Welcome to your Law Tech weekly briefing covering what happened in legal tech last week.
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Takeaways from the key stories
The past week saw a substantial push for legal tech development, with Clio, Evisort, and App4Legal making notable strides. Clio unveiled new services aimed at enhancing service delivery in the legal sector, while Evisort developed an AI tool aiming to improve contract management. App4Legal, in the meantime, secured a significant investment set to hasten its tech innovation and expansion. In a regulatory setting, Spain stepped up to be the first in the EU to form an AI regulatory body (AESIA), keeping pace with the draft EU AI Act. Paralleling these developments, Legal Geek, a notable conference in the legal tech space, shifted focus from technology discovery to fostering innovation and knowledge exchange. Lastly, tech giant Google has committed to protecting its AI product users from intellectual property infringement claims.
This round-up points to the trend of increased application of AI in legal tech and the drive to create solutions meeting specific legal operations. Another trend involves fostering community-led innovation in the legal sector, as evidenced by changes announced at the Legal Geek conference. Notably, an increasing recognition of the necessity for regulatory authorities to supervise AI applications is also in progress, as demonstrated by Spain's AESIA. Lastly, the protection of AI-generated content from IP infringement claims shows a growing acknowledgment of potential legal issues linked with widespread AI deployment.
The rapid deployment of AI tools by companies such as Clio and Evisort is set to revolutionize the legal profession. The sector stands to see benefits from these technologies in the areas of efficiency, accuracy, and cost savings. However, legal professionals must equip themselves with the necessary knowledge to utilize these tools for maximum advantage. The changes in the Legal Geek conference emphasize the importance of the legal industry adopting a collective, community-focused approach to innovation. For legal professionals, this means embracing collaboration and adaptation in an era of ongoing change. The establishment of AESIA is a pivotal move in the oversight of AI in Europe, and it hints at critical developments on the horizon for legal professionals. The regulatory landscape is shifting, and these changes could have major implications for tech-driven legal operations. Moreover, the commitment made by Google shows an emerging trend in the legal tech space concerning rights related to AI-generated content. Legal professionals need to remain updated on these evolving concepts as they could reshape the legal understanding and framework of intellectual property rights in the digital world.
You'll find original sources and summaries of all key stories below.
Takeaways from all the other stories
Gavel released a tool that allows legal professionals to automate their workflows. Simmons & Simmons appointed Katja Ullrich-North as the director of knowledge management to redefine the role of knowledge in a global law firm. LegalRM expanded its team to support its rapid growth, while Clio announced product updates, including automated workflows. Dentons also partnered with Springbok.ai to develop an AI platform for tasks like document analysis. LegalRM and Clio both made strategic hires in support of growth and business expansion. LexBlog introduced Lou, an AI-powered assistant, and Tiger Eye relaunched its knowledge management product, Tiger Eye Blueprint. LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions unveiled a web-based matter management application, Lexis Everyfile, seeking to fill technology gaps in law firms. National law firm Freeths collaborated with legal tech company Henchman to boost lawyer productivity.
Technology adoption, particularly AI, is evidently a dominating trend. AI has been employed to automate various aspects of legal work, from drafting to document and workflow automation. The use of AI in legal tech firms like Gavel, Dentons, LexBlog, and Henchman is indicative of the technology's penetration in the sector. Knowledge management is also increasingly valued in the legal arena, as seen in Ullrich-North’s appointment at Simmons & Simmons and the relaunch of Tiger Eye Blueprint. From Tiger Eye to Clio, software updates aimed at improving functionalities further emphasize the importance of tech advancements in the industry. Additionally, a trend towards hiring outside the sector is apparent, likely in an attempt to bring fresh perspectives and accelerate growth.
The integration of AI into legal processes is gradually elevating the practice of law. Legal professionals are able to automate mundane tasks, thereby focusing on more strategic operations. AI-driven tools are becoming integral in handling complex tasks like document analysis, contract drafting, and even generating automatic insights. The appointment of non-lawyers in legal firms, as shown by Simmons & Simmons and LegalRM, suggests that cross-disciplinary expertise is being recognized and valued. Diverse skillsets are needed to navigate the legal landscape as it becomes more tech-oriented, increasing the complexity of operations and decision-making. The relaunch of products by companies like Clio and Tiger Eye hints at the continuous evolution and improvement of these tools. It's a signal to legal professionals that investment in such platforms is worthwhile, as these tools are being refined to meet their emerging needs. However, this may also introduce the challenge of perpetual learning to keep up with new features and changes in these tools. Finally, partnerships between law firms and tech companies are enabling traditional law firms to leverage advanced technology. Such collaborations allow law firms to innovate without the heavy lifting of developing the tech in-house, indicating a symbiotic relationship between tech and law firms and highlighting the future path for legal sector modernization.
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Clio, a law practice management company, unveiled a raft of product updates at its annual Clio Cloud Conference, its most extensive in its 15 year history. These include a suite of features for personal injury lawyers, generative AI integration, and an electronic court filing and service feature called Clio File, making it the first law practice management platform to include e-filing capabilities. A newly-launched subscription, Clio for Legal Aid, offers discounted plans for legal aid organisations, including grant management features and sliding-scale billing functionality. In addition, there are updates to existing products aimed at fostering better connections to clients, colleagues, and courts, as well as increasing productivity and profitability. These major opportunities for growth bring a much-needed tech upgrade to the legal industry, as it adapts for a digital future.
Among the insights gathered by Legal IT Insider's editor, Caroline Hill at the latest iteration of the Legal Geek conference, was the shifting emphasis of legal technology's role within the industry. Initially aimed at uncovering new methods and technologies for improving efficiencies, the conference has transitioned into a hub for knowledge exchange. Attendees, which include prominent figures within the sector, report a shift from technological focus to a broader exchange of ideas to drive real change. While technology remains an essential component, the difficulty in implementing significant change within law firms or in-house legal teams has yielded a greater emphasis on collaboration and knowledge sharing.
App4Legal, a legal-tech company offering Legal Practice Management and Contract Lifecycle Management solutions, has received a multi-million dollar investment from UAE-based firm, Aditum Ventures. The funding will be used to support the innovation and expansion of App4Legal across Europe. Currently ranked as the top software for Legal Practice Management on platforms like Gartner Capterra, the company serves over 1,400 organizations, including major banks, telecoms, and governments, in 67 countries. Aditum's investment comes at a time of significant growth for App4Legal, with the company planning to use the funds to advance its AI-driven solutions and solidify its place in the global legal-tech space.
Spain's establishment of Europe's first AI regulatory agency, the Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence (AESIA), signifies a proactive stance on digital transformation. CELTA is part of the Digital Agenda 2026 and National Strategy for the Artificial Intelligence which hopes to achieve an "inclusive, sustainable and society-centric development of AI" through a six-pronged approach. The strategy underlying the agency's establishment aligns with principles of human supervision, transparency, good data governance, and non-discrimination. Ensuring compliance with the EU AI Act, AESIA will focus on driving AI's social impact awareness and creating an environment that instills confidence in the use of AI. This move is also a response to the draft EU AI Act's requirement of a national supervisory authority, contrasting with the UK's decision not to codify core AI principles or establish an authority.
Evisort, a leader in AI for contract lifecycle management (CLM), has announced the development of a large language model (LLM) tailored for legal agreements - an industry first. The proprietary LLM, embedded in Evisort's new generative AI engine, combines third-party and in-house tech, offering innovations in contract management. The increase in general LLMs has led to a surge in AI investment. However, due to the complexity and specific terminology used in contracts, a specialized model is necessary to fully realize the benefits of AI for legal and business stakeholders. Evisort's LLM is a Transformer-based language model, trained and fine-tuned on a dataset of over two trillion tokens. Through this, Evisort aims to provide AI-driven innovations with improved accuracy and responsiveness.
Google has announced a protective measure for users of its generative AI products, promising to assume responsibility for any potential legal risks involved if users face copyright-related issues. Intellectual property lawyers are increasingly concerned about potential infringement claims due to the use of published material in AI training models. Google's move follows similar reassurances from Microsoft and Adobe. Meanwhile, Google is extending its protective measures to cover any creations by users that may potentially infrit third-party IP rights. However, the indemnity does not apply if users intentionally infringe on others' rights. By extending these protections, Google continues its aim to assure users of the safety of its services.
Legal tech firm Gavel has introduced Gavel Blueprint, an AI tool that enables legal professionals to automate workflows using existing document templates. Based on OpenAI, the tool is designed to enhance ROI from legal practice automation. Rebranded from Documate, Gavel's platform is utilized for document automation, workflow automation, and client portals. It presently serves about 10,000 users in 23 countries.
UK law firm Simmons & Simmons has named Katja Ullrich-North as a partner and director of knowledge management. Ullrich-North, previously in the same role at Hogan Lovells, is the latest non-lawyer to be made a partner at the firm. Her duties will include transforming legal service delivery and redefining the role of knowledge in an international law firm context.
UK legal technology firm, LegalRM, has hired Antony Wells as Sales Director for the UK, Ireland, and Northern Europe, and Raj Chambore as Global Pre-sales Manager. Both Wells and Chambore previously worked at Ascertus and bring with them extensive experience in the legal tech industry. The new appointments are part of LegalRM's expansion plans in Europe, reflecting the company's rapid growth. LegalRM is known for its flagship product, iCompli, a compliance platform for client data management.
Law firm management company Clio has unveiled a series of updates to its products at the Clio Cloud Conference. The updates include automated workflows and Google's Local Services Ads integration for Clio Grow, their client intake software. Clio Manage, the main practice management platform, now has matter stages and templates, improved email capabilities, and Spanish language availability. The Clio mobile app now accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay, and their document automation software, Lawyaw, has also been updated.
Law firm Dentons, in partnership with Springbok.ai, has created an AI platform, fleetAI, that assists with tasks like document analysis and clause generation. Despite its quick adoption, the system has limitations, such as handling large documents and predicting outcomes from uploaded documents. Dentons plans to license the technology to clients and incorporate it into its knowledge management system.
Cloud-based legal tech provider, Clio, has introduced a solution tailored for personal injury law firms. Built on its popular legal practice management software, Clio Manage, the new solution aims to enhance workflow efficiency for personal injury lawyers. Features include optimized settlements, medical record management, and expedited disbursement of recovery funds. This is Clio's first practice-specific offering, targeting the 50,000 personal injury lawyers in the US.
Legal technology firm, LegalRM, has hired Antony Wells as Sales Director for UK, Ireland & Northern Europe, and Raj Chambore as Global Pre-Sales Manager. Wells will be responsible for the company's European expansion, while Chambore will boost global sales. These appointments are part of LegalRM's growth strategy, which has seen the company double its revenue and profitability in the past four years.
The article explores the difficulties of conducting internal investigations while maintaining employee privacy. It recommends strategies like spot checking personal data and extracting information from company devices or cloud storage. Transparency in data collection, keeping a record of the process, and having data collection policies for both company and personal devices are advised. The increasing privatization of data and use of ephemeral messaging apps further complicate data collection.
LexBlog, a legal blogging firm, has introduced Lou, an AI-powered assistant aimed at assisting in writing, improving, and promoting blog posts. Integrated into LexBlog's WordPress platform, Lou generates post ideas, suggests article outlines, summarizes court opinions, and recommends writing style changes. It also aids in social sharing and personalized email creation. However, Lou is not meant to replace legal professionals as authors, but to support them in writing and promoting posts.
The term "law practice" comes from the Greek verb πράσσω /prasso, meaning to achieve or accomplish. First used around 1400 in Old French and Latin, it refers to the profession of law. Practicing law requires specialized knowledge and continuous learning, similar to how athletes and musicians need daily practice to hone their skills. In this context, "practice" denotes expertise, not amateurism.
Cloud-based legal technology provider, Clio, has introduced a solution specifically for personal injury law firms. Built on Clio Manage, a popular legal practice management software, the solution caters to the unique workflows and requirements of personal injury law. It enables lawyers to manage medical records, expedite recovery proceeds disbursement, track expenses, and receive payments from other law firms, all while adhering to HIPAA regulations.
The article addresses the issue of data silos in legal departments, emphasizing the need for improved collaboration, risk management, and cost efficiency. Solutions proposed include adopting a legal operations approach, proactivity, learning from investigations, and digitalization. The author stresses the importance of cross-departmental cooperation and alignment with business objectives in the process of dismantling these silos.
General counsels (GCs) are moving towards a decentralized legal department model due to CEO pressure for lawyers to drive value within business units, according to a recent Axiom paper. However, GCs worry that this model may lead lawyers to prioritize commercial incentives over legal practices. Axiom proposes a hybrid model where 15% of the in-house team is embedded within business units, offering both flexibility and oversight.
Former Trump Organization CFO, Allen Weisselberg, downplayed the importance of Trump's apartment valuation in a civil-fraud case against the company and ex-President Trump, which involves claims of fraudulent documents inflating Trump's real estate assets' value. Weisselberg, previously sentenced in a separate tax fraud case, emphasized his concern over larger items on the financial statements.
CTS Group's subsidiary, Tiger Eye, has relaunched its knowledge management product, Tiger Eye Blueprint. The updated system is fully REST compatible with the iManage platform, offers flexible authentication, and streamlines document submission and approval for lawyers. A new feature allows firms to link and unify different knowledge assets. This relaunch signals the start of a new phase for Blueprint, with additional features anticipated in the future.
Legal IT Insider and Cosmonauts have initiated an event, The Say Gap, to confront inequality and diversity issues in the legal sector. Its inaugural event on December 1 will concentrate on improving women's public speaking skills in the industry, with training provided by Ginger Leadership Communications. The initiative aims to increase self-awareness, empathy, and the representation of women in senior legal positions.
LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions has introduced Lexis Everyfile, a web-based matter management application hosted on Microsoft Azure. The tool manages matter metadata not captured by traditional systems, using Lexis' Visualfiles system database. It offers data capture, MI reporting, contact management, and process management tools. The application, already in use by a top 50 UK law firm, integrates with Microsoft 365 applications and is available on the Azure marketplace.
Lexblog, a platform for legal bloggers, has introduced a new feature named Lou, powered by OpenAI's ChatGPT technology. Lou functions as an administrative assistant, aiding lawyers in generating ideas, suggesting titles, and reducing publishing time, while also improving post readability. The AI tool can also assist with social media updates and adjust content tone. Lexblog provides training on AI blogging best practices and is currently offering limited early access to Lou.
National law firm Freeths has teamed up with legaltech company Henchman to boost lawyer productivity using AI. Henchman's technology will help extract insights from knowledge repositories and streamline complex drafting processes. This partnership is part of Freeths' dedication to enhancing its lawyers' capabilities through innovation and knowledge tools, enabling them to provide superior advice to clients.
LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions has introduced Lexis Everyfile, a web-based matter management application hosted on Microsoft Azure. The application, designed to streamline legal transactions, offers features including data capture, MI reporting, contact and date management, and process management. Lexis Everyfile aims to fill technology gaps in law firms and is accessible from any device.
Tiger Eye, a partner of iManage, has announced the relaunch of its knowledge management product, Tiger Eye Blueprint. The revamped system now features full REST compatibility for the iManage platform, flexible authentication, a user-friendly design, and knowledge bundling to connect various assets. It also integrates with iManage, using the same security features. The relaunched product is expected to be adopted in Q1 2024.
Relativity, a legal technology firm, is collaborating with The University of New England (UNE) School of Law in Australia to offer e-discovery education to law students. This is the first partnership of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region under Relativity’s Academic Partner Program. The program, which is already established in 116 schools, provides students with practical experience using RelativityOne for complex litigation. The goal is to equip future lawyers with advanced technical skills to improve their job prospects post-graduation.
A Splunk survey reveals that 90% of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) reported experiencing at least one major cyberattack in the past year, with ransomware being a prevalent form. 96% of these attacks were ransomware, significantly impacting over half of the businesses. Despite the US government's advice against it, more than 80% of the organizations paid the ransom, prompting talks of a potential ban on such payments.
Vodafone has selected US eDiscovery vendor Everlaw to improve its litigation, investigations, and compliance procedures. The cloud-based platform will help Vodafone manage corporate data, ensure compliance, and increase the efficiency of its legal operations. The platform's AI software will enable Vodafone to rapidly process and analyse data from millions of documents, aiding collaboration within the company or with external counsel.
Abdi Shayesteh, founder and CEO of AltaClaro, has reinvented legal training by addressing the skills gap through experiential learning. The platform utilizes simulations, expert feedback, and data insights to improve and personalize education for associates. By offering hands-on training, AltaClaro aims to bridge the gap between technology and legal education, empowering lawyers to adapt and thrive in the evolving legal industry.
Legal services provider, Harbor, has appointed Nick Kadochnikov as Head of AI and Advanced Tech Engineering. Kadochnikov brings extensive experience in AI, machine learning, and natural language processing from his previous roles as Director of AI Engineering at William Blair and a 20-year tenure at IBM. His primary role at Harbor will be to lead the development of AI solutions to improve operational efficiency and service delivery.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has enacted the Delete Act, instructing the state's privacy protection agency to establish a consumer portal for data deletion requests. The law targets approximately 500 data brokers who must register with the agency by the end of next year. Non-compliance with deletion requests will lead to a daily penalty of $200 per consumer.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the legal industry, providing smaller law firms with competitive advantages over larger firms. AI has increased efficiency in research, document review, case analytics, client services, and marketing. The next AI evolution, Generative AI, is set to enhance these areas further. It will enable dynamic dialogues, assist with document drafting, provide insights, and mine data for key trends. This technology will allow small firms to focus on more professional tasks and improve client relationships without requiring significant investment or technical expertise.
The U.S. Corporate Transparency Act of 2021 mandates primarily small businesses, and potentially larger companies with U.S.-based subsidiaries, to disclose their identities to curb misuse of legal entities. The law is ambiguous regarding the reporting structure for larger companies' subsidiaries. Companies must reveal beneficial owners owning at least 25% or having significant control over operations. Non-compliance can result in imprisonment and fines.