Legal futures round-up

Par Yves Faguy mai 16, 201816 mai 2018

Legal futures round-up


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

Rosenblatt Solicitors announced plans to go public, and is hoping to raise £43m on its IPO, which would make it the largest of its kind. It would be the fourth English law firm to do so since the liberalization of the market for legal services in England and Wales five years ago. The other three are Gately, Keystone and Gordon Dadds.  

Allen & Overy (A&O) is bringing in a second cohort of startups into its tech space Fuse, which launched in London last year. The new cohort, includes Canadian based AI document review platform Kira Systems. According to Fuse chairman Jonathan Brayne: “This cohort’s focus is very different to that of the first – there’s a strong AI theme here.”

Mishcon de Reya has also announced the five companies that will be part of its MDR LAB legal tech and prop tech incubator. Among them is Digitory Legal, which won The Pitch, the legal innovation startup competition put on by the Canadian Bar Association and Law Made in partnership with LexisNexis.

Closer to home, Blakes Nitro, the innovation support arm of Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon, announced a partnership with Founded, a Toronto legal tech startup Founded that was among the finalists at The Pitch 2018 in Toronto. Together they are offering a document generation and management platform for startups that is scheduled to go live this summer. The Quebec government has announced a $500-million investmentover five years in the justice system to digitalize its files and make it more efficient. According to global research company Gartner, only 1 per cent of CIOs indicated their organizations have adopted some form of blockchain, and only 8 per cent are ‘planning or [looking at] active experimentation with blockchain’ soon.

Bruce McEwen has a post up on the diminishing importance of the lockstep model of paying law firm partners in the New York and London markets. “There may never be zero lockstep firms, but there will be fewer five years hence than five years ago, and so on and so on.”

Are legal services any good?  Jordan Furlong asks the uncomfortable question, comparing 21st century lawyers to 19th century doctors (you read that right). If we are honest with ourselves, he writes, we’d have to “concede that we can’t actually prove” that legal services are any good, at least compared to what they could be Ron Friedmann looks at how AI could finally put pressure on law firms to take in multi-disciplinary teams: “Law firm talent wars today seem myopically focused on lawyers. The challenge of recruiting top legal talent pales in comparison to hiring top AI and data science talent. Both fields are growing explosively but the talent is not.”

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