AIFC Lawtech advisory council
Stay updated, stay informed about legal technology news and events with AIFC LawTech Advisory Council's Fortnightly LegalTech Digest
Smart contracts and the law: Tech developments challenge legal community
Smart contracts are an important element of the blockchain revolution, although they predate blockchain. According to most sources, it was Nick Szabo who coined the term “smart contract” in the 1990s. The mechanism of a vending machine has since been frequently given as an example of a basic smart contract based on if-then logic. The payment into a vending machine triggers an irrevocable automated action from when money is retained to when an item is supplied.

The emergence of blockchain technology enabled the implementation of such if-then logic on decentralized networks to facilitate autonomous self-executing, self-performing smart contracts, also called computerized scripts, smart code, computerized protocols or decentralized business logic. Ever since they gained popularity, it has been debated and questioned whether they are at all smart or contracts.

Source: Cointelegraph

US legaltech provider Lexion raises $11m to boost AI-powered contract management business

Seattle-based AI-powered contract management system provider Lexion has secured an $11m Series A funding round from a group of investors led by Khosla Ventures and existing backers Madrona Venture Group and Wilson Sonsini.

The funding round brings total investment in the company to $15.2m and will see Khosla Ventures’ principal Kanu Gulati join Lexion’s board. The funds will be used to scale the business and invest in further AI and product innovation.

Gaurav Oberoi, co-founder and CEO of Lexion, said: “In-house lawyers spend far too much time on mundane tasks like checking if an active NDA exists, or manually filling out spreadsheets to track key dates and non-standard terms in their contracts. What makes Lexion special, in this rapidly growing industry, is that it’s a sophisticated AI product that’s incredibly easy to use, accurate and fast and eliminates rote work by automatically pulling these key data points from contracts.”

Source: The Global Legal Post
Image: Shutterstock
London legal tech startup that helps law firms improve efficiency and client transactions scores £3M funding
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the legal sector and given rise to a significant opportunity to capitalise on increased budgetary pressure and interest in cost-saving software tools. A recent report by Thomson Reuters identified that 84% of Law Partners surveyed expected their technology investment to increase and had a greater openness to experiment with different forms of service delivery and operational processes.
London-based Legatics is an intuitive legal transaction management software that simplifies and automates traditional legal processes. The legaltech company just bagged £3 million growth capital investment from Mobeus to develop its platform and further build up on its strong customer acquisition. Also, Joe Krancki will join the board after the completion of this round.

Source: UKTN
East Ventures leads seed round of Indonesian legaltech firm Justika
Indonesia’s Justika, a legal services marketplace that focuses on family, SME, and property laws, said it raised an undisclosed amount in its latest round of funding.

More funding details
  • Lead investor: East Ventures
  • Other investor: Skystar Capital
  • Stage: Seed
Source: Tech in Asia

Legal tech and biotech patents

Patents are a true form of capital: nice to have, hard to get and looking at others will rarely make you happy. Part of this equation is the impenetrable ‘patentese’ that one must embrace while drafting and analysing patents and patent applications. Is there a shortcut?

Heralded as a revolution in the legal industry, legal tech’s advent could transform the way that practitioners deal with legal documents. Could some of these solutions ease the burden of drafting and analysing patents and patent applications, especially in the biotech arena? This chapter explores the promise of legal tech in three fields:

  • small tools;
  • patent landscape reports; and
  • AI.

Source: IAM

Structured data format a “great step forward” for digital contracts

The Master of the Rolls has hailed the launch of a universal structured data format for the creation of digital contracts as a “great step forward”.

The Legal Schema project was developed by Peter Hunn, founder of smart contract specialist Clause, as part of the Lawtech UK sandbox pilot.

It is “an open-source initiative that provides a common language for creating and managing legal documents as data, much like does for webpages”.

In the same way that “schemas underpin and enable web development”, the Legal Schema both supported the development of individual digital contracts and enabled them to interact with each other.

Source: Legal Futures


Google’s Black Founders Fund backs UK lawtech start-up

A contract drafting and review business founded by former Freshfields associates is one of 30 companies to receive funding from the Google for Startups inaugural European Black Founders Fund.

Co-founder Nnamdi Emelifeonwu said the “unprecedented environment” created by the pandemic had led to “much more appetite” for Define’s software.

The business has doubled in size over the past year, with revenue “growing exponentially”.

Source: Legal Futures

Self-service solution

Recent years have seen a massive infusion of tech talent and investment into the legal sector, and the pandemic has accelerated digitisation and innovation. The focus now needs to be on interoperability – creating dynamic connections between different legal processes and resources.
At a Thomson Reuters SYNERGY virtual event, legal technologist and futurist Joseph Raczynski presented a session on ‘legal platforms, APIs and the (r)evolution of whizzbang legaltech’. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is the software that enables applications to connect with each other and exchange information. As Raczynski observed, in the past five years there has been a tenfold increase in legal tech start-ups, most of which operate in the cloud and solve specific issues. But without common standards for the developers of these point solutions, interoperability between new and existing legal tech solutions is a big challenge.

Source: The Law Society Gazette

Toufic Adlouni’s law firm began as a side hustle, and he encourages his team to dream big too

Having turned his side-hustle into a law firm, Toufic Adlouni encourages the lawyers working for him to pursue extra-curriculars of their own. The experience they gain as start-up founders helps them relate to the firm’s client-base, he says.

Adlouni is co-founder and managing director of Renno & Co, a law firm focussed on emerging technology law. The majority of Renno & Co’s clients are in cryptocurrency, but the firm also works with start-ups in virtual reality, robotics, medical technology, electric vehicles and fintech.

“If all our lawyers are starting companies, and they know how it feels to start a company, then we're going to be better at advising our clients on how they can start companies,” Adlouni says.

Source: Law Times
Date: 29th June 2021. Time: 12 pm UTC, 1 pm GMT, 4 pm GST
Talk4Legal Episode 3: The use of technology to advance access to justice in Africa
What role can technology play in increasing the access to justice in Africa?

How can the simplification of legal processes empower the average person seeking legal help?

Tune into another enlightening episode about all things legal and legal tech! This episode is in collaboration with the African Law and Tech Network.

Source: African Law & Tech Network
Date: Tue, July 6, 2021. Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM BST

How To Pivot Your Big Idea

Challenges are always there in the startup world, what do you do when a global pandemic turns some ideas upside down and others into gold? Shoppar began as a retail tech business with audience insights and computer vision, then Covid hit! Within months the business was pivoted into online ad tech and team and technology reset to the new normal.

Source: Barclays Eagle Labs

Date: 26 July 2021. Time: 12:00 pm-12:30 pm AEST

The key hurdles in legal tech projects and how to jump them

Jointly presented by FrontFoot.Law & Neota Logic, this session looks at some of the common challenges arising in the implementation of legal tech projects, and proven strategies for overcoming them.

Disclaimer: The Fortnightly LegalTech Digest contains links to other Internet websites and information provided by persons not affiliated with the AIFC LawTech Advisory Council. Such links are not endorsements or referrals of any products, services or information contained in such websites, and no information in any such website has been endorsed or approved hereby. No claims, promises, or guarantees about the completeness, accuracy, currency, content or quality of information contained in the links to and from this website are made; information provided and opinions expressed by others do not necessarily represent the opinion of the AIFC LawTech Advisory Council. The AIFC LawTech Advisory Council expressly disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance on such information or opinions.

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