Harnessing ‘new technologies’: Dentons launches NextLaw Labs to boost innovation

Dentons has launched a collaborative venture, NextLaw Labs, focused on developing, deploying and investing in new technologies and processes for the legal profession in a bid to ‘drive innovation in legal services, more responsiveness and greater value’.

The aim of NextLaw Labs will be to develop a suite of technologies to change how lawyers practise law and provide better solutions to clients. The firm has made clear its intention to be the accelerator’s lead supporter and investor and will serve as the testing ground to vet, pilot and scale-up new products, services and other ideas.

The venture will be led by chief executive Dan Jansen, who previously headed the global media practice for Boston Consulting Group and advised start-ups at Arthur Young & Company (now EY). Jansen said: ‘NextLaw Labs is focused on one business vertical—the legal profession. Ideas and inspiration can come from any source, but only one accelerator can draw from the world’s largest law firm to help source and refine product ideas, while our partnerships with leading start-ups, thought leaders and other technology providers will help bring them to life.’

Dentons’ global chair Joe Andrew said: ‘The market has talked about Big Law and New Law, but we want to be Next Law. We don’t just want to be the world’s largest law firm, we want to transform the legal profession, drive innovation in legal services and bring clients what they want with better quality, more responsiveness and greater value.’

Other firms trying their hand at technology-focused innovation includes Allen & Overy which in January launched an online service dubbed ‘aosphere’, which offers compliance and risk management solutions and cross-border legal information, as more clients globally are facing regulatory obligations, a move made as the firm tries to improve previous attempts of establishing an online service offering generic, low cost, accessible advice.

sarah.downey@legalease.co.uk