by Andrea Foot*

The rise and rise of in-house technology

Legal Practice Intelligence has previously highlighted the activity that’s happening in the market for software to meet the needs of in-house legal teams.  I’ve been observing a new burst of energy in this area of the legal industry and wondered what might be driving it.

I think we’re seeing a conjuncture of three main trends – the cloud, legal operations and a shift to taking more work back in-house – that have supported a fertile environment for legal teams and technology developers alike.

Cloud-based technology is now an increasingly uncontroversial choice for the delivery of solutions to even the most conservative of markets.  The benefits of choosing to use a software-as-a-service (SAAS) solution from the cloud have been extensively covered and include certified security levels, low administration needs and accessible payment models. 

Software solutions designed for in-house legal teams have been around the market for decades however they tended to fit the budget of the largest teams. Cloud solutions, typically, can be deployed by smaller teams and can be paid for on an ‘as used’ basis.  This has opened the door to a much wider potential market for software developers with a flowering of new cloud solutions.

The outflow of work to law firms from in-house teams has been changing and, in recent years, more is being bought back in-house or serviced by ‘new law’ businesses.  In addition, the emphasis on getting a better result for legal spend is ever-increasing.

In parallel with this, the discipline of ‘legal operations’ has been formed by legal teams to help bring together not just the lawyers, but also their service providers, technology and processes to help support efficient work practices. 

The technology platforms available to in-house legal teams in the APAC region continue to increase in number. They all offer a slightly different approach to meeting the needs of this sector. I’ve added to the list previously published at Legal Practice Intelligence. Until the next update, here it is:


“Digital transformation for the legal department” 

  • Legal procurement
  • Legal project management
  • Legal spend management
  • Relationship management
  • Business process improvement
  • Strategic planning

Xakia Technologies

“Helping In-House Legal Departments Manage the Business of Law”

  • Matter management
  • Dashboards and reports
  • Expense management
  • Intake tool
  • Registers
  • Contract automation and checklist tools


“A clearer view of legal operations”

  • Intake
  • Knowledge management
  • Matter management
  • Spend management
  • Contract management
  • Dashboards and reporting

Crowd & Co

“Build your own Digital Village”

  • “Imagine all your legal invoices analysed—per invoice, matter, law firm and business unit—at the push of a button. Imagine qualitative feedback from your team alongside the financial data. Imagine better conversations with your stakeholders, and better deals with your legal providers.”


“The Future of Legal Work”

  • Panel firm management
  • Smarter procurement
  • Work on any device. Anytime, anywhere.
  • Transparent matter & costs management


“Centralise every aspect of legal operations onto one platform”

  • Strategic reporting
  • Manage matters & workflow
  • Report dynamically
  • Manage panels
  • Client portals


“Provide consulting, technology and services to law departments and law firms”

  • Cael suite of software to support in house legal workload
  • Legal project management
  • Pricing & budgeting
  • Analytics & dashboard
  • E-Billing
  • Tools to help perform legal work


“A combination of people and software to deliver technology enabled legal services”

  • Top tier legal talent
  • Legal Gateway – legal automation platform
  • Promotion Wizard – self-service platform to enable users to generate compliant T&C’s


“UnitedLex is an enterprise legal services provider that drives digital transformation throughout the corporate legal ecosystem”

  • Litigation services
  • Digital contracting and commercial solutions
  • Intellectual property
  • Law department consulting
  • Cyber risk solutions
  • Financial advisory

*Andrea Foot is principal of Leaf Logic