Innovation in the delivery of legal services is also taking place in Africa. Click each image to read more.
Lawyers on Demand in South Africa
DIYLaw in Nigeria
11 April 2016 - A Masterful Marketing Move by Avvo USA
5 April 2016 - Malaysia is Making its Mark in Legal Sector Startups
Pic: Locum Legalis website screenshot
Locum Legalis is an iPhone and Android app that creates a peer to peer network of lawyers for the purpose of helping each other with short-notice court attendances such as mentions.
BurgieLaw is a lawyer locator for consumers and businesses.
Read more about other Malaysian legal sector startups.
LawCanvas, a legal tech startup based in Singapore that sells template contracts, has expanded to Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong with a closed private beta for invited companies. A full public beta is planned for launch in April.
29 March 2016 - A USA Legal Services Startup Focuses on Consultations on the Go
16 March 2016 - Rush of Big Firms Investing In and Buying-Up Legal Sector Innovators
15 March 2016 [USA] - Witnessing Signed Documents Via Webcam
Two states in America, Virginia and Montana, allow witnessing of signed documents / notarizing (US terminology) using webcam - under certain conditions. Here is how one such service is being promoted:
7 March 2016 [UK] Launch of Pekama Collaboration Tool Follows Investment from Mid Size UK Law Firm
Legal Tech start-up Pekama has launched the first mobile messaging/collaboration app specifically designed for and with the legal sector.
Pekama’s mobile app was launched at an exclusive event co-hosted by Taylor Vinters on 25 February at London’s Gaucho, which was attended by 60 managing partners of law firms, patent attorneys, investors and entrepreneurs interested in legal tech. Pekama is Taylor Vinters’ first equity investment into a technology business - and is thought to be the first of its kind in the industry. Read more
29 February 2016 - UK - Online Court for Small Claims Proposed
In the biggest shake-up of the court system since the Woolf Reforms in the late 1990s, the Civil Courts Structure Review undertaken by Lord Justice Briggs proposes the introduction of an online court for small claims. The review is due to be completed by the end of July 2016, and an interim report was published for consultation last month.
24 November 2015 - LexisNexis Acquires Premier Legal Analytics Provider Lex Machina
20 November 2015 - The First Online-Only Dispute Resolution Tribunal
10 November 2015 - Future of the Professions - When Will the Robots Take Over?
16 October 2015 - New Report on Partner Compensation Systems
By using more objective than subjective methods when making compensation decisions, law firms can largely address partner dissatisfaction without simply distributing more cash, a recent Aderant report reveals. Concluding a six month research project, the legal software company Aderant released a new white paper today titled “Your Partner Compensation System Can Be Better: Here’s How,” which examines the most common remuneration challenges faced by law firms.
Determining the best compensation strategy for partner recognition and motivation has become a debate among law firms worldwide. Early in 2015, Aderant embarked on a research study on the topic, involving a review of industry studies, interviews with industry experts and five Aderant Leaders in Law events held around the U.S. attended by managing partners and senior leaders at more than 50 top U.S. law firms.
For the research project, Aderant focused on the following key questions:
• How are law firms currently structuring their partner compensation systems?
• Which models are the most widely used, and why?
• What are some of the primary challenges firms face in determining partner compensation?
• Which measurements are firms using to determine remuneration?
The white paper released today reports on Aderant’s research, which revealed dramatically different approaches to partner compensation in North America versus Europe. Confirming findings in prior industry studies, Aderant determined that a growing number of equity partners are not satisfied with their firm’s compensation system and would like to see changes made. Interestingly, this partner dissatisfaction seems to be true even if the types of partner compensation systems in question are vastly different.
Aderant also concluded that compensation plans based on objective analytical data appear to be best practice among top firms. Firms that use actionable data metrics as part of their model are able to provide partners with clear and accurate explanations for their decisions. In the midst of the current trends of high-level lateral poaching, dissatisfied partners will likely start evaluating their options, and may end up joining the growing wave of lateral defections. By evaluating partner performance using clear metrics, Aderant determined firms can increase transparency and abate suspicions that the compensation process is arbitrary or unfair.
“Compensation is a difficult business issue regardless of the company or level of employee,” commented Ian Oxman, VP of Marketing. “For law firms, partner compensation becomes a strategic issue as it can drive retention, recruitment and ultimately revenue. For long term growth, firms need to get partner compensation right.”
17 September 2015 - Online Legal Services Innovation Beyond North America, UK and Australia
13 August 2015 - [USA] What it Takes to Grow a Law Firm From 4 to 745 Lawyers
Larry Sonsini transformed a “small town” firm where he was the first formal Associate into the famed Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Full article at Forbes.
Some notable excerpts:
.. there’s no one ... that represents the [individual] entrepreneur all the way up to the multi-billion dollar global enterprise with our model and focus. That is also the hard part of the business model.
I try to make every client feel that they’re my only client.
Next year will be my 50th year practicing law, and I’m still working 24/7. I mean, I’m full time, and doing different things, and still growing, and taking on more.
The big issue, the big challenge, is could you in 50 years take a firm from 4 attorneys to over 700 attorneys with consistent performance? To do that you need to have a very strong governance system. And my biggest contribution to the firm is that I constantly have my hands on the reins of the governance of the firm.
So there’s a lot of decentralized power within practice disciplines. But the one common thread is the reporting to, and accountability of, the basic culture system and branding that we have. It’s a balance between individual autonomy and practice and management accountability, and it has taken time to work that out. I think it’s probably the biggest contribution I have made to the firm, internally, as I spend a lot of time thinking about that.
On lateral hires: “I don’t care about your book of business. We are not buying a book. That’s irrelevant, because if you’re the right person for us, the clients will follow.” Many law firms do it differently: They buy books — “I’m going to hire this guy because he has a $10 million practice. And we need $10 more million dollars of revenue.” That’s dangerous.
I think that the role of the law firm, particularly in this country, will continue to be critically important because the world is becoming more complex.
21 July 2015 - Winning Business, Getting Ahead - With Martini
17 July 2015 - Law Firm Network Wins Award for Marketing Video
Lex Mundi is a leading network of independent law firms across more than 100 countries. It recently received a “Bronze Telly Award” for its new brand video at the 35th International Telly Competition. Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier competition honoring non-broadcast programming.
The Lex Mundi brand video showcases the global reach of Lex Mundi member firms and features a number of client success stories that demonstrate how Lex Mundi member firms work together to seamlessly coordinate cross-border matters for clients.
The brand videos were developed in-house and produced by Innovision Communications.