for drafting memos and contracts. Microsoft has committed to covering legal expenses for Copilot AI tool users facing infringement claims.