Rush of Big Firms Investing In and Buying-Up Legal Sector Innovators

Posted at Legal Practice Intelligence - 16 March 2016

Deloitte and Conduit Law

On 14 March 2016, Deloitte announced the acquisition of Canadian contract lawyer business Conduit Law.  The new entity will trade as Deloitte Conduit Law LLP.

The newly formed Deloitte Conduit Law LLP will offer outsourced lawyers to support in-house legal teams, meet business needs on-demand at law firms, and deliver short-term projects or special engagements.

Heather Evans, Managing Partner, Tax for Deloitte said that as the legal market continues to undergo unprecedented change, Deloitte is investing in new models through affiliated law firms to address the evolving legal requirements of clients.

“Conduit Law is a recognized leader for delivering innovative solutions that are responsive to the rapid changes we are seeing in the legal space,” said Evans. “We’re excited by what it means for our clients. Deloitte Conduit Law LLP will offer a unique and more flexible approach to legal services that enhances the capability to provide high quality solutions that reflect the changing realities of the market.”

Conduit Law President and Founder Peter Carayiannis said the deal is about their clients. “Affiliating with Deloitte to form Deloitte Conduit Law LLP means quite simply that we can offer our clients more,” said Carayiannis. “Our new business will provide a broader range of services than we are currently able to deliver and with a national footprint, but without changing our commitment to providing high quality and cost effective solutions. We’re not a start-up anymore, this is an exciting time.”

Gilbert + Tobin and LegalVision

In Australia, in November 2015, Gilbert + Tobin made an investment in LegalVision.

According to a report in the AFR, LegalVision has raised around $2.5 million since opening, including about $600,000 from G+T.

“This was a strategic raise for LegalVision, giving us the opportunity to bring in Gilbert + Tobin as an investor and partner. We are already planning our Series B round, which we’ll close in mid 2016,” Mr McKnight said.

Gilbert + Tobin Managing Partner Danny Gilbert is excited by the prospect of the firm participating in this emerging sector of the law.

“For a while now we have been examining how the use of new technology and processes can provide efficiencies and improvements for current and future clients,” Mr Gilbert said.

“It is critical for the firm to stay progressive and this investment provides Gilbert + Tobin the opportunity for further innovation and growth as it responds to ongoing disruption in the legal market.”

Dentons and Apperio and Ross Intelligence

Denton’s subsidiary NextLaw Labs, this month invested in Apperio, a legal tech startup that is changing the way law firms handle matter management. This is the second portfolio company that NextLaw Labs has signed, following its investment in ROSS Intelligence Inc., a startup developing a legal advisor app powered by IBM Watson.

“We are thrilled to be working with one of the most promising legal tech startups for matter management in the market. Apperio is a product that we believe will be a game-changer in the competition for legal panel positions and we are already pilot-testing a prototype with Dentons partners and business development professionals in London,” said Dan Jansen, CEO of NextLaw Labs.

Taylor Vinters [UK] and Pekama

In February 2016, Legal Tech start-up Pekama launched the first mobile messaging/collaboration app specifically designed for and with the legal sector.

Pekama is Taylor Vinters’ first equity investment into a technology business - and is thought to be the first of its kind in the industry.

 

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