Slaughter and May has today (29 April) announced its debut cohort of fledgling technology start-ups to enter its legal tech incubator, Collaborate.
Meanwhile, Big Four accountancy firm Deloitte has allied with software provider UiPath in Bucharest and Burges Salmon has announced a new technology-focused partnership with the University of Bristol.
For Slaughters, the cohort announcement has seen the Collaborate programme move apace since it was officially announced in February. Tabled, StructureFlow, Clarilis, JUST:Access, Logiak and LitiGate have all joined the programme following an application process which got underway in late March.
Tabled is a workflow management tool, while Litigate is an AI-driven disputes platform and Clarilis a document automation tool. StructureFlow, meanwhile, helps lawyers visualise transactions while Just:Access automatically transcribes court hearings. Logiak, finally, helps lawyers code to create systems that can spot individual points of law. Compared to other City incubators – such as Allen & Overy’s Fuse – the Collaborate cohort is comprised of less mature start-ups, with nascent companies set to benefit most from the programme.
‘We spread the net wide,’ Slaughters’ director of innovation Jane Stewart (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘We got some interest from some very established names, which we were surprised by. We didn’t deliberately exclude them – one we were very close to going for but we went for Tabled in the end.’
The start-ups now enter a 12-week programme which includes exposure to Slaughters’ blue chip client panel for product testing and feedback, while the firm will also facilitate a series of company-specific focus groups with mentors and clients alike.
Others have also made technology plays for fear of missing out, with Deloitte again looking to make good on its technology-orientated pitch, this time partnering with software company UiPath in Bucharest. The New York headquartered UiPath focuses on providing robotic process automation, and the new collaboration with Deloitte is expected to result in new products designed by the pair and focused on the legal sector.
‘Making better use of advanced technologies will be crucial as increased demands are placed on the legal function,’ commented Deloitte global leader of legal services Piet Hein Meeter. ‘Through this first-of-its-kind collaboration, Deloitte Legal and UiPath will provide automation solutions to enable organizations to maximize efficiency, reduce cost and free lawyers’ time to work more closely with the organization as a trusted business partner.’
Closer to home, Bristol-based law firm Burges Salmon has announced a partnership of its own, pairing up with the University of Bristol to undertake joint research and innovation initiatives. The aim of the partnership is to explore potential uses of AI and data science within the professional services.