Legaltech 101 Workshop Series: The Truths about Law Firms & Technology
Led by Partner Shruti Ajitsaria, A&O FUSE is the Magic Circle firm’s in-house tech innovation incubator. It aims to provide innovative legaltech start-ups with experiential learning opportunities within the traditional legal firm structure. In particular, it seeks to promote collaboration, by bringing together A&O lawyers and its global client base with start-ups. Placing lawyers and clients at the heart of product development provides opportunities for feedback and mutual learning exchanges which FUSE views as encouraging greater final adoption and trust in legaltech products. Since its establishment in 2017, A&O FUSE has integrated 26 members and is currently accepting applications for its 2021 cohort.
Founded in 2016, Avvoka provides an end-to-end contract automation tool allowing lawyers to generate contracts at optimal speed, accuracy and effectiveness. As well as allowing for automated generation, Avvoka distinguishes itself in allowing internal and external collaboration between parties through its tool. Furthermore, it allows lawyers to leverage the data embedded into contracts through its unique analytic capabilities. Overall, co-founder Eliot Benzecrit views Avvoka as proving an intuitive and accessible legaltech solution to the contracting process.
Tim Follett setup StructureFlow to exploit the potential offered by visualisation to legal practice. As such, StructureFlow offers a comprehensive data visualisation tool for corporate transactions. Its functionality includes rapid diagramming for deal structures as well as internal and external collaborative capabilities. Importantly, it allows relevant data to sit behind diagrams with lawyers able to quickly and efficiently extract individual details and documents related to various aspects of a deal’s structure. Tim highlights the communicative benefits of StructureFlow through visualisation as well as its ability to integrate data.
Define, co-founded by Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, seeks to simplify the reading, understanding, and drafting of legal documents. To achieve this, it provides advanced software solutions capable of integration into traditional word processors. In particular, their product provides instant access to all defined terms and references contained within a particular clause or provision. This solution provides significant efficiency gains for lawyers enabling the smooth reading and reviewing of documents. Furthermore, Define facilitates consistency across documents through its integration functionalities.
Interestingly, all three legaltech start-ups were founded by former city practitioners with each noting their frustrations while practicing as inspiring their legaltech ideas. Going forward, they noted the sector becoming better defined and adoption appetite among lawyers growing. In light of this, they emphasised the importance of A&O FUSE in enabling better collaboration between start-ups and lawyers. Additionally, as the sector matures, focus will turn towards greater integration between legaltech solutions. As such, A&O FUSE positions itself as a crucial space in allowing start-ups to collaborate, not just with lawyers, but among themselves.