Legal futures round-up

Par Yves Faguy juin 11, 201811 juin 2018

Legal futures round-up

Time for a quick round-up of notable trends and developments and views that highlight innovation in the legal industry.

Another month. Another law firm announces its intentions to go public. Mere weeks after Rosenblatt Solicitors announced its plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, UK regional firm Knights Law has confirmed its plans to follow suit, valuing the firm at £100m (This would make it the country's largest-ever law firm flotation). The firm says it will use the money raised in the IPO to pay down debt and finance growth through acquisitions.

On that topic, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of the UK’s top 100 law firms, 20 per cent of their finance directors are considering initial public offerings as a possibility to raise cash.  What’s more, 24 per cent would consider private equity as a source of funding.

It appears that there is growing interest in England’s liberalized market from investors, too. Goldman Sachs and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek are getting together to invest £13m in UK-based legal AI company Eigen Technologies, as part of a Series A round of financing.

And the Big Four continue to make incremental moves into the legal services marketplace. Deloitte is the latest to announce it is acquiring part of U.S. immigration law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden. The move is reminiscent of Deloitte’s 2014 decision to enter an alliance with Toronto-based immigration law firm Guberman Garson, with a view to servicing its international clients.

Stephen J. Poor in a recent article shares his views on the barriers to tech adoption in large law firms.  He names five of them: pricing and compensation structures, lawyer resistance, organizational barriers, and lack of understanding:

So we’ll see if this flies. Baker McKenzie in Paris has launched an artificial intelligence platform as part of its digital transformation strategy. It centers around a personal assistant, named Lancelaw that provides the lawyers with a weekly selection of both relevant and personalised news on innovation and changes to the law profession as well as innovation.

On the legal education front, Suffolk University Law School’s Legal Innovation & Technology Certificate Program officially launched last month. The program is designed for legal professionals of all stripes who want to get a better understanding of today’s evolving legal services market.  Jordan Furlong, who built one of its courses, has more on the program here.

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