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24 July 2014 - US Law Firm To Compete with E-Discovery Vendors
click image below to read more
17 July 2014 - US$25 Million Equity Investment into NetDocuments
8 July 2014 - In Sweden, Bypassing the Entire Expensive Court System
”Swiftcourt targets individuals and SME’s, in order to provide them with a possibility to solve disputes without costing a fortune. Today many businesses don’t even solve their disputes because of the high legal costs and long processing time in the District Courts.”
3 June 2014 - End of "Tick Box" Mandatory CPD – in UK
The UK Solicitors Regulation Authority has brought to an end the era of “tick box” mandatory CPD/CLE.
“Firms and solicitors will have to sign an annual declaration pledging their commitment to continuing professional development instead of completing the current 16-hour mandatory requirement, the SRA has said,” reported The Law Gazette.
"The policy and regulatory change ... is now awaiting final approval from the Legal Services Board ..."
Click image below to view a video that covers the reasoning behind the change
19 May 2014 - An Innovative Online Compensation Service
Legal services (and quasi-legal services) are being unbundled and offered online. Typically, when offered online, they avoid hourly billing. Sometimes it is surprising to find out what new services are being offered in this way. Click the image below to find out more about a service that helps obtain compensation for airline passengers.
10 May 2014 - Creating Legal Documents as if They Were an Open Source Software Project
(section starts at 36min)
27 April 2014 - Mitch Kowalski Speaks About The Legal Reformation
17 April 2014 - Avvo Raises US$37.5 Million and Could Expand into Australia
Where are you going to expand outside the U.S.?
"Places with English-based systems. We're looking for places where there are public records, high usage of court system by everyday people, and a large number of lawyers. We’re looking for big demand, consumer utilization... also access to records because with ratings we try to be an honest broker of information..." Read more
1 April 2014 - Cloud Practice Management Platform Clio Raises $20 million (Canadian) Plus New Features
"We’re very proud to announce that, as of today [25/3/14], Clio has closed a successful Series C funding round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, valued at $20M. BVP, an early-stage investor in companies such as Skype, LinkedIn, Yelp, Pinterest, and more, adds Clio to an impressive roster spanning 103 years and 108 IPOs..." Read more
20 March 2014 - Small Firms Form Temporary Global Alliance and Win ($US25B) Multinational Client
Nike gives the tick to working with small firms in
alliance rather than with one big global firm
Nike (with annual revenue in the vicinity of US$25 billion) has selected an alliance of smaller law firms rather than a single multinational firm.
The ‘Alliance for Nike’, as it is known, advises Nike on matters such as sports marketing, commercial contracts and disputes, intellectual property issues, labour law and real estate.
“Establishing a Nike Alliance, under the leadership of our Dutch partner [law firm] Kennedy Van der Laan, means being able to retain the firms that most fit Nike’s needs in each jurisdiction, gaining efficiencies, driving convergence and increasing spend predictability. In addition, the Alliance for Nike is a powerful catalyst for our European legal team talent development, says Fabrizio Mecozzi, Vice President and Europe General Counsel at Nike.
The Alliance for Nike consists of 21 law firms in 17 jurisdictions, and continues to expand. With the Alliance for Nike as a successful example, Kennedy Van der Laan now offers Customized Alliance to other multinationals seeking a customized solution for their legal services.
24 January 2014 - [USA] - Is it Viable to Offer a Legal-Type Service for Under $25?
Isn’t it the conventional wisdom or simply common sense that you can’t offer a legal or legal-type service for $25 or less?
Apparently the founders of a new service weren’t aware of this conventional wisdom or they were aware and ignored it anyway.
Based in San Francisco, the name of the service is Fixed. It helps people contest parking fines.
How it works: 1. Take a photo of the parking fine
2. Upload it to the service
3. Provide some additional information in a structured way
4. Fixed does the rest
5. If the fine is dismissed then you pay Fixed a fee calculated at 25% of the value of the fine, which might be a fee of $25 or less
6. If it is not dismissed then you don’t pay Fixed anything and you still have your parking fine
We don’t have any information about the financial success of the business. At the very least it is a reminder about how imagination, technology and structured business processes have the ability to undo conventional wisdoms, regardless of whether this particular service is applicable for Australian conditions.
website screen shot - click image to visit site
7 January 2014 - [USA] - Big Business Invests in Online Legal Documents Market
Intuit and Docstoc
US-headquartered software company Intuit (US4.17 billion revenue in FY2013) announced last month its agreement to acquire Docstoc Inc.
Docstoc describes itself as an online destination to start and grow small businesses, hosting the best quality and widest selection of professional documents and resources including expert videos, articles and productivity tools to make every small business better.
The company offers more than legal documents although they are a key part of its product offerings.
Docstoc was founded in 2007 and in December 2013 had a team of 50 people.
According to Docstoc’s blog on the acquisition: “The acquisition will help Intuit expand its offerings to solopreneurs, self-employed and independent contractors. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 22 million entrepreneurs looking for assistance to start and grow their businesses. Combining Intuit’s powerful brand, customer reach and small business savvy with Docstoc’s platform, broad content and popular tools will ultimately help more small businesses succeed.”
Intuit has a presence in Australia and is most widely known for its QuickBooks accounting software.
Permira and LegalZoom
On 6 January 2014 it was announced that the private equity fund Permira will acquire US$200 million of equity in LegalZoom.
"LegalZoom is the clear leader in the huge untapped market for small business and family law,” said Dipan Patel, a Principal at Permira. “The Company has strong brand recognition, a unique value proposition and a proven track record. We’ve been impressed by the team’s development of multiple successful subscription products, which, in less than four years, now represent more than 30% of revenue, growing in excess of 35% per year. We are excited to back John Suh and his talented team at LegalZoom as they continue to lead this emerging industry."
"The Permira funds are a fantastic partner for this next chapter of LegalZoom's growth,” said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom. “They share our passion for creating modern customer-centric legal solutions that help businesses and families save both time and money. They also have an unusual knack for helping industry leaders extend their market leadership."
4 December 2013 [US] - New Business Model Family Law Venture Raises US$1.7 million
Issues facing family lawyers in the UK. Click image below to visit page where the free report can be downloaded.
2 November 2013 - SJ Berwin Merges with King & Wood Mallesons
6 October 2013 [USA] - UpCounsel Gets $1.5m Boost
29 September 2013 [Global] - Insight Into Global Firm Strategy
Click above to view video at The Lawyer website
20 September 2013 [Canada] - "We’re seeing the greatest percentage of people leaving medium to large firms and going to sole and small-firm environments"
click above images to read article
16 September 2013 [US] - What Do Lawyers Do?
According to Jeffrey Carr (GC, ABA Legal Rebel and 20+ years in-house for a multi-billion dollar US corporation) lawyers do four things and four things only:
2. Counselling and advising
3. Attending to processes and
4. Delivering content
In the presentation below to the Colorado Bar Association, US attorney Mark Lassiter covers this topic (at 8m00s) as well as the questions: what will lawyers be doing in the future and what should their representative bodies (i.e. bar associations) be doing today?
6 September 2013 [US] - Underestimate Us At Your Own Risk
Below is a Flash video which may not be viewable on your mobile device
4 July 2013 - A new breed of Integrative Lawyers who are transforming themselves and the law
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26 June 2013 [UK] - Extraordinary Claim That 30 of Top 200 UK Firms are in Serious Financial Difficulty
The UK's Solicitors Regulation Authority has made the most extraordinary claim that 30 top UK firms are in serious financial difficulty. Click the image below to read the story. The majority of the commentators to the article certainly don't believe the assertion. If it is true it is the story of the year if not the decade.
14 June 2013 [UK] - A Crowdfunded Legal Sector Startup - LawBit
Click above image for more
6 June 2013 [UK] - The Co-operative Group's New TV Ad
The Co-operative Group is the UK's largest mutual retailer with Food, Travel, Pharmacy, Funeral, Bank and Legal Services.Read more
18 May 2013 [UK] - A New Way to Go Online Shopping for Legal Services
18 May 2013 [China] - In China - An Online Legal Documentation Service Similar to LegalZoom
6 May 2013 [US] - Don't Divorce, Wevorce
"Ending a marriage doesn't have to be war. It doesn't have to cost months of courtroom drama. Or destroy relationships with your kids. There is another way. A better way. THE WEVORCE WAY"
This is how a new venture in the United States is promoting its family law service, offering the hope of keeping clients out of court and achieving settlements at a fraction of the cost of typical divorces. Read more via the below links:
4 May 2013 [UK] - Condemnation of UK Legal Aid Cutbacks
20 April 2013 [US] - ReInvent Law Laboratory - Innovation. Technology. Entrepreneurship.
9 April 2013 [US] - Lawyers as Peacemakers Conference