LexisNexis and Janders Dean announced the winners of the 2017 Legal Innovation Index at a private event last night, where data literacy was a common trend in legal innovation across Australia and New Zealand, resulting in greater capacities for automation in knowledge sharing and access to legal resources.

The winners from the Organisation category are:
· Gilbert + Tobin: for collaboration with the Boral Group’s legal team to improve document management, using a multi-disciplinary process.
· Helix Legal: for its scalable practice costing on a project basis to maximise operational efficiency, and development of LawLancer.Legal, a digital marketplace connecting law firms and other legal service providers with law students on a freelance basis.
· Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF): for the creation of The Vision Lab, an artificial intelligence tool that crowdsources ideas from their internal global network.
· Lexvoco: the creation of MyDay – a data capture, analysis and visualisation web app that allows in-house legal teams to capture, analyse and report on data.
· Minter Ellison: developing a solution that re-engineers the legal service delivery workflow surrounding companies’ e-discovery function.
· Westpac Legal Team: created CataLyst and a Transformation Office, to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking and streamlining customers’ experience.

The winners from the Individual category are:
· Andrea Perry-Petersen, LawRight: developing new ways, for students, to identify how technology and digital innovation may be leveraged to increase access to justice and prevent disadvantage.
· Clarissa Rayward, Happy Lawyer Happy Life: development of The Club an online place for entrepreneurial lawyers from all over Australia to work together for knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation.
· Claudia King, Automio: development of Automio, an interview bot and document-builder in the cloud, as well as a customisable reseller of automated legal documents directly to clients.
· Matthew Robinson, FCB Group: developed a methodology to conduct forensic underpayment auditing using multidisciplinary skills at FCB Workplace Law.

Beyond the organisation and individual categories, the judges wanted to recognise two additional individuals for their exceptional work in advancing the industry. These special awards have gone to Beth Patterson at Allens and Caroline Evans from the University of Melbourne.

“The Innovation Index has provided an unprecedented insight into the role of data in innovation and illustrates how it can be used to bridge the justice gap in our region,” said Simon Wilkins, General Manager of LexisNexis Australia.

“Technology has the potential to provide efficiencies and new platforms to make access to legal aid achievable for everyone, regardless of their economic situation. This year’s entries have seen significant strides in technologies such as document automation, which will increase the capacity of the legal assistance sector to assist more people and therefore spend more time with the most vulnerable clients with the greatest need.

“Australia’s legal industry is on the cusp of an exciting period of change, and these winners are amongst those leading the way,” Mr Wilkins added.

“This year’s entries have shown that companies are becoming more aware of the importance of understanding the client experience as a differentiator. We are also seeing that innovation has become more embedded within organisations’ cultural blueprint and there has been a rise in collaboration between and within organisations – between disciplines that were previously isolated within their own function,” said Justin North, Director of Janders Dean.

“Subsequently, the capacity for companies to automate routine tasks has increased and the role of data analysis in measuring business performance has grown. Organisations of all sizes, across a range of industries, are recognising the need to enact change and harness data to its full potential,” said Mr North.

This year’s judges included:

Whit Lee, Executive Director, LexisNexis
Monica Parker, Founder, Hatch Analytics
Justin Moses, Head of Knowledge & Development; Compliance, Legal & Secretariat, Westpac Banking Corporation
Sam Fernando, Director Organisational development, Asia Pac Talent Pillar Lead, PWC
Ryanne Lai, Business & Product Director, Dragon Law, The New Face of Business Law
Nicole Shanahan, Founder & CEO, ClearAccessIP
Professor Des Butler, QUT
Chloe Bennett, University of Queensland
Justin North, Founder & Director, Janders Dean
Travis Leon, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Microsystems