Welcome to your Law Tech briefing for Sep 29, 2023, covering what happened in legal tech recently.
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Have less than a 1 min? Three takeaways from yesterday
- Legal tech firms are seeing the value in AI and automation and are hiring experienced personnel to lead such projects. As a legal knowledge worker, it is important to familiarize oneself with these new technologies but also to avoid trying to adopt every new tool all at once. Instead, focus should be placed on a phased approach, targeting areas such as contract management and legal research.
- As legal industries adopt technology and automation, a strong emphasis must be placed on client confidentiality, data privacy, and security. This is especially crucial in the wake of M&A activities. Thus, it is essential for legal professionals to not only stay abreast with technological advancements but also maintain awareness of their potential implications on data safety and compliance.
- The trend towards outsourcing operational tasks and using third-party payment providers is freeing up firms to focus more on strategic growth, demonstrating the transformative role of technology in fostering business efficiency. Legal professionals should consider how to leverage these models to optimize their own workflow while maintaining strong client engagement and service.
Here's what happened in legal tech recently...
Drew Winlaw from Simmons Wavelength has been picked to lead a team with a focus on generative AI at Simmons & Simmons. The initiative will spotlight safety and client confidentiality and the potential influence of such technology on the firm's prospects. Elsewhere, E-discovery firm Relativity has announced plans to roll out an AI tool, named "Relativity aiR for Review," developed with Microsoft Azure OpenAI. Simultaneously, ikaun, an AI platform, has kickstarted a survey to evaluate the impact of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) on law firms. Bundledocs, a legal tech company, has named Miles Osborne as its Director of Customer Success, and Mark Bilson was appointed as the Chief Commercial Officer of UK legal software startup, Xperate.
The legal industry is leaning towards AI and automation as key drivers of future growth. Firms like Relativity are launching AI tools to streamline litigation and investigative review stages and improve data discovery. Additionally, legal tech firms are hiring experienced personnel to lead AI-centric projects, hinting at the future expansion of generative AI in the legal industry. We're also seeing an increased focus on due diligence, data privacy, compliance, and cybersecurity in M&A discussions, highlighting the significance of technology in complex processes like M&A.
The overarching theme we see in the legal tech sector is the adoption of AI and automation to improve efficiency and accuracy while placing a strong emphasis on client confidentiality and safety. Nevertheless, as legal professionals explore the full potential of AI, there's caution against trying to adopt every new technology at once. It's crucial to avoid innovation saturation and take a measured, phased approach, concentrating on areas such as contract management and legal research. The shift towards using outsourcing and third-party payment providers illustrates an evolving landscape, freeing up firms to focus more on strategic growth and less on operational management. It highlights the advantage of technology not just in direct legal applications but in fostering business efficiency and growth. However, as firms digitize and automate, they must also emphasize data privacy and security, especially in the wake of significant M&A activity. In conclusion, the legal tech industry is moving at a quick pace. With more firms adopting technological advances, professionals need to stay updated on the latest developments while maintaining client engagement and ensuring the utmost data security.
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Simmons Wavelength's Drew Winlaw has been selected to lead a large language model (LLM) team at Simmons & Simmons that will focus on generative AI for the UK firm. This team will explore how the technology can be used by the firm's fee-earners, their business service personnel, and clients. Winlaw was a co-founder of Wavelength and joined Simmons & Simmons when it was bought by the firm in 2019. The new team, a combination of existing Wavelength consultants and new hires, plan to hire an LLM program manager, a cloud and dev ops engineer, and another data scientist. Winlaw pointed out that understanding the technology being applied is as important as identifying the problem to be solved. Safety, client confidentiality, and increasing firm-wide understanding of the technology's potential impacts are key priorities.
The Legal IT Insider is hosting a memorial for its founder, Charles Christian, and exploring the influence of generative AI on the legal sector. The latest newsletter discusses new product launches, the growing use of Microsoft Teams in the industry, and a unique partnership with Allen & Overy. Drew Winlaw from Simmons Wavelength has been selected to head a team focusing on generative AI at Simmons & Simmons.
E-discovery firm Relativity plans to launch an AI tool, Relativity aiR for Review, to help legal professionals locate pertinent data for discovery requests, legal issues, and crucial documents. The tool is developed using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Services. Relativity has also released two AI-based products, Relativity Personal Information Detect and Relativity Data Breach Response, available immediately. The company will continue to invest in AI solutions to improve its services.
Law firm owners can reduce stress and improve business growth by embracing delegation and outsourcing. This shift can free up time for strategic planning, while the creation of standard operating procedures can enhance efficiency and profits. The key to success is managing a skilled team rather than attempting to handle everything personally.
Relativity, a worldwide legal tech firm, has announced new AI solutions to improve data discovery, including an AI tool, Relativity aiR for Review, designed to speed up litigation and investigative review stages. The company also launched Relativity Personal Information Detect and Relativity Data Breach Response. These offerings, revealed at the annual Relativity Fest, are anticipated to be available in the first half of 2024.
AI-powered platform ikaun has initiated a survey to study the effect of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) on law firms' marketing and business development. The 2023 RFP Impact Report for Marketing and Business Development Survey will evaluate how these sectors are managing in a competitive market, especially as clients are seeking expert services at reduced costs. The survey targets CMOs, CMBDOs, marketing and business development directors, RFP specialists, and CAOs/COOs/CEOs.
Leading legal technology provider Bundledocs announce appointment of Miles Osborne as Director of Customer Success, Global (Legal Technology News - Legal IT Professionals | Everything legal technology)
Legal technology firm Bundledocs has named Miles Osborne as its new Director of Customer Success, Global. Osborne, with 28 years of experience in the legal tech sector, will manage the firm's 1,400 clients across Europe, North America, and APAC. CEO Brian Kenneally praised Osborne's expertise in customer support. Bundledocs, a leader in electronic document production, operates in over 34 countries.
The Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) has expanded its board with three new directors: Siobhan Metcalfe-Poulton, Greg Tomlinson, and Chloe Parfitt. They bring expertise in legal technology training, information technology, and organizational design. Their roles will focus on improving liaison experiences, contributing to certification processes, and launching new competencies to further LTC4's mission of promoting proficiency in legal technology.
A study from Cornell and Duke Universities recommends that hiring managers should 'opt in' to view specific information about a job applicant to reduce hiring bias. The study found that managers were less likely to choose potentially biasing information when they had to actively select each piece of information. This 'opt in' approach could help organizations minimize hiring bias.
The article highlights the rise of mental health issues, such as burnout, anxiety, and depression, among legal professionals. It emphasizes the need for law firms to foster a supportive work environment. A webinar with industry experts, including Lucy Shurwood of Simmons Solutions, will discuss these issues and the potential role of technology in boosting productivity and engagement.
Legal tech expert, Mark Bilson, has been named the chief commercial officer of UK legal software startup, Xperate. Bilson, who has prior experience with Nexl, Persuit, Intapp, and LexisNexis InterAction, will guide Xperate's North American expansion. He commended Xperate's custom development and its capability to integrate legacy platforms for law firms. Xperate also provides its development team to other legal technology providers.
The article underscores the significance of digital and flexible payment options in law firms for attracting clients and managing finances. It suggests that technology has revolutionized the legal industry, increasing client service and convenience. The article recommends enhancing transparency, offering diverse payment options, adopting digital payments, and ensuring security. It concludes that adaptable payment arrangements can boost client satisfaction and adaptability, making legal services more accessible.
The legal sector is increasingly adopting automation tools such as AI chatbots and machine learning to improve efficiency and accuracy. However, adopting all these technologies at once could lead to innovation saturation, stunting growth. A phased approach, focusing on areas like contract management and legal research, could be more beneficial. Additionally, outsourcing client account management to automated third-party payment providers can enhance operational efficiency and cut costs.
The article underscores the critical role of due diligence in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), especially with respect to data privacy compliance and cybersecurity. It recommends M&A teams to be well-versed with data privacy laws, assess data security, and consider cross-border issues. Establishing a data privacy and compliance team and using technologies such as eDiscovery for data review are suggested. Neglecting thorough due diligence may result in substantial financial and reputational damages, including lawsuits, fines, and penalties.
The article suggests lawyers joining startups as first in-house counsel to thoroughly assess the financial health, growth strategies, and leadership expectations of the company. It warns against companies aiming to cut outside counsel expenses and underscores the in-house counsel's role in managing relationships with external lawyers. It also emphasizes the need to clarify the reporting structure, given the role's potential shift from functional to strategic as the company grows.